Tag Archives: Vienna

Austrian Cuisine: Cakes and Strudels

Today I want to concentrate on one of Austrias best things: Cakes and Strudels, by presenting the three most famous “Mehlspeisen”: Gugelhupf, Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel

Mehlspeise means meal made out of flour and it is a term you will hear a lot of times in Austrian Cafés – the waiter will not ask you if you want any cake or dessert, but ask you if you want a Mehlspeise.

Gugelhupf

Central European cake called "Napfkuchen&...

A Gugelhupf is a Bundt Cake and you will get it by the name “Napfkuchen” all over german speaking countries. Its roots go back to the romans, but there is also the story that the “Three holy kings”, after visiting Baby Jesus came to Alsace, where they were served a Gugelhupf. The French, call it “Kouglouf” and believe that it comes from Ribeauvillé. In the Biedermeier Period (between 1815 and 1848) the Gugelhupf became a symbol of the rich burgher, and was served with tea or coffee on sunday afternoons. (The Biedermeier was a time in which the Burgher did no longer press for political influence, but were satisfied with monetary gains). Since that time, this is a typical cake to serve for guests, especially family.

Sacher Torte – one of Austrias most famous exports

Sachertorte from Hotel Sacher, Vienna

The Sacher Torte is named after Franz Sacher in 1832 when count Metternich wanted something special for his guests. The Chef was sick, so the apprentice Franz Sacher took over the important task and created this chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam and chocolate icing. He later on opened a deli, where he also sold this cake. His son Eduard made his apprenticeship at the Café Demel and improved on the existing recipe in this time. Later he founded the famous Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Due to this story there have been long legal battles between the Café Demel and the Hotel Sacher, who was allowed to use the name “original” Sacher Torte. After years of arguing the result was that the Hotel Sacher can use the name “Original Sacher-Torte” and the Café Demel the name “Eduard-Sacher Torte”, which is commonly called the “Echte Sacher Torte” (real Sacher Torte). Both variants are delicious and you will get them as “Sacher Torte” in every good Austrian Café. Leaving Austria without having tried one is an absolute “No-Go”, so do not miss out!

Apfelstrudel – an Austrian Classic

According to Wikipedia this is a “national dish” of Austria and when I asked friends about typical Austrian meals, no one missed out on that one. There are some similiarities to Baklava, so many historians believe that it might have come to Vienna during the War against the Turks. Apple Strudel is made of apples, raisins, bread crumbs and some cinammon and sugar – this is put into a pastry. It can be served hot, fresh out of the oven, or be eaten cold. You might get it with whipped cream, vanilla sauce or vanilla custard, but originally a Apple-Strudel does not need any of them.

Apfelstrudel, a Viennese speciality

I can vouch for all this “Mehlteig” Classics and hope you can enjoy them on your next trip to Austria. If you already got any experience with any of this meals, I would be happy to hear about it!

 

 

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Vegetarian Delights … four veggie alternatives

In last weeks food post about the Austrian Cuisine I talked about the “Big Four” and none of them offered an alternative for Vegetarians or people who want to reduce their meat consumption. Today I want to offer you with some great alternatives, which are not sweet. Austria is famous for its Sweet dishes and I will come to them later on …

Here are my four nominations for Vegetarians:

Krautfleckerl:

This is a traditional dish from Vienna, which came to Vienna through Bohemia. It is some sort of Austrian Pasta (the Fleckerl) with white cabbage. Krautfleckerl are not really a posh meal, but I like them and they are great after a day of hiking or walking through a city. Be aware that you might sometime get a version with minced meat and Cheese, so ask if you want to avoid meat at all cost.

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Austrian Cuisine: The Big Four

After last weeks introduction into Austrian Soups I want to dedicate this weeks Cuisine article to  what I call the Big Four: Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, Schweinsbraten and Gulasch. You can find this four main courses on almost every menu of an Austrian Restaurant and they are delicious. Sad news for Vegetarians – all of them are based on some kind of meat.

Wiener Schnitzel – the Austrian Classic:

Wiener Schnitzel

This dish is made out of veal, thinned and then coated in bread crumbs and fried – Traditionally you have potato salad with it. If prepared well it should have an almost golden colour when served and you will love it. As veal is rather expensive, you will also find Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein on many menus. This is more or less the same thing, but made out of pork. A lot of restaurants who over this variant serve it with Pommes Frites, as this is how people love to have their Schnitzel nowadays. I strongly recommend everyone to try this, when visiting Austria! Continue reading

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Traveling through Austria by Train

Today I would love to introduce you to a very convenient way to travel Austria – by railway. A lot of the major cities, in Austria are connected that way.

ÖBB tracksI just recently wrote a guest article at Voyage Articles – Three Cities to visit in Austria. There I wrote a short review about the three major Cities, tourists visit in Austria. The nice thing about Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck is, that they are very well connected – not only by car, but also by train. They are all part of the Westbahn-Trasse, which connects Bregenz (Vorarlberg) to Vienna – this route is one of the backbones of the Austrian railway system. This way you can go from Vienna to Salzburg in approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Innsbruck – Salzburg are another 2 hours and to go to Vorarlberg you will need another 2 hours. But it is well worth the way, as the railway tracks between Innsbruck and Vorarlberg run over high bridges and through narrow alpine valleys.

A lot of trains are on international routes – there are a lot of trains from Vienna to Zurich (via Feldkirch, Innsbruck, Salzburg); there are trains from Munich to Rome (via Innsbruck) and from Munich to Vienna (via Salzburg) – others run from Bregenz to Budapest (via Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna).

There is a second major route – the Südbahn. It takes you from Vienna to Carinthia (via Graz) and connects to Venice.

Visiting Europe by train is a very good alternative, as it is convenient, safe and gives you a lot of opportunities to see rural Europe. I love to travel by train, as it gives me time to read, to meet people or to work (I prefer it to flying – check out this article) There are international train tickets for Tourists who want to use the railway system in different countries – you can find information for international visitors at Eurails Homepage – European Travelers can use the Interrail System.

Deutsch: Panoramablick vom Kapuzinerberg auf d...

Image via Wikipedia

Other important links:

ÖBB (Austrian railways) Route planner: click here

Westbahn (private operator from Vienna to Salzburg): click here

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House Attack by Erwin Wurm

great find

a must see in Vienna – the MQ (Museums Quartier) – next to the Museum Moderner Kunst (modern art museum) you will also find the Sammlung Leopold, which contains one of the biggest Schiele collections and a lot of other fine museums

+ it´s very cool to sit in front of the museums and watch people

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