In Austria, the dish called Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese schnitzel), is traditionally garnished with a slice of lemon and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. Although the traditional Wiener Schnitzel is made of veal, it is now often available made with pork. In Austria, by law it has to be called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (vom Schwein meaning from pork) to differentiate it from the original. There are also regional versions of schnitzel, such as Salzburger schnitzel, which is stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, onions, and various other herbs. I often make the veal and pork schnitzel at home, which is simple to do and reminds me of that lovely European capital.
|Hotel Sacher, Vienna|
|Vienna State Opera House|
|The Red Bar at Hotel Sacher, Vienna|
What is a 'Sacher-Torte' you ask? The Original Sacher-Torte is probably the world’s most famous chocolate cake. The cake is actually fifty years older than the hotel. It was invented by a teenage Franz Sacher in 1832 at the request of Prince Wenzel von Metternich, where he was employed as a young chef. The Prince charged him to make a special dessert for important guests and the result was the famous cake. Sacher's eldest son Eduard carried on his father's culinary legacy, completing his own training in Vienna with the Royal and Imperial Pastry Chef at the Demel bakery and chocolatier, during which time he perfected his father's recipe and developed the torte into its current form. The cake was first served at the Demel and later at the Hotel Sacher, after it was opened by Eduard. Since then, the cake remains among the most famous of Vienna's culinary specialties.
To this day it is made only in Vienna and Salzburg, where you will find a newer Hotel Sacher Salzburg, which I also highly recommended while in the birthplace of Mozart. The basis is a chocolate cake, thinly coated by hand with best-quality apricot jam. The chocolate icing on top of it is the crowning glory. The Original Sacher-Torte tastes best with a portion of unsweetened whipped cream, complemented perfectly with a “Wiener Melange” (coffee with milk) while at the Sacher Café.
|Kevin and I at the Schönbrunn Palace, 2005.|
|The Lake District from my travels in 2009.|
Surely Vienna is the world’s music capital! More famous composers have lived here than in any other city – in Vienna, music is literally in the air: Waltzes and operettas have their home here, and the city’s concert halls and stages offer the whole range from classical to progressive sounds with end-to-end festivals the whole year through. Opera fans will meet international stars here and jazz lovers will find a pulsating jazz scene. Pop and rock concerts provide unforgettable live music experiences. Combine this with some of my favorite unique shopping boutiques (located just behind the Hotel Sacher), world class museums, and the Spanish Riding School, and Vienna truly is my favorite European city and I'm sure it will become yours too!
|Did I mention not to skip the hot dog stand? Yum|