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Austria’s Wiener Schnitzel: Simple and Simply Delicious

Wiener SchnitzelIf you order Wiener Schnitzel, Austria’s national dish, you will get a thin piece of breaded veal, pan fried to golden brown perfection. After one bite you will probably wonder how Viennese cuisine has managed to transform such a simple dish into a truly elegant main course.

Food with History

Legend has it in 1857, that the recipe for Wiener Schnitzel was brought to Vienna from Italy by an Austrian field marshall named Joseph Radetzky von Radetz. Unfortunately, this story has since been debunked, and historians now believe that Radetz brought home a recipe for cotoletta alla Milanesa, not Wiener Schnitzel.

The dish may have its roots in the method written about by Apicus in the 1st century, BC. Apicus wrote about tenderizing meat by pounding on it – a process that is faithfully followed in preparing Wiener Schnitzel. There is evidence that as early as this period, the Romans pounded veal into thin pieces, dredged these in breading and fried them.

Food experts insist that the cotoletta alla Milanesa is a dish distinct from the Wiener Schnitzel. The cotoletta is a veal chop with the bone it, the schnitzel is totally boneless.Today, the name has become protected by law, and if you want to call a dish Wiener Schnitzel, you have to make sure you use veal as meat. [Read more…]

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