Austrian cuisine, which is often incorrectly equated with Viennese cuisine, is derived from the cuisine of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In addition to native regional traditions it has been influenced above all by Hungarian, Czech, Italian, and Bavarian cuisines, from which both dishes and methods of food preparation have often been borrowed. The Austrian Cuisine is therefore one of, if not the most, multi- and transcultural one in Europe. Goulash is one example of this. Austrian cuisine is known primarily in the rest of the world for its pastries and sweets. In recent times a new regional cuisine has also developed which is centered on regional produce and employs modern and easy methods of preparation.
For snacking in between meals there are open sandwiches, different kinds of sausage with mustard and bread, as well as sliced sausage, Leberkäse rolls or Schnitzelsemmeln (rolls filled with Schnitzel). There are also other common delicacies, which may not be cordon bleu, but which are typical of Austrian food, for example the Bosna or Bosner (a spiced bratwurst in a hot dog roll) which is an integral part of the menu at Austria’s typical fast-food joint, the sausage stand (Würstelstand).
Austrians eat many desserts. One such is called vanillekipferl, which are crescent-shaped cookies coated in confectioner’s sugar, sometimes served around Christmas season. The dough is made with vanilla bean and almonds. Austrians also make many cakes and chocolates.
Some examples are:
- The Sachertorte (getting its name from its inventor -Eduard Sacher) a cake made with chocolate and apricot jam in some areas.
- The Dobosch torte, a layered cake with chocolate frosting and caramel glaze.
- The Panama torte, another chocolate cake made in celebration of the opening of the Panama canal.
- The Zwetschkenkuchen, an upside-down style cake usually topped with plums or peaches and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Other sweet things:
- Marzipan, which is sweet almond paste sometimes dipped in chocolate.
- Heisse Schokolade, which translates as hot chocolate, and is served with homemade schlag (whipped cream) – hot chocolate drink.
- Various chocolate confections obtained from the cities where professional chocolatiers make creations.
Typically Viennese dishes include:
- Vanillekipferl (sweet vanilla-hazelnut biscuits)
- Apfelstrudel (a kind of apple dessert)
- Topfenstrudel (a cream cheese strudel)
- Palatschinke (a Viennese crêpe, from the Hungarian palacsinta)
- Buchteln (yeast and butter bakery filled with apricot jam)
- Wiener Schnitzel
- Sachertorte (a chocolate cake)
- Tafelspitz (boiled beef, often served with apple and horseradish sauce)
- Gulasch (a hotpot similar to Hungarian pörkölt – gulyás is a soup in hungary)
- Selchfleisch (smoked meat) with Sauerkraut and dumplings
- Rindsuppe (beef soup)
- Beuschel (a ragout containing calf lungs and heart)
- Liptauer cheese
The Danish pastry is said to originate from Vienna and in Denmark is called wienerbrød (Viennese bread). But that is probably because it uses a certain kind of dough consisting of butter and flour in the classic cuisine referred to as ‘Viennese Dough’.
In Lower Austria, local delicacies such as Waldviertel poppies, Marchfeld asparagus and Wachau apricots are cultivated. Their influence can be felt in the local cuisine, for example in poppy noodles. Game dishes are very common. Lower Austria is striking for the differences within its regional cuisine due to its size and the variety of its landscape.