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Austria Eating & Drinking

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Eating & Drinking in Austria

The famous Wiener Schnitzel is probably many people’s Austrian signature dish even though it is thought to have originated in Italy! In many ways this epitomizes Austrian cuisine which takes its influences from Italy, Hungary, Germany and beyond. Another example is the humble frankfurter… actually invented in Vienna but adopted quickly in Germany, such that today it is called a frankfurter in Austria but a wiener (from Vienna) in Germany.

In fact, if meat is your favourite then Austria is a great place to be. Austrian Gulasch, for example, is a delicious stew which is thicker and spicier than Hungarian goulash and is typically served with a bread dumplings. And if you need a wine to wash it down then you can do much worse than an Austrian red although the truly special Austrian wines tend to be white. Grüner Veltliner is the most popular white wine grape and produces some fine dry whites whose notoriety are now spreading throughout the western world where Gruner Veltlinger is often affectionately known as “Groovy”!

For dessert, why not try the famous Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) or the equally delicious soufflé known as Salzburger Nockerl. And if you want to finish with a coffee, Austria is credited with introducing coffee to Europe from Turkey in the 17th century. Today, the Viennese café tradition is an important part of daily life with the Austrian Mokka (or kleiner Schwarzer) being quite similar to an Italian espresso.

A summary of Austrian food and drink would not be complete without reference to skiing and the magnificent Austrian Alps. The après-ski lifestyle combined with the cold temperatures demands some distinctly warming drinks and so it’s here in the Alps that the ubiquitous Austrian schnapps comes into its own with an ever increasing array of exotic schnapps flavours available. For something slightly less strong, but just as warming, you can also try the Austrian glühwein (or mulled wine) whose warmth and spicyness is just the ticket to soothe those cold and aching limbs. Finally, for the teetotallers who still need a buzz there is of course the famous energy drink Red Bull which began its worldwide popularity in Austria back in 1987.

See below for some Austrian German language words and phrases to help you find your perfect holiday meal in Austria...


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