Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese Schnitzel)

Probably the most important dish in the whole Austrian cuisine: the Viennese, the Wiener Schnitzel!

Schnitzel is traditionally prepared from a thinly-sliced piece of veal, which is further tenderized by pounding with meat mallet, then successively dipped into wheat flour, eggs and breadcrumbs before being fried in clarified butter or lard. Sometimes the breadcrumbs are seasoned with freshly ground black pepper. It is now more often made with thin pork escalopes.

Traditionally, Wiener schnitzel is served with potato salad and a lemon slice. Roasted potatoes, french fries, rice or cranberry sauce are optional but considered bad cooking etiquette by purists. Originally a festive dish—in the 17th and 18th centuries, sometimes gold dust was mixed into the breadcrumbs to provide an extra golden, luxurious colour—it has become one of the most popular meals among Austrians and is now enjoyed at all kinds of occasions.

Many restaurants offer cheaper schnitzels made from pork, and variants made of turkey have become popular more recently, but Austrian restaurant regulations require that "vom Schwein" (made of pork) or "von der Pute" (made of turkey) be indicated on the menu if no veal is used. Another alternative is "Schweinsschnitzel Wiener Art" (pork schnitzel Vienna style).

You can order it in almost in any restaurant regardless of its standard and quality. Even more and more snack bars are selling Schnitzel in a roll. There is also an increasing number of restaurants who only sell Schnitzels. You can eat Schnitzels there in all variations. The most popular ones are chain restaurants like Schnitzlplatzl, Schnitzelhaus, and Schnitzel Huber in any bigger Austrian city.



The Viennese Schnitzel with french fries in an average Austrian restaurant.
Also served with rice or potatoes.