Vienna’s Fourth Gift to the World: Fusion cuisine
Viennese cuisine – “Die Wiener Küche” – is famous far beyond the borders of this country. Most people can identify at least a few dishes as typically Viennese. But a lot of those people don’t know that we
stole borrowed most of what comprises the local cooking.
Take Palatschinken, for example. This typical Viennese dessert originally came from Romania (The name was derived from the latin Placenta, by the way.) Most other sweets, like apple strudel or Buchteln were taken from Bohemia, with the exception of Golatschen, a pastry made from flaky dough, which we got from the Czech.
Goulash is considered quintessentially Viennese, which is partly correct, because at the time we acquired the recipe from the Hungarians, Austria-Hungary was still one country. The same can’t be said for Munich, the city that gave birth to Leberkäse, one of the best things you can put into a bread roll, according to the Viennese.
Well, at least the Wiener Schnitzel is a true Viennese dish – meaning we took the recipe from the Italians.
Now, exchanging recipes between cultures is nothing unheard of – actually, it was quite common throughout the ages. But the Chutzpah of combining all the cuisines of the neighbouring countries and areas into a big stew, sprinkling it with tiny details like Sachertorte and calling it out traditional way of cooking was something rather new and innovative. And it was this cunning that gave way to modern-day culinary adventures like Tex-Mex and California maki. Which, I guess, can be considered a good thing.