Celebrating the Savory Delight : Exploring the World of Schnitzel. We’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to drop a comment below.
I’ve always loved the food and culture of Europe, travelling when I was young in and around mainly central Europe including Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland and one of the most persistent of my culinary memories during that period was that of the highly popular schnitzel.
The schnitzel is typically created firstly by tenderising a thin cut of meat by pounding it with a mallet; a fun fact is that the term schnitzel derives from the German verb schnitten meaning ‘to cut’! It is then dipped in breadcrumbs before being pan fried. The origins of tenderising strips of meat and applying breadcrumbs prior to frying them actually dates back to at least the 1st century AD of the Roman Empire and most likely earlier than that before becoming an even more prevalent cooking method during the Middle Ages in areas of Europe such as Italy, the Germanic lands and where modern day Austria lies, where veal was the primary meat used. Who knew?
However, the more recent use of the term schntizel as a boneless cut of meat dates back to at least the 1860s including the adoption of the now famous term “Wiener Schnitzel” or “Viennese Schnitzel”. The traditional Wiener Schnitzel is made of veal served with potatoes in butter and parsley, a salad and lemon slices. Yum! The term itself is even protected by German and Austrian law where any variations such as chicken, pork and so on are required to be included in the description or referenced as being “in the style of”.
As far as modern variations on the humble veal schnitzel are concerned there is a heap of different options including chicken, beef, pork, turkey and more not to mention the type of breadcrumbs used. Then of course there are the sauces or toppings! These include many things from the popular ‘hunter’ or flavoursome mushroom sauce to pepper or cream sauces to gravies to herb sauces to a cheese, ham and tomato variation of its famous crumb-free oven baked cousin the parmigiana and so much more! Last but not least there are the side dishes to consider including egg noodles, sauerkraut, french fries, hash browns, mashed potatoes and various salads to name just a few, all washed down with a nice cold beer or wine if that is your fancy!
Have you got an ideal schnitzel ‘recipe’ or idea of what – for you – would make the perfect schnitzel meal?
There are several restaurants around my hometown of Melbourne that offer the humble schnitzel and its variations. These range from the CBD including the fabulous Gasthaus on Queen (Street) that serves some of the best quality schnitzel and side dishes you are likely to sample here to the slightly touristy Hofbrauhaus that offers a wide range of Bavarian cuisine including dinner plate sized schnitzels and its cousin the Munich Brauhaus located alongside the Yarra river, to the highly popular chain of Schnitz restaurants in Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs.
So what about restaurants you’ve been to where you’ve had an amazing schnitzel experience? Do you have a favourite?
We at AMCCU would love to read about your experiences with the humble schnitzel or ideas you may have so please feel free to respond below! We would love to hear from you!
AMCCU acknowledges the traditional custodians of the country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection and protective commitment to land, water and community. We pay our respects to them and their deep-rooted cultures, and to their Elders past, present and emerging.
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