Once the centre of the vast Habsburg Empire, Austria is a country whose cuisine displays influences from dozens of different cultures over the course of the centuries. Its distinctive dishes demonstrate the hallmarks of this multinational heritage, with everything from the Italian-inspired wiener schnitzel to the German wiener würstel to be found in eateries across the nation.
It's not surprising, then, that the capital city, Vienna, is a foodie's dream destination. Serving an array of nationally beloved delights, its recipes have spread far beyond the bounds of its own streets and citizens, all the way here to Australia. To hark back to the glory days of bewigged aristocrats dining in a beautiful city, to be transported to a more glamorous time and place, try out these four fabulous Viennese dishes.
1. Wiener schnitzel
If there is such a thing as a classic Viennese dish, then the wiener schnitzel is it. A thin cut of meat (traditionally veal) is coated in breadcrumbs and then fried for a glorious meal choice that's decadent, gluttonous and gorgeously tasty. It's rumoured to have originated in Milan, though other sources claim it developed among the city bourgeoisie in the 18th century. Irrespective of its mysterious origins, the dish is today synonymous with Austria. Should you fancy trying it for yourself, we recommend ordering the inimitable OMG! from Schnitz. It's a truly amazing eating experience.
2. Apple strudel
The Viennese, both historical and modern-day, are famed for their love of desserts and café culture, so it's no surprise that one of their most famous exports is the superbly sweet apple strudel. Best enjoyed alongside a cup of tea or coffee, these Austrian pastries taste absolutely divine, due to the exquisite combination of apples, raisins, sugar and cinnamon with which they're stuffed. Still the most common dessert in all of the former member states of the Austro-Hungarian empire, strudel should be eaten with a topping of whipped cream to enjoy the full effect - as the awesome chefs at Bavarian Bier Café so expertly demonstrate with their "Haus Made" edition.
Sticking with our Viennese theme but heading towards something a little more filling, goulash will surely tick your boxes. Tracing its origins back to Hungary, this dish was popular throughout the whole Austro-Hungarian empire, thanks to its beautifully prepared sauce and flavoursome spices. Served as either a soup or stew, its staple ingredients are beef, paprika and tomato sauce, and they mingle to produce genuinely mouth-watering results. Order from Budapest in Melbourne to taste it for yourself.
4. Danish pastry
When we said that the Viennese were big fans of dessert, we weren't exaggerating. The Danish pastry is another great example of their culinary prowess. The name might be a little misleading, but this sweet treat originates from Vienna: the special dough from which it's made was imported into Denmark by Austrian bakers during a 19th century strike. This classic Viennese cuisine tastes like heaven, smells just as good and is available to order from the fantastic Mill and Bakery, if that thought is just too much to resist!
So, if you're organising a dinner party or a date for one and fancy a first class eating experience, have Deliveroo add these dishes to your menu!