To some, the term “Wiener Schnitzel” conjures images of the world’s largest hot dog chain, renowned for its chili cheese fries. However, for those sailing the Danube, Wiener Schnitzel is a delicious introduction to Viennese cuisine.
Similar to a Milanese-style breaded cutlet, this national dish of Austria is made by pounding veal thin, then breading and frying until crisp. It is traditionally garnished with a slice of lemon and served with potato salad or parsley potatoes, and can be found on many a menu throughout Vienna and the surrounding region.
What’s in a Name? A Lot, Apparently
Outside of Austria, schnitzel is often made with chicken, beef or pork. However, the term “Wiener Schnitzel” is actually protected by law in Austria—any dish using this term must be made from veal or called by another name.
The history of the dish is the source of some contention. Italy claims to have invented Wiener Schnitzel for a banquet in 1134 while Austria attributes the term to a famous Austrian general in 1862 who spent much time near Milan. Regardless of where the dish originated, this novice-friendly recipe uses just a handful of ingredients and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!