Gastro Historical Retrospection … 51 years Austro-Hungarian Monarchy!

The influence beyond no doubt in gastronomy from the time of the Austo-monarchy turning around in the Hungarian meals. Still today the below meals are very popular for the Hungarian tastes.

In addition to the various regional specialties, the Hungarian menu offers many dishes, as an influence from different countries such as Austria, the former monarchy. It often happens that even the Hungarians themselves do not really know where their favorite food comes from.

We consider many recipes and foods typically Hungarian –  country-specific – although they could never have been created without the appropriate intercultural effects. The Hungarian people are especially masters of presenting different cultural influences on a plate. The Hungarian menu can also be seen as sailing on a  superb cruise within in gastronomy/cultural history of Europe.

The famous Tafelspitz was also taken into Hungarian gastronomy. Both the beef maker and the soup made from it have a very exciting story. Cooking meat (instead of baking) is an ancient cooking process. But to cook beef exclusively is already an Austrian invention, namely the XV. century. The Viennese at that time liked the meat of the Hungarian fattening ox the most. A piece of meat cut from the back of these animals by proper technique was also called Tafelspitz due to the thin layer of fat surrounding the meat.

Take the famous Viennese schnitzel, for example. This dish was originally not from Vienna but from Venice. Italian chefs already in the XVI. In the 14th century, roast meat was made into breadcrumbs, and indeed the Jewish population of Constantinople is probably even earlier. Legend has it that the Viennese schnitzel arrived in Austria in 1857, thanks to the Austrian General Radetzky. Subsequently, in imperial times, the food was further refined to become what we know today as the Viennese schnitzel, and one of the most beloved main course in Hungary.

The Carriages Goulash soup is named after the appetite of the famous Viennese carriages. A good example of how the goulash soup back-and-forth travel in the world of gastronomy.  For instance of how the Carriage  Goulash influenced the Austrians and even lead further away to France. The beef ragout has a “decoration”  of sausages and fried eggs, and the ragout sauce should be free of the sweet – or for some like it hot – red pepper that comes from the best quality in Hungary. In the 19th century, even the legendary chef Auguste Escoffier from Szeged/Hungary brought peppers to France.

Linzer cake is also a famous land-based sweet, which owes its name to the provincial capital of Upper Austria. It’s really special that it is the world’s first written cake recipe. However, the reputation of the confectionery owes its origin to a Frenchman: Johann Konrad Vogel began working in Linz in 1822 under the employ of Katherina Kreß, the widow of a pastry master. And that’s where the cake’s success story begins. Nowadays, the liner cake is as well-known as the Sacher cake and at least as popular and delicious as an Austrian souvenir.

Although the chocolate cake was not invented in Vienna, the legendary Sacher cake can be found in many confectioneries around the world. First made in 1832 by talented confectioner Franz Sacher, this cake is primarily due to its taste and design. The fact that the Sacher cake has become one of the most famous chocolate cakes in the world is due to its creative creator, Eduard Sacher. His merit is that in the 19th century. At the end of the 20th century, the specialty chocolate cake became known worldwide and laid the foundation for the cake’s unprecedented success story. There is no pastry shop in Hungary where there is no Sacher cake on the counter.

Opposite examples occurred  during and after the time in the age the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy … In spite of the diversity of the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Emperor Franz Joseph was expressly considered a tradition in the choice of food. He was particularly fond of simple pasta such as eggs, flour, milk and a little sugar, such as Emperor crumbs. Whether this great dessert is made up of a failed and torn omelet, or a delicious snack served by Kasern (alpine shepherd), we may never know … BUT for your pleasure here is this recipe you can quickly and easily make emperor crumbs at home.

Hungarian Emperor Crumbs are always made with wheat groats, and the result is a relatively small, really crumbly dish. However, the Austrian version – and known abroad – has no meal. It is made with flour and is only slightly similar to Hungarian in its texture. It’s ripped into a light-battered rustic.

Ingredients: 300 g semolina, 750 ml milk, 2 tsps vanilla extract, 5 eggs, separated, pinch salt, 300 g sugar, zest from 1 lemon, 50 g butter for sauteing, powdered sugar, compote or jam or all three as topping.

Preparation mode: …Mix together the semolina, flour and milk. Let it sit for an hour or so to let the semolina absorb the milk.Mix the egg yolks together with sugar and stir it into the milk mixture. Whip the egg whites and a pinch of salt into firm peaks and fold it into the milk/egg mixture. Melt the butter and add the batter. Stir the batter with a spatula or wooden spoon until it starts to form little clumps – crumbs. Depending on the size of the pan this can take up to 30 minutes.Serve hot with powdered sugar or with jam, or with compote or drizzle with some syrup. Simple as that!

Compiled by Aggie Reiter