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« Salzburg restaurant: Zur Plainlinde | Main | WTSIM... vegetarian BBQ: Mozzarella & chilli stuffed limes »

Aug 26, 2007



This looks great. I can't wait to try it. I wonder how it would work with a lemon curd base or guava puree?

It sounds like you should consider writing a book in English on all those wonderful Austrian sweet dishes and the stories that go with them, a few beautiful photos of the mountains...


Ich habe dieses Jahr zum ersten Mal in meinem Leben Salzburger Nockerln gegessen, aber nicht in Salzburg sondern in St. Johann...., nun habe ich ja auch ein Rezept.


Lovely!! And I, for sure, have been drooling over Rick Rodgers' 'Kaffeehaus', as a very kind and very special foodblogger gave me one as a gift :)

The Cooking Ninja

It's so lovely. Wish I can have a bite of it. I wanted to join this month's interesting challenge but I'm on the road so I can introduce my local sweets. Will do once I'm back. :)


It was a pleasure to photograph such delicious food - especially when the reward was to help eating it afterwards! Such a great story and such happy memories of a fab holiday.


Oh my goodness I am trying this tonight. It looks so light and delicious!


wow that looks so light and pillow! and such a wonderful story to go with

Intrepid Gourmet

As a very experienced traveler, who is fluent in several European languages and has been to Europe countless times I cannot disagree more with your views on Austrian food.

While the Austrians, in particular the Viennese, are famous for their pastries, their other foods leave much to be desired. I recently spent many weeks in Austria. Virtually every menu has the same 5 or so dishes on it: Deep fried Schnitzel, fried liver, dumplings, potato salad, pork something or other, typically fried and Tafelspitz—that boring, washed out dish of boiled beef. Pot au Feu it is not! The same three soups. The same Teutonic salad of shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, a cuke, a tomato—all previously soaked in water, with little food value and topped with the ubiquitous creamy "yoghurt" dressing. Huge, heavy, sweet, high fat, high calorie desserts are the norm. There is no such thing as fresh fruit for dessert.

Quite literally, the same over salted, fatty, unhealthy foods are being served all over Austria in virtually every restaurant. As a result the Austrians have some serious weight and health problems. The Colon cancer rate is one of the highest in Europe due to the high fat, low fiber diet.

It is almost impossible to get a healthy meal in Austria regardless of whether one is in the countryside or in a city. The foods are often so salty that they are inedible. If one asks for them to go easy on the salt, the sauces are still forcefully salty because these are made from a bouillon cube base instead of meat, dairy and veggie juices and or wines, as are those of the French or Italians.

Every place we travelled and spoke with tourists and even Austrians themselves, they had the same comments: Austria is beautiful. The people are friendly. The whole country is a photo op— but, the food is terrible! Everyone we met had swollen limbs and feet, burning tongues and lips as well as upset guts from the high salt, high fat content of every meal.

The drinking of digestives such as Mariazell are common place because people have problems digesting these sorts of foods. All of this, BTW, at top prices since Austria is extremely expensive compared to other European countries.

I can't recall a more miserable time in any country because of the food. The only defense is to rent an apartment, cook one's own foods or eat ethnic: Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern. Those foods are healthy and balanced, while not being too Austrianized. Unfortunately, there are few ethnic restaurants in the hinterlands of Austria.

And then there are the cigarettes. Everyone—and I mean everyone— smokes. One cannot have a meal in any restaurant without a smoker ruining it. They smoke before meals. They smoke during courses. They smoke after a meal. They smoke in the coffee houses and in the jazz clubs. They smoke in offices, shops and any other buildings as well as in parks and on boats. They smoke on the street. They smoke everywhere from morning to night. They insist on their right to smoke and you, the non-smoker must smoke as well. The whole country reeks of smoke. Yes, there are "no smoking" sections. However, they are a joke, since these are next to the smoking areas and the smoke drifts right onto your plate and under your nose for you to inhale as you breathe and eat. Then they smoke some more...

Despite plenty of information on healthy foods and balanced living in the print media as well as on Austrian TV, the message has not drifted down to the restaurants. Try as one might, it is virtually impossible to choose a balanced meal in a typical Austrian restaurant. On a positive note, along with fabulous scenery and friendly people Austria does have great water.

It will be a long time before I get up the fortitude or desire to visit Austria again. It was that bad. After coming home I lost 4 pounds of water weight within 2 days. My swollen limbs look almost normal again.

There is a reason that the Austrian kitchen is not considered one of the world's greatest as are those of the French, Italians or Chinese: It is unbalanced, boring and most of all— unhealthy.

Man cannot live by pastries alone!

Intrepid Gourmet


Being Austrian, I am no doubt biased – as much as I sometimes hated the food when I grew up (too much meat, too little fresh produce and come on, warm main courses? Yuck!), I do get nostalgic these days and enjoy going back and eating the many tasty foods on offer, just like the next person longs for the food they’ve grown up with, even if it’s something that would put off most people.
I completely agree with some points in your comment and lamented this a lot when I still lived there… now I have the benefit of enjoying what I like for a few days and going back to my (mostly) balanced diet after that ;-)

Austrian cuisine (just as any other) uses what it has available: most restaurants (especially in the country side and the (to us) “cheaper” establishments) the standard fare is very much the traditional food and you will find schnitzel as much as you will find a pasta with tomato sauce everywhere in Italy. Unlike other countries, fresh fruit is not seasonal all year round, so except for pears and apples which can be stored for months, fruit doesn’t feature in traditional dishes. Also, Austria used to be a peasant society, so much of its food is hearty fare giving a lot of sustenance. This is what features on menus of “typical” or “traditional” Austrian restaurants.
However, that’s not the only type of cuisine you find, and in my post, I was alluding to the less traditional or “nouvelle” Austrian cuisine, if you like. Yes, I came across a fair few that weren’t worth writing home about, but there is an emerging restaurant scene in and around the larger cities that is exciting and refreshing. They may be hard to find for a tourist, that I cannot judge. Whether that suits your purse or not is a different matter altogether. As for the traditional establishments, I do enjoy them for what they are and find the quality reliable, consistent and the value for money much better than here in London.
And that you should mention the Tafelspitz… I have to say I have never had it anywhere else but at the epicentre of tafelspitz heaven, Plachutta. A piece of boiled beef, served in its soup with various vegetables and sauces, its marrow bone… and the drama of the staff serving it to you in stages. Bland, I think now. I do love that. But again, I wouldn’t order it anywhere else.

As for colon cancer rates, Austria actually lies below the average rate for Europe, level with the UK, and Europe has lower rates than Australia/NZ and the US. Interestingly, Central Europe, where the diet everywhere is very much like in Austria, lies below Western, Northern and Southern Europe.

So, in a nutshell, I am sad to hear you were disappointed. I do see the shortcomings of Austrian food, its limitations for vegetarians or anyone on a healthy diet – I wouldn’t want to have to eat in restaurants/inns in the countryside for weeks on end, certain. There are, however, lots of brilliant places, if you care to look, maybe it’s worth investing in a good guide. Or here I am at your service should you ever care to go back.


Hello there,
I have read Monica's comment with pleasure. Obviously she has made some really disappointing experiences while staying here in Austria. Princess Monica overlooks that heart diseases and overweight as well as fast food were invented in her own country.
Calling salads 'Teutonic' has gone a step too far for my taste. As a blogger she probably uses one trick that always works: leave comments and be controversial - this is how you can gain a few more visitors to your own blog.
It really sounds as if she only visited so-called Bahnhofsresti, poorly led pubs at train stations. No no no, I am so happy to pronounce, I will work hardly against every adaptation, andere Länder, andere Kulturen, that is it. I know, some Americans want to bring the whole world into line, but please, we have Mac D.s and Kings of this and that Burgers already too many. Keep them and stay home for a change.
I agree with Monica about smoking, especially in restaurants. That is just disgusting and I hope we see a ban for smoking in restaurants soon, like in Italy. One more: one thing is just not true: you hardly find places where to get fried liver these days. Anyway, Monica, quite interesting comment. Thanks.


I must appologize Monica, of course I do not mean you but the Intrepid Gourmet. Sorry.

Intrepid Gourmet

I appreciate the responses from both Johanna and Bernhard, even though Bernhard can't seem to handle the truth as can Johanna. ;) I can only give you my experience and the experience of others to whom I spoke. Those are our facts and truths.

Johanna, like you, I enjoy the foods of my childhood in very limited amounts. I fondly recall my grandmother making schnitzel, red cabbage, dumplings, strudel and so on. However, she was an excellent cook and her foods were not salted to death.

Thanks for the offer to be a guide to better food in Austria. We do want to go back, because Austria is so beautiful and the people were very nice. However, because we, like you are passionate about food, we would hesitate. It really was shockingly miserable experience. One can handle terrible food for about 3 days, but for weeks and weeks on end it becomes very upsetting. Too bad I only found your great blog after my return. I probably should have consulted the "Slow Food" people as well.

The only wonderful food memory that we have is of the restaurant in the "Palais Coburg," in Vienna: It is "nouvelle" and the food was great. However, the prices were not to be believed! We could have gotten much more at half to a third the price in France or Italy. Few people can afford to treat themselves to such a meal more than a couple of times on any trip—if that.

First, I do not have a blog. My comments are simply as a result of a very recent experience from which I am still recovering.

Just as clarification, I am a native European. So, be so kind Bernhard to not put me into the "ugly" American category. Not being royalty, you can also refrain from calling me "princess." :) I do not want to "bring the whole world into line." Therefore, I would appreciate that you not accuse me or my nation of that. Most Americans could care less what the rest of the world does or thinks. Most Americans have no intimate knowledge of any other cultures. We are the exception to the rule.

If your nation and its people do not want Mickey Ds or any other sort of American establishment then why do your people patronize them? No one forces fast food or any other American product down your throats.

I have been to eat in a McDonald's exactly twice in my life. If it were up to me they would be bankrupt. All over Austria and the rest of the world for that matter, the natives of other nations liberally patronize US junk food establishments. Why is that?

BTW—why is it that only old American music is played in virtually every restaurant and shop? What ever happened to all that lovely Viennese music? We only heard that in the concert halls.

As for having eaten only in "Bahnhofsresti, poorly led pubs at train stations"—hardly! We are independent travelers who are in Europe numerous times a year for both business and pleasure. From Salzburg to Vienna and plenty of places in between we visited everything from small local restaurants, to old, traditional establishments, to the "nouvelle" power restaurants (where, BTW, the food was the best, but extremely pricey). I have photos of all meals and even of the menus, which I would be glad to share with you to prove the point that the same 5 dishes appear on virtually every one of them, often including liver. We would wander from restaurant to restaurant, dismayed that no one offered anything unique as the day's special. Therefore, we chose restaurants based on "recommendations" from other people or the charm of the place. It never made any difference. It was all equally bad. The internet was no help either.

Heart disease and obesity were in the world long before the appearance of the US and its fast foods. You might want to note that according to recent scientific studies, European obesity rates are almost as high as those of the US. Although technically not part of Europe, the UK, in particular Scotland is way up there. I was shocked to note that particularly in Austria there is as much processed junk as in the US. The Germans, French and Italians do much better on this front. One can purchase decent prepared foods that are healthy in the markets. In Austria that is very difficult. While open air markets have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies in many, many varieties, these do not appear on restaurant menus.

As mentioned, there are lots and lots of food and cooking programs on TV. There are also many programs that address the issues of obesity and how to feed oneself properly. It seems the Europeans have forgotten how to do that, while the Americans never quite knew how. I used to criticize some American restaurants much more. However, I have learned there are worse things. Now our humble coffee shop scene does not appear so bad. At least one can get a decent soup, salad, sandwich or omelette. Then of course, we have all those wonderful ethnic, "melting pot" restaurants. I live in a very small, very European city in the Western US with over 200 restaurants—many of which are simply world class.

The salad issue is a pet pieve of mine. Yes, Bernhard, there is such a thing as a Teutonic salad—which can only be found in the Germanic states. The French, the Italians, the Greeks or the Spanish would never serve such a salad. I also have scores of photos of this miserable excuse for a "salad" that I could share with you Bernard. ;)

I am a great fan of the American salad bar with its multitudes of healthy offerings and the many varieties of dressings. Der "'Knackiger Salat mit Yoghurt-Sahne Sauce" is a standing joke in our house. Google that and see what you get. LOL

Along with schnitzel I would be happy to never again meet another "Yoghurt-Sahne" dressing as long as I live!

"Andere Länder, andere Sitten," Bernard. But, too much schnitzel is just too much. I'll take pasta with tomato sauce or just plain oil and garlic every time. ;)


All that aside, Johanna, I love your blog and hope to visit often. I will acquaint myself with your past postings as well. I might even get up the courage, after a few weeks of recovering from this ordeal, to cook some of your Austrian foods and eat them in moderation.

BTW—how do you manage in the UK? That is also a land where one must eat in ethnic restaurants in order to overcome the limitations of the local cuisine. ;)

Robert Owen

Can someone please tell me where I can buy fresh Esterhazy Torte and Ishler Torte in London.? I have just been to Budapest for a few days, and was impressed with some Kavehaz there, especially Muvesz in Andrassy Utca. Unfortunately the cappucino there was not up to the usual standard I had hoped for. I do believe it may be the water supply.?


you could try cafe gloriette in brompton road - i am not sure whether they have these, but i have heard that they do proper austro-hungarian patisserie.
coffee is a sore issue in vienna and budapest alike, i don't actually know why we are known for coffee culture, most of the time you don't get a decent espresso anywhere...


At my friend's birthday party last week I had salzburger nockerl with chocolate sauce and housemade strawberry ice-cream. I terribly liked those pillow like nockerls. The chocolate sauce was very rich too.

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