The Viennese and their cuisine are like a true love story - a "Viennese love story".
The Austrian writer Karl Kraus (1974-1936) once said about the Viennese "Vienna has many landmarks and every Viennese feels like one". This is also true of Viennese cuisine.
It is the only cuisine in the world named after a city and is an eclectic epicurean love affair from all the crown lands of the Habsburg monarchy. If you like, Viennese cuisine is an imperial smorgasbord of dishes and their special ways of preparation. It is a European fusion cuisine with a long tradition.
The dishes and recipes have been passed down through generations and found their perfection in Vienna from the middle of the 19th century onwards through the influx of workers from the crown lands in the "Viennese cuisine" as we still know, appreciate and love it so much today.
From Hungary, Bohemia and Moravia, the Balkan countries, but also from northern Italy, immigrants brought their traditional regional culinary arts to the imperial imperial and residential capital of Vienna. This melting pot of cultures had a significant influence on Viennese cuisine. Wives and daughters of immigrant workers found work as cooks, kitchen maids or parlour maids in the wealthy households of the Viennese aristocracy and bourgeoisie.
Soups, boiled beef, goulash, roasts, baked sundries, sweets and desserts found their way into the kitchens of Viennese society and even into the court kitchens of the highest imperial family.
Emperor Franz Joseph (1830-1916) was a great friend of Viennese cuisine. The cooked Viennese beef was served to His Majesty every day at 11.00 a.m. for the forked breakfast in the form of a "Tafelspitz" and thus achieved worldwide fame.
Another special feature of Viennese cuisine is the strict distinction between desserts and sweet dishes. Desserts are served as a main course, while desserts - as the name suggests - are served as a dessert.
The end of the First World War also brought the end of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in November 1918. Fortunately, Viennese cuisine survived this caesura until today.
The Austrian author Friedrich Torberg (1908-1979) manifested the fascination, love and enjoyment of Viennese cuisine in his book "Die Tante Jolesch" with an anecdote about said Aunt Jolesch and her famous Krautfleckerln:
Shortly before her end - peacefully, cared for by her family - Aunt Jolesch revealed the secret of her famous cooking with her last utterance when asked:
"Auntie - you can't take the recipe to your grave after all. Won't you leave it to us? Won't you finally tell us why your Krautfleckerln were always so good?"
Aunt Jolesch straightened up a little with the last of her strength: "Because I've never done enough...". She said, smiled and passed away.
This attitude to life is what makes Viennese cuisine so valuable and it is Austria's real gift to the world, because if not in Vienna then where, "love goes through the stomach".