Now at 35 weeks pregnant, I’ve noticed two distinct changes in my diet. One, I think about food almost constantly in an intense-pregnancy-craving kind of way which had not happened in earlier weeks. Two, though I think about food a lot, I don’t actually desire to eat as my stomach and esophagus become very close neighbors and create acidic concoctions in their down time. It’s a weird concept to have food both within and out of my reach. To want it so desperately yet am repulsed by it at the same time.
In a way, I guess I’m glad we’ve been grounded in Oklahoma City instead of me trying to figure out this love-hate relationship with tasty treats at home in Vienna. Before we got here, I was pumped to eat Chick-fil-a and Buffalo Wild Wings and pizza with giant crust. But that excitement for my favorite American foods and restaurants has dwindled significantly as it tastes less and less like food that I’m used to but instead food that I’m eating from the perspective of a tourist. My favorite eats in Vienna are on my mind all the time; its bread, Schnitzel, fresh produce… But alas, we won’t be reunited until much later this fall. Once I have baby Elliott and feel up to cooking, I plan on making some yummy Vienna dishes. Until then, you’ll just have to eat the good stuff for me.
Enjoy (as in seriously, go eat these) my top ten favorite meals and snacks in Vienna:
Everyone who’s been to Vienna has a favorite gelato shop. My favorite is Zanoni & Zanoni, or just “Zanoni’s” as we call it, while others prefer Tichy Eis (sounds like “tiki ice”) or others around the city. You can’t go wrong with gelato, plus it’s very inexpensive for several scoops of deliciousness.
FYI: My favorite flavor combo in the universe is Kaffee and Biscotto. You’ll never be the same afterwards.
2. Zopf Brot
Zopf Brot or braided bread is one of my favorite bread snacks, mainly because of its buttery flavor. You can find these hot and fresh in both bakeries and grocery stores. It’s appropriate to snack on at any point in the day.
3. Dragee Keksi
My good and wonderful friend over at No Time For Tea introduced me to this chocolatey goodness a while back. We took her kids to the park and ate the entire bag in one sitting (and didn’t share with her kids). I quickly introduced them to my husband who helped me finish off a second bag in one sitting, and now we keep a bag (or two, or five) in the snack part of our pantry. Permanently.
I discovered these buttery, yummy crackers back in 2008 during my 3 month stay in Vienna and they immediately became a staple in my diet. When I came back to Vienna in 2012, I was focused on getting them back into my diet as soon as humanly possible. This is another snack that, if I’m not paying attention, I can start and finish the pack in one sitting. My husband makes fun of me for grabbing a handful (or several) before we go out because I simply can’t be without them for very long. He calls them “glorified graham crackers” which I suppose is true, but they’re super, super good graham crackers.
Müslix is a crunchy, crispy, whole grain cereal. I’ve always loved cereal, but now I love cereal. I always, always get the plain Kellogg’s brand, but there are others that I’m sure are equally tasty. Sometimes I eat this cereal as a snack or even for dinner. I can’t help myself.
If you’re in Vienna in the fall, count your many blessings and eat this 100 times. There is nothing better than a hot bowl of pumpkin soup. Pumpkins are so completely awesome that they get their own festival each fall, and those festivals do not disappoint in any way, especially when soup is on the menu. I’m getting a craving just picturing the soup itself. I’m a huge fan of soup and this is by far my favorite of all the soups in the world. It even beats out baked potato soup which has long been the one to beat. Kürbissuppe makes baked potato soup taste like plain broth – that’s how good it is.
Not as tasty as pumpkin soup, but still good, especially on a chilly day in Vienna. This soup is beef broth with slices of thin pancakes drowned in the broth. Don’t be thrown off by the pancake slices as it’s definitely not a sweet soup. It is good though and should be tried at least once. Plus, isn’t it a fun word to say? And you can tell your friends you ate a soup with pancakes in it. They’ll be envious but confused as to exactly why, and you’ll get a kick out of their reaction.
This is one of those meals that has you hearing angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus all around you the moment you take your first bite. “Schinken” is German for ham, and “Fleckerl” is a traditional Viennese pasta. I’ve eaten this dish a few different ways, but mainly it’s pasta topped with chopped ham, fluffy egg whites (gets cooked in), some kind of incredible Austrian cheese, cream, melted butter, and onions. It’s ah-mazing.
It’s the mac n’ cheese of Austria. Simple, delightful, oh so good.
10. Wiener Schnitzel
Last but certainly, absolutely not least… Schnitzel, my favorite food in the universe. I love, love, love Schnitzel and have made it several times in my own kitchen because it’s that easy to make. Who doesn’t love an excuse to use a hammer to make your dinner? What makes Schnitzel a Wiener (Viennese) Schnitzel is the bread crumbs used to coat the meat. Austrians specifically use Semmel bread crumbs, a type of bread roll that originated in Austria, and no other. So when someone outside of Austria claims to be serving Wiener Schnitzel, it’s probably not the real deal unless they’ve used Semmel bread crumbs. Traditionally, Schnitzel is a veal cutlet, as the menus usually put it. But you can also eat Schnitzel made from chicken or turkey. All you need then are a couple of slices of lemon to soak your Schnitzel in with a side of Pommes (fries) and you’re ready for the best dish in the world.
What did you love to eat during your stay in Vienna? Anyone brave enough to try the blood sausage (Blutwurst)? (I’m not.)
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