The Foods eaten by the people of Austria

The cuisine of Austria has a long history influenced by various regions including neighboring Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the Balkans, as well as by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which brought a mix of culinary traditions. Over the last 500 years, certain elements have remained foundational to Austrian cuisine, while others have evolved or been introduced.

Meat and Dairy:

  • Pork: A staple meat, often roasted or used in sausages.
  • Beef: Common in various dishes, including the famous "Tafelspitz," which is boiled beef in broth.
  • Poultry: Chicken and turkey are also consumed but less traditionally common than pork and beef.
  • Milk, Cheese, and Butter: Dairy products are widely used in both savory and sweet dishes.

Breads and Grains:

  • Rye and Wheat Bread: A staple for centuries, often served with meals.
  • Noodles: Such as "Spätzle," are common, especially in the western regions of Austria.


  • Potatoes: Introduced in the 18th century and have since become a staple.
  • Cabbage: Often fermented into sauerkraut or used in salads and stews.
  • Root Vegetables: Such as carrots and turnips, have been traditionally consumed.


  • Apples: Widely used in desserts like "Apfelstrudel."
  • Plums: Used in various forms, including in "Zwetschkenkuchen," a type of plum cake.

Sweets and Desserts:

  • Strudel: Perhaps the most iconic Austrian dessert, often filled with apple, quark (a type of fresh cheese), or sour cherries.
  • Sachertorte: A type of chocolate cake invented in Vienna, is famous worldwide.
  • Kaiserschmarrn: A shredded pancake dish named after Emperor (Kaiser) Franz Joseph I.


  • Coffee: Coffee culture is significant in Austria, especially in the form of the Viennese coffee house.
  • Wine: Austria has a long history of winemaking, with Gruner Veltliner being one of the most well-known varietals.
  • Beer: Also popular, especially lighter lagers.

Spices and Seasonings:

  • Poppy Seeds: Often used in pastries.
  • Caraway Seeds: Commonly used in bread and to season meats.
  • Paprika: Especially in the east, influenced by Hungarian cuisine.

Influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire:

  • Goulash: A stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika, originally from Hungary, is widely consumed.
  • Dumplings: Various types exist, influenced by Czech and other Central European traditions.

Over the last 500 years, Austrian cuisine has maintained a focus on hearty, comfort-food dishes, with an emphasis on meats, bread, and dairy products. Influences from neighboring countries and regions have been integrated, making the cuisine a melting pot of Central European traditions.

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