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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Austria one of the two most direct heirs of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, might be expected to have interesting culinary traditions, and does not disappoint. Special features of the Austrian cuisine include the layer cakes such as sachertorte for which Vienna is famous. hungary, as the other direct heir of the former empire, enjoys similar fame for cakes; and it is hard to know whether Vienna or Budapest is the richer in Konditorei.

Although the neighbouring czech republic and slovakia may geographically lie at the centre of Europe, Austria is perhaps the archetypal C. European country and, having a common frontier with Italy, has played an important role in the transmission of foods and dishes from the Mediterranean region. In this respect the S. Tyrol is of particular interest. It is there that one sees most clearly the interplay of Italian and Austrian dishes, symbolized (as Wechsberg, 1969, points out) by the title of a S. Tyrolean cookbook, Spaghetti and Speckknödel. The latter are dumplings made with Bauernspeck, carefully cured and smoked bacon, a prominent speciality of the whole of the Tyrol.