Schnitzel (German pronunciation: [ˈʃnɪtsəl]) is a traditional Austrian dish made with boneless meat thinned with a mallet (escalope-style preparation), coated in bread crumbs and fried. It is a popular part of Viennese, Austrian cuisine and German Cuisine. In Austria, the dish called Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese schnitzel), is traditionally garnished with a lemon slice and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. Although the traditional Wiener schnitzel is made of veal, it is now often made of pork. When made of pork, it is often called Schnitzel Wiener Art in Germany. In Austria, by law it has to be called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (vom Schwein meaning from pork or pig) to differentiate it from the original. In Austria and Germany, the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal. There are also regional versions of schnitzel, such as Salzburger schnitzel, which is stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, onions, and various other herbs.
There is a debate as to where schnitzel originated. Some claim Milan, northern Italy, as cotoletta alla milanese, though others say it appeared in Vienna during the 15th or 16th century. One hypothesis is that it could have been brought to Austria during the Battle of Vienna in 1683 by Polish and German troops. According to another hypothesis, it was introduced in 1857 by Field Marshal Radetzky, who spent much of his life in Milan. The term Wiener Schnitzel itself dates to at least 1845. Variants of this dish are common around the world.
Argentina and Uruguay
In Argentina and Uruguay, the milanesa, a dish similar to the schnitzel, is a typical dish. Its name means 'of Milan'. The milanesa is made of beef or veal, dipped in egg, and then bread crumbs, and fried. A milanesa napolitana is made with ham, melted mozzarella cheese and tomatoes.
Chicken schnitzel, and chicken Parmigiana are very popular dishes in Australia, where chicken is more readily available than veal. As a home-cooked meal, schnitzel is generally accompanied by boiled, mashed or fried potatoes. Chicken Parmigiana is a large chicken schnitzel topped with Italian tomato sauce and mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Chicken Parmigiana is often served as a pub meal, accompanied by chips or salad and sometimes bacon. It is known by a number of colloquial names such as such as "Parmi" or "Parma". The terms "Schnitty" or "Schnitter" are gaining popularity, particularly in South Australia, where the schnitzel has reached almost cult or iconic status in local pub culture and on local menus. Veal and chicken schnitzel are widely available. Beef schnitzels are also served as pub meals. Chicken schnitzels are served as fillings for sandwiches and bread rolls at sandwich bars, often with mayonnaise and lettuce. Australians from Austria and Germany preserve the tradition of the Wiener Schnitzel, accompanied by boiled potatoes and sauerkraut with tomatoes and cumin.
In Belgium, the dish is called Cordon bleu or Schnitzel cordon bleu and is made of chicken, beef or pork.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the dish is called Bečka Šnicla or Bečki Odrezak (Bečki = "Viennese" i.e. German Wiener; Šnicla = transliteration of German Schnitzel) and is made of veal or beef and usually served with mashed potatoes. Common garnishes include a slice of lemon or some lettuce.
Due to the strong influence of Italian culture in Brazil, Wiener schnitzels are known as filé à milanesa (Milanese steak) or bife à milanesa. It is found easily on street restaurants and often cooked at most homes. Servings often include white rice, salted brown or black beans, mashed potatoes or french fries, lettuce and tomato salad. Milanesa sandwiches are somewhat less common, and there is also the parmigiana version - filé à milanesa with tomato sauce, ham, and melted mozzarella cheese.
Called шницел (shnitsel), it is made from ground veal formed as a thin patty, seasoned with salt and black pepper, then breaded and fried. The dish usually comes with a choice of mashed or roasted potatoes, french fries or simply a tomato salad. It is common at truck stops, and it is usually ordered á la carte, coming with a lemon wedge. But one can also find it in the frozen sections in supermarkets or premade and ready to cook.
In Canada, chicken schnitzel or Wiener Schnitzel (or veal schnitzels) can be found at family-oriented German, Bavarian, or Hungarian style restaurants. Perhaps more commonly, they can also be found at more 'generic' family restaurants, pubs, or delis. Because of the wide range of immigrants to Canada from Europe and South America, the Italian and Rio Platense versions of this dish are also widely available.
The schnitzel is a very popular meal in Chile, the most common name is escalopa, and it is usually made of beef, pork or chicken. This dish is also known as milanesas, and it is prepared by breading and frying thin pieces of meat. Escalopas can be found from fancy to simple restaurants.
The dish is called milanesa or chuleta valluna in Colombia. It is made with a thin cut of pork, breaded and fried.
In Croatia, the dish is called Bečki odrezak (šnicl) (Bečki = "Viennese" i.e., German Wiener; šnicl = transliteration of German Schnitzel) and it is made of pork and served with French fries. Common garnishes include a slice of lemon or some lettuce. A similar dish is called Zagrebački odrezak (šnicl) (a variation on Cordon Bleu).
Cuban American cooking
The dish is served as steak milanesa, made with a thin cut of sirloin, breaded and fried, with tomato sauce on top and sometimes melted cheese. It is usually served with traditional Cuban side dishes.
If not accompanied by the tomato sauce, it is merely known as bistec empanizado, bistec empanado or empanada. It is sometimes eaten with slices of lime or criollo lemon on the side to squirt on top.
Schnitzel is also highly popular in the Czech Republic, where it is known as a smažený řízek or just řízek, and is made of pork, chicken or veal. It is often served with boiled or mashed potatoes or potato salad. During the communist period, imitation schnitzels were produced by blending meat and cheese.
In Denmark, the dish is called Wienerschnitzel. It is made of veal, and is usually served with fried potatoes, gravy, green or snow peas and a "boy" (dreng in Danish) consisting of a lemon slice topped with capers, horseradish and a slice of anchovy.
In Finland, the dish called Wieninleike (Viennese cutlet), is almost always made of pork that is breaded and fried like the original. It is usually served with french fries, potato mash or wedge potatoes. There is a slice of lemon, a slice of anchovy and a few of capers on top of the cutlet. Usually, the dish also includes a small amount of salad made from fresh vegetables. The dish was extremely popular between the end of the Second World War and the 1990s, when it could be found in virtually any low-end restaurant across Finland. In the past decades, its popularity has been dimmed by the rise of fast food.
A Schnitzel in German is a slice of pork or veal haunch. Only if it is made of veal and coated in bread crumbs is it called Wiener Schnitzel; a pork version is called Schnitzel Wiener Art (Viennese type schnitzel). These are served with a slice of lemon and without a sauce. Both often are referred to as simply Schnitzel. Other kinds of Schnitzel may be served without the bread crumbs but with a sauce (other types).
Due to the strong Austrian influence of the Austro-Hungarian era, Wiener schnitzel is very popular in Hungary, known as bécsi szelet (Viennese slice), borjú bécsi (Viennese veal) or rántott hús (breaded meat). It is served in restaurants, and is a common meal in Hungarian homes, prepared often on Sundays or for festivities with spätzle, French fries, mashed potatoes or rice. Alternatively, green peas or other vegetables can be used as side dish. Bread and salad (or pickles) often accompanies the meal. Some restaurants offer the cordon bleu variant, a slice of Wiener schnitzel rolled and filled with cheese and ham.
Chicken breast schnitzel is popular in Iran, where it is known as shenitsel (Persian: شنیتسل). Thought to have been introduced in Persia during the World Wars, shenitsel is usually thicker, bigger, spicier, and fried with a more crispy breading than the standard Wiener schnitzel. It is customarily served with lemon, french fries and a variety of boiled vegetables.
There is another Iranian dish called kotlet (Persian: کتلت), which should not be confused with shenitsel. They are small, oval-shaped patties made by deep-frying a mix of ground meat, onion, potato and herbs.
Schnitzel (Hebrew: שניצל, shnitsel, also Hebrew: כתיתה, ktita) is a very popular food in Israeli cuisine. The meat is typically chicken or turkey breast, in conformance with dietary kashrut laws, which do not allow pork to be used. Before frying, it is coated with a mixture of beaten eggs and bread crumbs, sometimes spiced with paprika or sesame seeds. The Israeli schnitzel is usually served with mashed potatoes, french fries, rice, or pasta, accompanied by ketchup, hummus, or vegetable salad.
The schnitzel tradition was brought to Israel by Ashkenazi Jews coming from Europe, among them some of German origin. During the early years of the State of Israel, veal was unobtainable, and chicken or turkey proved an inexpensive and tasty substitute.
Packaged schnitzels are widely available from the frozen food section in all supermarkets. Some frozen schnitzels are breaded patties made from processed chicken or turkey meat, not whole poultry breasts. The Israeli food company Tiv′ol (Hebrew: טבעול, Tivall in the UK) was the first to produce a vegetarian schnitzel from a soybean meat analogue. Their corn schnitzels are the most popular type of packaged schnitzel in Israel.
In Italy, cotoletta alla milanese is very similar to Wiener schnitzel. However, it is a cutlet rather than an escalope, and it is traditionally cooked with its rib. Originally from Milan, it can now be found all over the country.
In Korea, various types of pork cutlet is called donggaseu, derived from Japanese tonkatsu. Beef, chicken or fish is also used, and the name of the cutlet differs according to meat.
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia
In the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, the dish is called Шницла (shnitzla). It is a piece of beef steak seasoned with salt and black pepper, breaded and fried. Typically, it is served with mashed or fried potatoes with green salad garnish.
Thinly sliced beef, breaded and fried, known as milanesa, is a popular ingredient in tortas, the sandwiches sold in street stands and indoor restaurants in Mexico City.
Schnitzel, both chicken and pork, is common in Namibia due to the German colonial history. A majority of the restaurants in both Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund offer it on their menus, often topped with a fried egg and accompanied by potato salad. It is often eaten in a brotchen (German sandwich roll) with tomatoes, cheese and other dressing.
Known as milanesa, it is most commonly made of thinly sliced beef (usually sirloin steaks) but also thin chicken fillets. The meat is seasoned with salt and pepper, dipped in beaten eggs and covered with flour or bread crumbs and fried in vegetable oil. If breaded, they are normally covered with flour first before being dipped in the egg. Lime juice is then squeezed over the cutlets before serving or eating them, and they are also seasoned with hot sauce often. Milanesas are eaten with white rice and other common side dishes, such as salad, lentils or beans. The latter two are poured over the rice as they are usually served in Panama while the salad is served off to the side where there is still space left on the plate. When served as sandwiches, they are known as emparedado de milanesa or sandwich de milanesa when tomatoes, onions, lettuce, ketchup and/or American cheese (known as queso amarillo i.e. yellow cheese). Sandwich bread and pan flauta (a Panamanian type of baguette that is thicker and softer) are the types used to make these sandwiches.
Polish kotlet schabowy is similar to the traditional Austrian dish, but made of pork. It is usually served with a side of potatoes and a salad of either raw vegetables (surówka) or, most commonly, of pickled cabbage, the latter akin to coleslaw.
In Portugal, a similar dish is called bife panado or just panado (which means "breaded" in Portuguese). Different varieties of panado can be made with chicken (panado de frango), turkey (panado de peru), pork (costeleta panada for pork chop, febra panada for pork without bone), or veal (escalope de vitela panado). The meat is usually seasoned with black pepper, garlic, and lemon juice. It is commonly served with spaghetti, fried potatoes, or rice (plain or with beans). It is also popular as a sandwich, served in a bun with lettuce (sandes de panado).
Romanian şniţel (pronounced [ˈʃnit͡sel]) is very common in restaurants, fast food places, and homes across the country. Normally served simple and unadorned, the fast food version is differentiated by being served sandwich/burger style. Cordon bleu şniţel (made from pork loin stuffed with cheese and ham) is also very popular. The Romanian şniţel is made in the same manner as the Austrian one, but as a local characteristic is made of almost any type of meat (chicken, pork, veal or beef). A specialty from western Romania is the mosaic şniţel made of two thin meat layers (usually each layer of different meat) and a vegetable (usually mushroom) filling.
In Russia, the dish is called отбивная (Ot-biv-na-ya), which literally means a piece (piece of meat) which has been beaten. Russian cuisine includes as recipes of schnitzel prepared of pork as well as beef/veal or even chicken meat.
In Serbia, the dish is called bečka šnicla (Viennese schnitzel). A local urban legend states the dish originated in Serbia and not in Italy, but no one can say why.
Schnitzel is also highly popular in Austrian border country Slovakia, where it is referred to as vyprážaný rezeň. It is often made of pork or chicken, and is typically served with french fries, potato salad or rice.
Schnitzel is called dunajski zrezek, meaning Viennese-style cutlets (Vienna is Dunaj in Slovenian). It is served with saurkraut and boiled potatoes. Restaurants serving the dish can be found throughout the country; though typically it is made of pork or chicken. In Slovenia, there is a similar dish called ljubljanski zrezek (after Ljubljana, the country's capital).
Schnitzels are also popular in South Africa, due to the European heritage in the country. Chicken schnitzels and cordon bleu schnitzels are a common item on most restaurant menus and hospitals, and in recent years, beef and pork schnitzels have also become widely available.
A similar dish popular in Spain, normally is called escalope milanesa in restaurants when served with french fries and a slice of lemon. When eaten in a sandwich, it is simply called filete empanado. It is usually made of veal or beef. Chicken is called pollo empanado, and pork is not usual, except in Catalonia.
In Sweden, the dish is called Schnitzel or Wienerschnitzel. It is made of pork or veal, and is usually decorated with a caper-filled circle of either genuine anchovies or the Swedish "fake" ansjovis (made of brine-cured sprats). It is served with fried potatoes and green peas.
Schnitzel, Wiener schnitzel, and Rahm schnitzel are all popular dishes in Switzerland. Rahm schnitzel is a version made with either veal or pork and topped with a cream sauce, sometimes including mushrooms. The Cordon Bleu variant of schnitzel – two slices of schnitzel (or one with a pocket) filled with cheese, typically Emmentaler or Gruyere, and a slice of ham – is also popular in Switzerland.
In Mandarin, the pork Schnitzel is called "Zhu-pai", and is a common cuisine found in many daily restaurants, but originated from Japanese influence. Usually accompanied with Rice, vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers.
The other type of Schnitzel found in Taiwan would be made of chicken, called "Ji-pai", and is well-known in the region as a Taiwanese Night Market specialty.
In Turkey the dish is spelled either Schnitzel or Şinitzel, and pronounced the same as in German. It is made of chicken, and is usually served with rice, french fries or pasta. Sometimes, it may have ham and grilled cheese in it. It is often cooked at home, as it is an easy-to-do kind of food, but most restaurants have it in their menus.
In the Teesside area of the United Kingdom, the Parmo is a popular take-out meal. Made from flattened, breaded pork or chicken rather than veal, it is topped with béchamel sauce, grated cheese and then grilled. It is common to find them offered with a selection of pizza-style toppings such as a "hotshot" (pepperoni, peppers and jalapeno, for example)
Schnitzel is often referred to as escalope in the UK, particularly when made with chicken.
In the U.S., Wienerschnitzel is most commonly found at German-style restaurants. These restaurants usually use the term Wienerschnitzel to refer to the dish made with veal cutlet, and may also serve other "Schnitzels" made with other meats.
Chicken fried steak (also known as country fried steak) may have originated with German and Austrian immigrants to Texas in the 19th century. It is a piece of beef steak (tenderized cubed steak) coated with seasoned flour and fried. It is associated with Southern U.S. cuisine. Its name is likely related to the dish being prepared similarly to fried chicken. It is typically served with mashed potatoes with both the steak and potatoes covered with white, cracked pepper gravy. Additionally, the pork tenderloin sandwich is a deep-fried, breaded pork escalope dwarfing the hamburger bun on which it is served.
A popular food chain known as Wienerschnitzel does not have any specific relation to the food item (and does not serve them). The chain specializes in hot dogs, which are also known as wieners.
As in Argentina and Brazil, Venezuelans get the dish from Italian immigrants. Milanesas are usually accompanied with rice, beans and fried sweet plantains.
Other types or similar foods
Other variants of the schnitzel, not all necessarily made with a bread crumb crust, include:
- Cordon bleu: "Blue ribbon" is a thinly pounded piece of meat stuffed with cheese and ham.
- Valdostana: Very similar to the cordon bleu, but cheese and ham are not inside but on the top, this dish is from an alpine region in Italy, the Val d'Aosta.
- Chicken Kiev is unpounded chicken breast rolled around butter and sometimes garlic, then breaded and cooked in a manner similar to Cordon Bleu.
- Milanesa Napolitana: This Argentinian variant, also very popular in Uruguay, is made from a beef schnitzel topped with ham, marinara sauce (tomato and garlic) and local mozzarella, then grilled to melt the cheese, usually served with french fries (British - chips).
- Jägerschnitzel: "Hunter's schnitzel", is not breaded, and is served with cream mushroom sauce. (Jägerschnitzel may also refer to an eastern German variant made of Jagdwurst, which originated in the former East Germany.)
- Zigeunerschnitzel: "Gypsy schnitzel", served with a tomato sauce containing bell pepper and onion slices, is also called Paprikaschnitzel (bell pepper schnitzel).
- Rahmschnitzel: "Cream schnitzel", served with a sauce based on cream, often contains mushrooms.
- Hamburger Schnitzel: "Hamburg-style schnitzel", is topped with a fried egg.
- Holsteiner Schnitzel: "Holstein-style schnitzel", is breaded, and is topped with a fried egg, and usually anchovies and capers.
- Naturschnitzel: "Natural (i.e. unbreaded) schnitzel" is not breaded, but sautéed, and served with a simple sauce (e.g., pan drippings, to which sour cream may be added) or none at all.
- Chicken schnitzel (German: Hähnchenschnitzel): Made of chicken breast fillet, it is usually a cheaper alternative to other meats. It is gaining in popularity because it is lower in fat and cholesterol. The taste of the chicken schnitzel in the natural form (i.e., unbreaded and without a sauce) is milder than that of veal and pork schnitzels.
- Turkey schnitzel (German: Putenschnitzel): Made of fillet of turkey breast, this is very popular in Israel, where it is often called the national dish.
- Vegetarian schnitzel: Made of textured soy, tofu or seitan, the seasoning is both in the meat substitute and in the breading so the consistency may differ slightly.
- Singapore Hainanese pork chop: Served in a gravy with tomatoes, potato wedges, onions and peas, it can be enjoyed with steamed rice and chilli sauce.
- Piccata: "Piccata" is breaded meat like schnitzel.
- Chicken tenders: They are small pieces of breaded meat similar to schnitzel.
- Austrian cuisine
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Chicken fried steak
- Chicken Kiev
- Cotoletta, the Italian equivalent to schnitzel
- Karađorđeva šnicla, similar to cordon bleu
- Milanesa, breaded meat preparation similar to schnitzel, seen in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America
- Parmo, a dish invented on Teesside, England
- Tonkatsu, Japanese style schnitzel made from pork
- Wienerschnitzel, an American fast-food hot dog chain which, despite its name, does not serve schnitzel
- ^ Wiener Schnitzel
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- ^ http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=194928
- ^ Chicken Parmi in Australia
- ^ Macquarie DictionaryAustralian Word Map, 2002
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- ^ "Chicken Fried Steak: One-third of the Big Three" from TexasCooking.com
- This article draws heavily on the corresponding article in the German-language Wikipedia, accessed December 2004.
- Steve Kramer (2007-02-20). "The Wiener Schnitzel step by step instructions". http://www.coastalscents.com/cfwebstore/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_id=192.
- Cooking Wiener Schnitzel in San Francisco - Instructional Cooking Video
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