Austria is famous for its sweet treats, especially for the pie named strudel, which comes in many different versions and is loved by Austrians and all guests of the country. Whether sweet or savoury, the choice of strudel is wide, and the number of strudel-lovers is growing every day.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has already carried the preference for Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) from Styria into the wide world. Anyone who knows Schwarzenegger knows about his fondness for this sweet treat made specifically by his mother. Whether apple strudel is with or without raisins, that’s a matter for debate. But the triumph of the strudel is almost unstoppable.
Every man and woman in Austria already know this sweet dish from their grandmother, who, of course, still pulled the strudel dough by hand. Anyone who cares about their baking honour does it to this day. However, it is difficult as the dough must be so thin that you can read a newspaper that lies under it. But it is not frowned upon to use a ready-made strudel dough that you can buy in the supermarkets, just be mindful, because that kind of dough mostly comes frozen.
The Story of the Strudel
People think that the origin of the strudel lies in Arabia, from there it was brought to Turkey via Egypt, Palestine and Syria. It is believed that the recipe of the Turkish baklava reached Vienna via the Balkans after the conquest of Byzantium in 1453. Since strudels have a long shelf life, they were probably served as marching rations. In the times of the Danube Monarchy, apple strudel came to Vienna from Hungary.
How old the strudel is, will probably remain a secret of the kitchen history. The oldest known strudel recipe comes from a manuscript from 1696, which is called Koch Puech and can be viewed in the Vienna City Library. Since the 18th century, strudel has been served as a Viennese pastry at the court of Empress Maria Theresa.
Strudel with the Most Diverse Fillings
Apfelstrudel is undoubtedly the most popular type of this pastry. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just this type of filling. There are other fruit strudels, for example Topfenstrudel (curd cheese strudel), which is also very popular in Austria. Often Topfenstrudel is served with vanilla sauce for lunch, and this is called Milchrahmstrudel (milk cream strudel).
But strudel is enjoyed not only sweet. For example, spicy variants are available, and they are especially prevalent in some Austrian regions. So, you can thereby find strudel with cheese, nuts, beans, meat, salmon, vegetables, minced meat, blood sausage, greaves, white cabbage, spinach, bacon, pumpkin, and many more. You can practically fill a strudel with anything you like as the possibilities are almost unlimited.
Whether sweet or savoury, as lunch or with coffee, or as a snack in between, strudel always tastes good. The Internet is full of recipes for different kinds of strudels, so why don’t you look around and find your personal favourite.