National Wiener Schnitzel Day is served up every September 9. Contrary to what most Americans know, Wiener Schnitzel isn’t just a chain restaurant. In fact, a Wiener Schnitzel is a veal cutlet coated in bread and then pan-fried. This renowned dish is considered an Austrian delicacy in its beautiful capital, Vienna.
Wiener Schnitzel, (again, the dish, not the restaurant chain,) is so iconic that there are copycat recipes all over the world. For example, in America, there’s the ever-popular chicken-fried steak and in Japan, tonkatsu, a breaded and deep-friend pork cutlet. But you haven’t lived until you savor an authentic dish of Wiener Schnitzel. There are lots of pretenders to the throne but for the real deal, head to Austria. If you do a culinary tour of Europe, put this incredible dish — Wiener Schnitzel — at the top of your bucket list!
National Wiener Schnitzel Day timeline
- Middle Ages
Arabs covered their meat in grated bread
Records of the Middle Ages show that Arab merchants would cover their meat in breadcrumbs before cooking it.
The beginnings of Wiener Schnitzel
Romans left a record of a dish called Cotoletta a la Milanese, which was a dish made of veal, breadcrumbs, and lemon.
The term "Wiener Schnitzel" is born
It's said that an Italian from Milan coined the term we now know as "Wiener Schnitzel," and it became popular in 1862.
Figlmüller restaurant is founded
Figlmüller is a Viennese restaurant said to be the original home of the Wiener Schnitzel. The restaurant is extremely popular with both tourists and locals.
Wienerschnitzel becomes a popular, new hot dog chain causing many Americans to associate the term, "Wienerschnitzel", with hot dogs rather than the traditional dish with fried, breaded meat!
National Wiener Schnitzel Day Activities
Go out for some
You might be fortunate to live in an area where there's an Austrian restaurant. We bet they have Wiener Schnitzel on the menu and a simple Google search will help you find your nearest location.
Cook your own
Head to a specialty butcher shop or well-stocked grocery store for the loveliest piece of veal cutlet you can find. Pound the veal until it's nice and thin, then, dip it in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Just be careful not to press the breadcrumbs against the veal. Pan-fry until golden brown and serve with the garnish or side dish of your choice.
Try a veggie version
Though this may sound counterintuitive, the popularity of vegetarian dishes means that you'll be able to find a vegetarian Wiener Schnitzel somewhere. If not, you can always cook your own version using soy, seitan, or tempeh.
Why We Love National Wiener Schnitzel Day
A. Wiener Schnitzels are simple, but tasty!
Wiener Schnitzels are pan-fried and served with simple garnishes. But hey, what matters is that this fried combination of veal cutlets and breadcrumbs never disappoints.
Wiener Schnitzel is versatile
If you eat a Wiener Schnitzel in Austria or at an Austrian-style restaurant, chances are you will receive the traditional lemon and parsley garnishes. Some places may also serve it with a salad, mashed potatoes, or even fried vegetables such as mushrooms.
It can be either this or that
On National Wiener Schnitzel Day, pronounce it the traditional Austrian way as in "veener schnitzel" or the Americanized version with the w sound as in "weenerschnitzel." Decide if you want to write it with one word or two. It's National Wiener Schnitzel Day. Do what you like!