One of my first childhood memories involving food is about Schnitzel. When visiting a restaurant with my parents in my earliest years, more often than not at least one person of the family/group at the table ordered a schnitzel, sometimes everybody. There was a wide variety of schnitzel available, even in the most simple and down to earth “Gasthaus” (Inn), served with spaetzle, noodles, knoedel, potato salad, rice, mashed potato, mixed salad, rolls or just plain farmers-bread.
It could be sauteed or fried; with elaborate garnish (Hollsteiner Art), complicated or simple sauce, or breaded (Wiener Art).
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Excerpt from Wiki:
“A schnitzel is meat, usually thinned by pounding with a meat tenderizer, that is fried in some kind of oil or fat. The term is most commonly used to refer to meats coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried, but some variants such as Walliser Schnitzel are not breaded. Originating in Austria, the breaded schnitzel is popular in many countries and made using either veal, mutton, chicken, beef, turkey, reindeer, or pork. It is very similar to the French dish escalope, and the milanesa of Uruguay and Argentina.”
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Excerpt from Wiki:
The English term schnitzel means in general all types of breaded, fried flat pieces of meat. Due to the similarity between schnitzel and escalope, in many of the countries listed below, people sometimes refer to schnitzels as escalope, and vice versa.
In the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela, this dish is called milanesa.
Beef (which may be veal) and chicken schnitzel are both very popular dishes in Australia, particularly in pubs where they are among the most widely available meals. Chicken schnitzel (less so beef) is also sold at many take-away establishments.
Schnitzel in Australia is often served in the form of the parmigiana, which is a schnitzel topped with Italian tomato sauce, cheese, and occasionally ham.
At pubs, schnitzel is typically accompanied by chips (French fries), salad, and sometimes bacon. Plain and parmigiana schnitzels are sometimes respectively known by colloquial names “Schnitty”, “Schnitter”, and “Parma” or “Parmie”.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the dish is called Bečka Šnicla or Bečki Odrezak (Bečki = “Viennese”; 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.
In Brazil, such preparations, designated à milanesa (Milanese-style), are quite common, especially in the more European-influenced southern half of the country. The meats of choice are beef or chicken, while veal and pork are relatively rare.
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 is served 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 à 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 Shanghai, 炸猪排 (pronounced “Zha Zhu Pai” in Mandarin, “Za Zi Ba” in Shanghainese), literally a fried pork chop, is made by a piece of pork, beaten, floured and breaded then fried. It is usually served with Worcestershire Sauce, 辣酱油 (“La Jiang You”). Although originally a western cuisine, it is widely available as a street snack in Shanghai.
Schnitzel presentations are called chuleta in Colombia. They are composed of flat pieces of chicken, veal, or mostly pork, covered with flour, and then deep-fried. The chuleta is a traditional dish of the Valle del Cauca region.
In Croatia, the dish is called Bečki odrezak (šnicl) (Bečki = “Viennese”; 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).
Schnitzel is also very 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. It also used to be—and to some degree still is—a typical packed lunch for day trips, when it was consumed with bread (often between two slices of bread as a sandwich). During the communist period, a deep-fried breaded hard cheese called smažený sýr (literally, “fried cheese”) became popular, mainly among the youth and students, especially served with tartar sauce, a slice of lemon, and boiled new potatoes with melted butter and parsley greens.
In Denmark, the dish is called skinkeschnitzel when made of pork and wienerschnitzel when 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 Egypt, the dish is called Boftek. It is made of veal, and is usually served with pasta, rice, or greens.
In Finland, the dish called Wieninleike (“Viennese cutlet”), is almost always made of pork, breaded and fried like the original. It is usually served with French fries, potato mash, or wedge potatoes. A slice of lemon, a slice of anchovy, and a few capers are placed 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.
However Wieninleike and its different variations remain a staple of menus in virtually any non-ethnic or fine dining restaurant in Finland. Lunch restaurants, different highway resting places and restaurants attached to gas stations are most prominently associated with this type of menu in Finland.
- Wieninleike served typically with slice of lemon, anchovy, and caper
- Floridanleike served with fried peach and served with Béarnaise sauce
- Havaijinleike served with fried pineapple
- Holsteininleike served with egg, anchovy, and caper
- Metsästäjänleike served with mushroom sauce
- Oskarinleike served with choron-sauce, shrimps or lobster, and asparagus
- Oopperaleike served with fried egg
- Sveitsinleike is filled with smoked ham and Emmentaler cheese
Typically all dishes above are prepared out of pork.
In Germany, Schnitzel is usually made of pork, although turkey and veal are also common. It is usually served with French fries, potato mash, or wedge potatoes. The dish has been extremely popular since the end of the Second World War.
In German-speaking countries, the term Schnitzel means cutlets in general, not just breaded, fried ones.
- Jägerschnitzel (hunter’s schnitzel) is a schnitzel with mushroom sauce. Depending on the region of Germany and personal taste, it may or may not be breaded. (Jägerschnitzel may also refer to an eastern German variant made of Jagdwurst, which originated in the former East Germany.)
- Münchner Schnitzel (Munich schnitzel) is a variation on the Wiener Schnitzel prepared with horseradish and/or mustard before coating in flour, egg and bread crumbs.
- Naturschnitzel (natural schnitzel) is a peppered and salted schnitzel with no sauce or only a simple sauce (e.g., pan drippings, to which sour cream may be added).
- “Pariser Schnitzel is similar to a Wiener Schnitzel but is floured and fried in an egg batter without breadcrumbs.
- Rahmschnitzel (cream schnitzel) is a schnitzel with a cream sauce, often containing some mushrooms.
- Vegetarisches Schnitzel (vegetarian schnitzel) is a meatless pattie made from soy, tofu, or seitan.
- “Walliser Schnitzel” is a variant most popular in Switzerland in which the meat is not breaded, but is fried in oil and then coated with tomato sauce and raclette cheese.
- Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese schnitzel) is a veal schnitzel thinned with a meat tenderizer, dusted with flour, battered with beaten eggs, and coated with bread crumbs and then fried.
- Zigeunerschnitzel (gypsy schnitzel) is a schnitzel with a zigeuner sauce containing tomato, bell peppers, and onion slices. This schnitzel is also called Paprikaschnitzel (bell pepper schnitzel).
- Kalb Schnitzel (Veal schnitzel) is a veal schnitzel pounded flat with a meat tenderizer, dusted with flour, battered with beaten eggs, and coated with bread crumbs and then fried in butter.
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 accompany the meal. Some restaurants offer the cordon bleu variant, a slice of schnitzel rolled and filled with cheese and ham.
In India, it is simply known as Kabob, meat that is beaten and layered in flour and masalas and pan seared.
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 schnitzel. It is customarily served with lemon, French fries, and a variety of boiled vegetables.
Another Iranian dish, kotlet (Persian: کتلت), 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.
In Israel the dish is called Schnitzel (Hebrew: שניצל, shnitsel, or rarely as Hebrew: כתיתה, ktita). It 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. Additionally, clarified butter, the preferred cooking fat for Austrian Wiener Schnitzel, is impermissible for kosher use, as it is a dairy product forbidden from use with meat; vegetable oils are therefore preferred. Before frying, the schnitzel 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 not obtainable, and chicken or turkey proved to be inexpensive and tasty substitutes. Packaged schnitzels are widely available from the frozen food section in most supermarkets. Some frozen schnitzels are breaded patties made from processed chicken or turkey meat, not whole poultry breasts.
Schnitzel is also sold inside a pita, alongside hummus, French fries and vegetable salad, in a similar way to falafel. Many falafel stands also offer a schnitzel in a pita.
Japanese tonkatsu (豚カツ lit. “pork cutlet”) consists of a flattened pork loin, lightly seasoned, coated in flour, dipped in beaten egg, coated with panko crumbs and finally deep fried. Tonkatsu is often served as an accompaniment to ramen or udon or featured with curry and rice.
Pork tonkatsu was invented in Japan in 1899 at a restaurant called Rengatei in Tokyo.It was originally considered a type of yōshoku—Japanese versions of European cuisine invented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—and was called katsuretsu (cutlet) or simply katsu. Variations include the use of pork fillet (hirekatsu), chicken (chicken katsu), beef (gyūkatsu), ham (hamukatsu) and minced meat (menchi-katsu).
In Korean cuisine, pork (donkasu, from Japanese tonkatsu), chicken (chickenkasu), and beef (beefkasu) cutlets are popular. The most common types of donkasu are “kyeongyangsik”(경양식; Western-style) and “ilbonsik”(일본식; Japanese-style).
Republic of Macedonia
In the Republic of Macedonia, the dish called шницла (shnitzla) is a piece of beef seasoned with salt and black pepper, breaded and fried. Typically, it is served with mashed or fried potatoes with green salad garnish.
In Mexico, this dish, called milanesa or carne empanizada, consists of a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal, or sometimes pork, and even eggplant or soy. Each slice is dipped into beaten eggs, seasoned with salt, and other condiments according to the cook’s taste (like parsley and garlic). Each slice is then dipped in bread crumbs (or occasionally flour) and shallow-fried in oil, one at a time. Some people prefer to use very little oil and then bake them in the oven as a healthier alternative.
Schnitzel, both chicken and pork, is common in Namibia due to the German colonial history. A majority of the restaurants in 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 Brötchen (German sandwich roll) with tomatoes, cheese, and other dressing.
In The Netherlands (and Belgium) the schnitzel, mostly made of pork is very popular. Mostly served with fries and vegetable salad. Also very popular is the ‘Zigeunerschnitzel’, served with paprika. A typical Dutch variant is the ‘gehaktschnitzel’, a schnitzel made of minced meat. Very popular too is the ‘Cordon blue’ (Blue ribbon). In Holland every butcher has his own variants.
Kotlet schabowy is a classical and most popular recipe for boneless pork chop or pork tenderloin. It is also made from chicken.
In Portugal, schnitzel is called bife panado or just panado (“breaded”). 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 șnițel (pronounced [‘ʃni.t͡sel]) 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 șnițel (made from pork loin stuffed with cheese and ham) is also very popular. The Romanian șnițel 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 șnițel made of two thin meat layers (usually each layer of different meat) and a vegetable (usually mushroom) filling. Also a recipe for șnițel de ciuperci, a mushroom fritter, is common.
In Russia, the dish is called отбивная (otbivnaya), which literally means a piece of meat that has been beaten. Russian cuisine includes recipes of schnitzel prepared from pork, as well as beef, veal, and chicken.
In Serbia, the dish is called bečka šnicla (Viennese schnitzel). A local urban legend states the dish originated in Serbia and not in Austria, but no one can say why. In Serbia, word Schnitzel is used to describe for any cutlet, not just breaded meat.
Schnitzel is highly popular in Slovakia, a country bordering Austria, where it is referred to as vyprážaný rezeň. or simply rezeň (in the Western parts colloquially also schnitzel). It is often made of pork or chicken, and is typically served with fried potatoes (not peeled), boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, fries (especially in canteens), potato salad, or rice.
Schnitzel is called dunajski zrezek, meaning Viennese-style cutlets (Vienna is Dunaj in Slovenian). It is served with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. Restaurants serving the dish can be found throughout the country, though typically it is made of pork or chicken. In Slovenia, a similar dish is called ljubljanski zrezek (after Ljubljana, the country’s capital).
Schnitzels are 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.
Schnitzel in Spain is escalope empanado and is usually made with veal. For generations it was enjoyed, together with potato omelets, on family picnics in the countryside.
In Sudan, the dish called buftek is made of veal or fish, and is usually served with rice and salad or as a sandwich.
In Sweden, the dish is called schnitzel or Wienerschnitzel, and is made most commonly of pork, and is often decorated with a caper-filled circle of either genuine anchovies or the Swedish “fake” ansjovis (made of brine-cured sprats). It is served with rice, fries, or boiled potatoes, and green peas.
Schnitzel, Schnipo, Wienerschnitzel, and Rahmschnitzel are all popular dishes in Switzerland. Schnipo (a schnitzel and fried potato combination) is quite popular.The Rahmschnitzel version is 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 Turkey, the dish is spelled schnitzel, şinitzel, or şnitzel, and pronounced in a similar way to German. It is made of chicken, and is usually served with rice, French fries, or pasta. Sometimes, it may have 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 on their menus.
In West Ukraine (former Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria), it is known as шніцель shnitsel′; in the rest of the country, it is called as відбивна vidbyvna. It is usually made of pork, or sometimes chicken.
The pork tenderloin sandwich, popular in the Midwest, is made from a breaded pork tenderloin and is very similar to schnitzel. Chicken fried steak, similar to country fried steak, is another name for schnitzel, especially in the southern states. It is usually served with white gravy (“country gravy”), which is the type of gravy used in “Sausage Gravy over Biscuits” but without the sausage in it.
Other variants of the schnitzel, not all necessarily made with a bread crumb crust, include:
- Escalope: A piece of boneless meat that has been thinned out using a mallet, rolling pin, or beaten with the handle of a knife, or merely ‘butterflied’. Although it is usually a thinner cut of meat than found in a schnitzel, the meat of an escalope is also usually coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried.
- 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 River Plate variant, very popular in Argentina and 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).
- 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 is breaded meat like schnitzel.
- Chicken fingers are chicken breast strips breaded and fried similar to schnitzel.
- Chicken fried steak is a piece of cube steak coated with seasoned flour, and pan-fried. Popular in the southern United States, it is typically served covered in white gravy.
- Parmo is popular in north-east England, particularly Teesside; it is covered in bechamel sauce and served with chips and salad.
- (Cotoletta alla) Milanese A dish very similar to the Wiener Schnitzel, but fried in butter instead of vegetable oil.”
You can do Schnitzel any way you like and I would love it.
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Me too, Anneli.
Never met a schnitzel I didn’t love 🙂
Your international descriptions of Schnitzel is very informative! Good post.
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Thanks, Daniel 🙂
Aaahhh – Gemütlichkeit
What a wonderful and comprehensive post, Hans. Thank you
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Love to please 🙂