Wiener schnitzel and a slice of lemon on plate, top view
Wiener Schnitzel's Ingredients Are Actually Defined By Law
By Elias Nash
Named after Austria's capital, Vienna, a dish can only be called Wiener schnitzel if made from veal, according to the law. A proper Wiener schnitzel is made from a veal cutlet pounded to uniform thinness before being dredged in flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs, then fried in hot oil or butter.
Wiener schnitzel’s origins are debated as National Geographic says it was inspired by the costoletta alla Milanese and introduced to Vienna in 1857. However, BBC Travel reveals that recipes for breaded cutlets first appeared in Austrian cookbooks a century before and the name Wiener schnitzel was already in use in 1831.
Wiener schnitzel as a name is legally protected in both Austria and Germany, but schnitzel can be made with meats like chicken, pork, and turkey. The nation of Austria has trademarked the term, and any restaurant in the country that serves breaded cutlets made from another kind of meat needs to add a disclaimer to the name.