The Schnitzel (German pronunciation: [ˈʃnɪtsəl]) is a boneless meat, thinned with a hammer (meat tenderizer), coated with flour, mashed eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. It is a popular food in many countries and is made from veal, chicken, beef, turkey or pork.
The original Wiener Schnitzel was always made from escalopes of veal and no other meat.
In German speaking countries the term Schnitzel means escalopes, not only bread crumbed fried escalopes in Viennese style like the Wiener Schnitzel. The English conception of the schnitzel is confined to the latter, but extended to all kinds of flat pieces of meat.
Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal escalope)
The dish called Wiener Schnitzel is a popular part of Viennese cuisine. It is made of veal and is traditionally garnished with a slice of lemon and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter.
When pork is used, it must be called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein or Schnitzel nach Wiener Art to differentiate it from the veal original.
The English term schnitzel means in general all types of breaded fried flat pieces of meat.
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, ham and mozzarella. Chicken Parmigiana is often served as a pub meal, accompanied by chips (French fries) or salad and sometimes bacon. It is known by a number of colloquial names, such as “Parmi” or “Parma”. The terms “Schnitty” and “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.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the dish is called Bečka Šnicla or Bečki Odrezak (Bečki = “Viennese”, i.e., Austrian; 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.
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 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 Canada, chicken Schnitzel or Wiener Schnitzel (or veal Schnitzel) 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.
Schnitzel presentations are called apanados in Colombia. They are composed of chicken or fish meat, and are cooked flat pieces of meat covered with flour, then fried in very hot oil. Apanados are accompanied by a traditional flat cake of flour in Colombian cuisine, known as arepa.
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).
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. 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 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 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.
In Germany, the dish called Schnitzel, 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. The dish is extremely popular since the end of the Second World War.
In German speaking countries the term schnitzel means escalopes in general, not only bread crumbed fried escalopes.
- Jägerschnitzel (Hunter’s Escalope): An escalope with mushroom sauce. (Jägerschnitzel may also refer to an eastern German variant made of Jagdwurst, which originated in the former East Germany.)
- Naturschnitzel (Natural Escalope): A peppered and salted escalope with no sauce or only a simple sauce (e.g., pan drippings, to which sour cream may be added).
- Rahmschnitzel (Cream Escalope): An escalope with a cream sauce, often containing some mushrooms.
- Vegetarisches Schnitzel (Vegetarian Escalope): A kind of meatless “escalope” made from soy, tofu or seitan.
- Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese Escalope): An veal escalope thinned with a hammer (meat tenderizer), laid in and therefore coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs and then fried afterwards.
- Zigeunerschnitzel (Gypsy Escalope): An escalope with a tomato sauce containing bell peppers and onion slices. This escalope is also called Paprikaschnitzel (Bell Pepper Escalope).
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.
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. 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. 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 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) 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 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.
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 brotchen (German sandwich roll) with tomatoes, cheese and other dressing.
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.
There is also a recipe for sniţel de ciuperci, a mushroom fritter.
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 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, boiled potatoes or potato salad.
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, 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.
In Spain this dish is called escalope or milanesa and is usually made with veal, although it is also occasionally made with lamb sometimes. The chicken variant is common in household cooking but is rare in restaurants.
The pork variant with cheese and ham in the cordon bleu style is also very popular. It is called libritos de lomo (literally, "little loin books"). Sometimes it can be found with chicken meat and then is called San Jacobo, but this term is somewhat confusing because it is also normally used for breaded ham and cheese (without the meat).
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 rice or fried or boiled potatoes and green peas. It is commonly served together with hollandaise sauce.
Schnitzel, "Schnipo", Wiener schnitzel, and Rahm schnitzel are all popular dishes in Switzerland. "Schnipo" (schnitzel, pommes frites) combination is quite popular. 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 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 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 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, sometimes chicken.
In the U.S., Wiener schnitzel is most commonly found at German-style restaurants. These restaurants usually use the term Wiener schnitzel to refer to the dish made with veal cutlet, and may also serve other schnitzels made with other meats.
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.
One of the more widely accepted origins for the American dish chicken fried steak is that it derives from schnitzel, 19th-century German and Austrian immigrants to Texas having brought their recipes for the dish and adapted them to local ingredients and techniques.
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 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: "Piccata" is breaded meat like schnitzel.
- Chicken fingers: They are small pieces of breaded meat similar to schnitzel.
- Parmo: A dish popular in North East England, particularly Teesside. Covered in bechamel sauce and served with chips and salad.
- Püttmann, Hermann (1845). Bibliothek der deutschen Literatur / Rheinische Jahrbücher zur gesellschaftlichen Reform. Druck und Verlag von C.W. Leske. p. 259. OCLC 310973411.
- Wiener Schnitzel
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- Tivall UK
- "טבעול". Tivall.co.il. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "ynet המותגים החלוצים: סללו את הדרך למתחרים - צרכנות". Ynet.co.il. 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- (Romanian) "Șnițél". dexonline.ro.
- http://books.google.ch/books?id=kygkAQAAIAAJ&q=schnipo+switzerland&dq=schnipo+switzerland&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Co7hT5y-HM3QsgaTrpFy&sqi=2&redir_esc=y "Swiss, made: die Schweiz im Austausch mit der Welt"
- Weaver, Bobby. "Chicken-Fried Steak". Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
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