The Viennese Kitchen is a magical intertwining of memory and food, lavishly produced by Interlink Press. Luxuriant with memories, photographs, and recipes, The Viennese Kitchen is so evocative of Vienna that one can almost hear a Mozart sonata or a Strauss Waltz. In graceful prose, the daughter and mother team of Monica Meehan and Maria von Baich bring Vienna alive with their reminiscences of life and food in Vienna from the fin de siècle through two world wars. The reader is transported to Viennese high society by the delicious recipes - the traditional foods that made Viennese tables among the most refined. With exceptional photography that captures scenes of Vienna as well as elegantly presented food, The Viennese Kitchen brings alive the finesse inherent in Viennese culture.
The recipes have been gathered (and carefully updated for use today) from the fraying journals of the Baroness Hertha Feiin von Winkler, known to Meehan and von Baich as Tante Hertha (Aunt Hertha). The story of a century is encapsulated in the life of Tante Hertha. Born a baroness, her young days were a round of balls, of riding horseback, of doing needlepoint in the garden. During World War I, Hertha worked as a nurse, then found an occupation as a portrait photographer, opening a small atelier in one of Vienna's most exclusive streets. WWII wreaked havoc on the family. They lost their landed estate; the photography business floundered and closed. Undaunted, the feisty Hertha became a caterer, working from a small kitchen that was actually a bathroom. Though once she had lived on extensive grounds, she adjusted to the space and cooked in the bathroom by placing a table top over the tub. She kept her recipes in journals, and the journals became the source that the authors have used to invoke the glories of the century.
Famed for sweet delicacies, the book abounds in Viennese sweet recipes that are familiar around the world. Here are recipes such as Apple Strudel, Sachertorte, Gugelhupf, and Linzer Tart. There are lesser know sweets such as Ischler tartlets, Chocolate Balls, Honey Butter Cookies, Chocolate Truffles, Rum Balls, and Vanilla Shortbread Crescents.
Not limited to sweets alone, there are discoveries in all the chapters. They include Starters, Soups, Meat Dishes, Side Dishes, Biscuits & Cookies, Sweet Pastries, Cakes & Gateaux, Tortes and Puddings. There are recipes such as Beef Consommé with two different dumplings, a Rolled Beefsteak, Goulash, Savory Crepes, Baked Noodles with Salmon, Baked Sauerkraut, Potato Mayonnaise Salad.