Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Austrian Kaiserschmarrn

WARNING: Reading this entry is going to make you extremely hungry and will make you want to go cook up some yummy pancakes or
even your own Kaiserschmarrn.... Don't blame me.
You have been warned!

While I was in Vienna last week, I went on the hunt for one of Austria's most popular desserts (or dinners, if you are like me and believe that "Breakfast for Dinner" is an entirely appropriate excuse to eat pancakes all day long...) - the Kaiserschmarrn.
According to Wikipedia, this dish is literally the "Emporer's Mishmash" ("Kaiser" + "Schmarrn"). I love the other translations for "Schmarrn", including "a mess, crumbs, a trifle, a nonsense, a fluff or even as a mild expletive." But let's just say there was only one expletive I kept repeating while eating this baby... "Damn... this is good."

I must clarify though, that while Wikipedia says that Kaiserschmarrn is a "pancake", and I agree that it looks a bit like a pancake, it is in no way, whatsoever a pancake.. no I mean it, REALLY it is not.

For starters, the Schmarrn is really eggy. It does not taste light and cakey when you eat it like a pancake does - instead it is dense and doughy, it sticks a bit to places you need to pick clean. Plus, when they are making this delectable treat, they split the sucker into pieces just before it is done and they fry it up a bit, so all the pieces get that nice crunchy crust all around... THIS IS PURE GENIUS.

You will see a lack of maple syrup with this dish, and although I missed that sticky nectar, I think it would not have fit the dish. Instead, Kaiserschmarrn is usually served hot (check) with powdered sugar (check), cinnamon (check), and apple and plum sauces (check). It is a really heavy dessert, so in the end I am glad I ate this as a meal on its own (just don't tell Jace I didn't get my meat and two veg!).

I got this beauty at the Mozart Cafe on Albertinaplatz 2 in Wien. I had to hunt it down, but I am glad I did... and the walking before and afterwards was probably a good idea in hindsight! :)

Next time you are in Austria, enjoy some Kaiserschmarrn and tell me what you think.

Bon Appetit!


Zurich Mama Geek said...

That looks awesome. Hmmm... I wonder how it would taste with Nutella?

Jessica said...

OMG... Nutella. That would be awesome. Heated Nutella, so it is a bit runny, poured all over it...

Oh yes, that would be great. It would be a very sticky, sweet, stick to the roof of your mouth treat!

Kathryn said...

Isn't it divine?? Mmmmmmm

Susan May said...

We're going to Austria next week! I can't wait to try this - thanks!

Bluefish said...

*Drools* Maybe you should become a food journalist instead.

Bek said...

MMhh.. lecker.. I haven't made that in a long time. In my family we always had it as the main meal. I love sweet meals:)

Susan said...

I love your blog. I am moving to Basel Switzerland in two months and read your blog religiously. I learn so much more about what it is really like from you than any book.

Jessica said...

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I am glad that everyone else loves the food posts as much as me!

And you are right, Bluefish... perhaps I missed a calling. I will certainly be putting more food up though. Don't you worry.

And, aw, shucks, Susan. That makes my day. I really appreciate your comment. I hope that your move to Basel is smooth and if there is anything specific you want to know in advance, send me an email and I will post some answers for you.

We really love it in Switzerland - can you tell? - and hope you do, too!


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