The Sachertorte is a famous chocolate cake which was invented by the Viennese baker Franz Sacher in 1832, when he was in his second year of learning. An original Sachertorte consists of a dry chocolate dough with a thin layer of aprikot jam, which is all covered in a chocolate icing.
The trademark for the "Original Sachertorte" was registered by the well known Hotel Sacher, which was built at the end of the 19th century by the son of Franz Sacher.
Unlike the fast-paced, take-out coffee experience that is customary in America, Vienna has an unrushed café culture. Along with coffee, the waiter will serve a glass of cold tap water. Small food dishes are also usually available for order.
Most Viennese cafés have newspapers on hand -- and it is not uncommon to see chess boards. Many patrons linger in the cafés for hours --- talking, reading, writing, playing chess, or just relaxing.
Existing since 1900, still offers the genuine, elegant viennese atmosphere. Enjoy coffee and pastries, reading local and international news or wine and live music. Mind your appearence as the place maintains a semi-formal style - jeans are ok-. Worth your while, if you find a table!
Treat yourself to a slice of Sacher cake at Hotel Sacher. This famous chocolate cake invented by the Sacher family was at the heart of a controversy in Austria for six years. An argument erupted over the ingredients of a true Sacher Torte. In the early 1800's, the Congress of Vienna ruled on the matter. It decided that the true Sacher Torte was made of two chocolate cake layers separated by apricot jam with a chocolate glaze over the top and sides of the cake.
Legend has it that coffee beans were left behind by fleeing Turks, but it took a year for the Viennese to figure out that they were to be used for coffee. Don’t know if this is true, but that’s what we were told. When ordering a coffee in a Viennese Kaffeehaus, you will receive it along with a glass of water. Mocca doesn’t mean coffee and chocolate, it means dark coffee. Melange is very similar to Cappuccino.
Going to a cafe in Vienna is a pleasurable experience on all kinds of levels. For the price of a cup of coffee you can stay as long as you like and people-watch to your hearts content. Some of the cafes have live classical music and many are in themselves, architectural showpieces. It's very hard though, to have just a cup of coffee in any of the cafes here. In fact it would be a travesty because everybody owes it to themselves to savour the local specialities. This is the excuse I made to indulge in mountains of calories that normally I would avoid like the plague. The biggest problem is actually selecting which gateau to indulge in. The Sacher-torte is all chocolate with just a tiny layer of fruit preserve under the top icing.This slightly dilutes the sweetness. More exciting by far for me is the dobosotorte (spelling ?). It's the one in the picture with all the tiny layers of caramel frosting and the hard, glazed toffee icing on top. I actually can't think of any word good enough to desctibe it ! The apple strudel is also superb and not quite so heavy. To accompany your cake there is a bewildering selection of coffees, the most popular, I think , being the melange. The coffee is nice but the hot chocolate is divine !
Like they say "be Roman in Rome", so don't miss to visit one of numerous cafes in Vienna among which Cafe Central, situated in Herrengasse, is probably the most famous. The traditional Viennese Kaffeehaus share a common iconography of marble-topped tables and booths and bentwood chairs.
Since the turn of the 19th century, Cafe Central is Vienna's principal intellectual hangout. Today, however, the clientele is almost exclusively tourists or visitors to the town, admiring pseudo-Gothic decorations inside the cafe.
Coffee has been a way of life in Vienna since the 17th century. Legend says it was the would-be Turkish invaders who brought their coffee beans with them and left sacks of them behind when they retreated from their seige of the city who started the city's love affair with the bitter bean. (The croissant is said to have first been baked by the city's bakers as a celebration of that defeat, its shape a replica of the Ottoman crescent) Whatever the truth of that, by the more leisurely days of the late 19th century, there were over 500 cafes in the city, and even today there are over 200.
Cafes are places to linger in, a home from home, somewhere to meet a friend to talk or play chess or cards, or to come on your own to read the newspaper or a book, stay as long as you like even if you only order a single coffee and sit on it all afternoon. You can have a meal, or enjoy a glass of wine. Food is fairly simple, and if you're after a decadent cake you'll need to head for a cafe-konditorei.
Cafes like the Central were once very clubby, different cafes attracting their own particular like-minded clientele. Those days are not quite gone, but the old-style cafes themselves are dwindling in number as city property values rise and the pace of life increases.
Coffee is still served Viennese-style, strong and black with some variation of whipped cream topping being a favourite, but a "Kapuziner" is akin to a cappucino and an espresso is an espresso wherever you are though here a "Mokka" will give you a good caffeine hit too.
Vienna more than any other city outside of Italy and Paris has a booming cafe culture. In the past, the cafes would host some of the more notable literary figures of the day, and still have an air of prestige about them, that the tiny cafes of Paris and Rome do not.
Schanigarten is the austrian word for the chairs and tables some restaurants have in front of their houses in the streets.
In Vienna you see them mainly in the pedestrian zones .
On my pic : the big collection of royal carriages in Schoenbrunn castle.
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