Preparing Wiener Schnitzel:
Begin by loudly pounding lean cuts of meat (veal, pork or turkey are most common – most Viennese people will hold strong opinions on which one makes for the only Schnitzel deserving of the name) to make them thin and flat. This is followed by a relatively silent period in which the slices are seasoned, rolled in flour, bathed in eggs and covered in breadcrumbs; after that, a more sonorous period follows, characterised by the bubbling sounds of the meat swimming in plenty of very hot fat. Shaking the pan occasionally during cooking adds a bit of acoustic variety, and helps to loosen up the coating. These three stages together make up the soundscape of the preparation of the traditional Austrian Sunday lunch. Optionally, you can listen to some songs sung in Viennese dialect that mention Schnitzel or tools used for preparing it while you’re cooking. (1)
Porcini mushrooms, cut into thin slices and covered in flour, eggs and breadcrumbs, make for a very tasty alternative to ‘real’ Schnitzel – but if you want your neighbours to think that you are in fact eating meat, it might be advisable to spare the mushrooms from pounding and hit your forearm instead!