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Wiener Schnitzel, a traditional Austrian dish
Wiener schnitzel

A Schnitzel (German pronunciation: [ˈʃnɪtsəl]) is a boneless meat, thinned with a hammer (meat tenderizer), coated with flour, beaten 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.[citation needed]

In German speaking countries, the term Schnitzel means escalopes, not only bread crumbed fried escalopes like the Wiener Schnitzel.


The German word Schnitzel is the diminutive Snitzel from the Middle High German word Sniz for cut. The term Wiener Schnitzel itself dates to at least 1845.[1]

Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal escalope)[edit]

A Wiener Schnitzel served at Carinthia, Austria.

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.

The term Wiener Schnitzel is a protected geographical indication in Austria and Germany and can only be made of veal.[2]

When pork is used, it must be called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein or Schnitzel nach Wiener Art to differentiate it from the veal original.

Worldwide Schnitzels[edit]

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,[3] 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[edit]

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.


In Brazil, such preparations, designated à milanesa (Milanese-style), are quite common, especially in the more European-influenced southern half of the country. The meats of choice are beef or chicken, while veal and pork are relatively rare.


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.


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).

Czech Republic[edit]

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 schnitzel is almost always made of pork. It is usually served with french fries, potato mash or wedge potatoes. The dish has been 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.


Hungarian Schnitzel with Nokedli

Due to the strong Austrian influence of the Austro-Hungarian era, Wiener schnitzel is very popular in Hungary, known as bécsi szelet[4] (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.


Iranian schnitzel

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.


Israeli schnitzel

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)[5] 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.[6][7]



Japanese Tonkatsu may be attributed to as "Japanese Schnitzel", though it likely evolved independently of European varieties. Consists of flattened pork loin or fillet lightly seasoned and then coated in flour, dipped in beaten egg and then coated with panko crumbs, and finally deep-fried. Tonkatsu is often served as an accompaniment to ramen or udon, or featured with curry and rice.


In Macedonia, the dish is called шницла (shnitzla). It is a piece of beef seasoned with salt and black pepper, breaded and fried. Typically, it is served with mashed or fried potatoes with green salad garnish.


Mexican milanesa

In Mexico this dish is called milanesa or "carne empanizada" and it consists of a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal, or sometimes pork, and even eggplants or soy. Each slice is dipped into beaten eggs, seasoned with salt, and other condiments according to the cook's taste (like parsley and garlic). Each slice is then dipped in bread crumbs (or occasionally flour) and shallow-fried in oil, one at a time. Some people prefer to use very little oil and then bake them in the oven as a healthier alternative.


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.


Kotlet schabowy is a classical and most popular recipe for pork tenderloin.


In Portugal, its called bife panado or just panado (which means "breaded" in Portuguese). Different varieties of panado can be made with chicken (panado de frango), turkey (panado de peru), pork (costeleta panada for pork chop, febra panada for pork without bone), or veal (escalope de vitela panado). The meat is usually seasoned with black pepper, garlic, and lemon juice. It is commonly served with spaghetti, fried potatoes, or rice (plain or with beans). It is also popular as a sandwich, served in a bun with lettuce (sandes de panado).


Romanian şniţel[8] (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 şniţel 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 fried potatoes (not peeled), boiled potatoes, potato salad, or even rice.


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).

South Africa[edit]

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 Sudan, the dish is called Buftek. It is made of veal or fish, and is usually served with rice and salad or as a sandwich.


In Sweden, the dish is called Schnitzel or Wienerschnitzel. It is made most commonly of pork, 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.


Schnitzel, "Schnipo", Wienerschnitzel, and Rahmschnitzel are all popular dishes in Switzerland. "Schnipo" (schnitzel, pommes frites) combination is quite popular.[9] Rahmschnitzel 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.

Similar foods[edit]

A cordon bleu schnitzel

Other variants of the schnitzel, not all necessarily made with a bread crumb crust, include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Püttmann, Hermann (1845). Bibliothek der deutschen Literatur / Rheinische Jahrbücher zur gesellschaftlichen Reform. Druck und Verlag von C.W. Leske. p. 259. OCLC 310973411. 
  2. ^ Wiener Schnitzel
  3. ^ Macquarie DictionaryAustralian Word Map, 2002
  4. ^ June Meyers Authentic Hungarian Heirloom Recipes Cookbook
  5. ^ Tivall UK
  6. ^ "טבעול". Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  7. ^ "ynet המותגים החלוצים: סללו את הדרך למתחרים - צרכנות". 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  8. ^ (Romanian) "Șnițél". 
  9. ^ "Swiss, made: die Schweiz im Austausch mit der Welt"

External links[edit]