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A schnitzel (German pronunciation: [ˈʃnɪtsəl]) is a boneless meat, thinned with a meat tenderizer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. A popular food in many countries, it is made from veal, mutton, chicken, beef, turkey, or pork.
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. When pork is used, the dish must be called Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein or Schnitzel nach Wiener Art to differentiate it from the veal original.
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, it 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, 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.
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 is served 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).
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. It also used to be - and to some degree still is - a typical packed lunch for day trips, when it was consumed with bread (often between two slices of bread as a sandwich). 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, breaded and fried like the original. It is usually served with French fries, potato mash, or wedge potatoes. A slice of lemon, a slice of anchovy, and a few capers are placed 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 cutlets in general, not just breaded, fried ones.
Due to the strong Austrian influence of the Austro-Hungarian era, Wiener schnitzel is very popular in Hungary, known as bécsi szelet (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 accompany the meal. Some restaurants offer the cordon bleu variant, a slice of schnitzel rolled and filled with cheese and ham.
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 schnitzel. It is customarily served with lemon, French fries, and a variety of boiled vegetables.
Another Iranian dish, kotlet (Persian: کتلت), 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.
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 not obtainable, and chicken or turkey proved to be inexpensive and tasty substitutes. Packaged schnitzels are widely available from the frozen food section in most supermarkets. Some frozen schnitzels are breaded patties made from processed chicken or turkey meat, not whole poultry breasts.
Japanese tonkatsu consists of a flattened pork loin, lightly seasoned, coated in flour, dipped in beaten egg, 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.
Pork tonkatsu was invented in Japan in 1899 at a restaurant called Rengatei in Tokyo. It was originally considered a type of yōshoku—Japanese versions of European cuisine invented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—and was called katsuretsu (cutlet) or simply katsu.
In Macedonia, the dish called шницла (shnitzla) 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.
In Mexico, this dish, called milanesa or "carne empanizada", consists of a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal, or sometimes pork, and even eggplant 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.
In NZ, grocery stores (like Woolworths) sell a frozen mutton based kind of this dish that is suitable for pan cooking. This kind of traditional meat dish has become less a common part of the NZ diet due to the chicken being a greater part of the diet.
In Portugal, schnitzel is called bife panado or just panado ("breaded"). 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 șnițel (pronounced ['ʃni.t͡sel]) 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 șnițel (made from pork loin stuffed with cheese and ham) is also very popular. The Romanian șnițel 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 șnițel made of two thin meat layers (usually each layer of different meat) and a vegetable (usually mushroom) filling. Also a recipe for șnițel de ciuperci, a mushroom fritter, is common.
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 Austria, but no one can say why. In Serbia, word Schnitzel is used to describe for any cutlet, not just breaded meat.
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 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, a similar dish is called ljubljanski zrezek (after Ljubljana, the country's capital).
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 called buftek 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, and 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 (a schnitzel, fried potato combination) is quite popular. The Rahmschnitzel version is 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 sinitzel, 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 on 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, or sometimes chicken.
Other variants of the schnitzel, not all necessarily made with a bread crumb crust, include:
A Wiener Schnitzel served at Carinthia, Austria
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