Note: This edition of The German and Viennese Cookbook has been updated with Metric equivalents, for the benefit of international readers.
Even in the United States, where rapid change is the accepted order of things, German restaurants have a way of going on forever. The waiters are usually venerable, and the patrons look as if they have grown up on the premises and found a happy second home there. There is a hearty, substantial, enduring and endearing atmosphere, congenial to young and old, and comfortable as the family hearth. German cooking and its Viennese first cousin may be described in almost the same words. Both are generous, hearty, comfortable, taste wonderful, smell wonderful, and are wonderfully staying.
The basic traditions of German cookery developed in the aromatic kitchens of Hausfrauen who resisted the influence of France and Italy and borrowed ideas only from their Central European neighbors. Viennese cooking, coming into full flower in a city that was for many years the crossroads of Europe, reflects the influence of many nations.
When we think of German and Viennese cooking we are apt to recall them with our noses—the redolent fragrance of sweet-sour is characteristic of the Central European tradition and one of its great gifts to gustatory enjoyment. There are many other gifts—excellent soups, zestful sausages, delicious coffee cakes and breads, meltingly delectable strudel, apple pancakes that are almost as big as cartwheels, and dumplings. Dumplings in overwhelming variety are one of the true glories of Central European cooking and a boon to the eating pleasure of the world.