Taking Wiener Schnitzel and Apple Strudel Classes in Vienna

We went to Vienna, Austria, for the first time years ago and had fun hitting all the tourist hot spots. But on our second trip there, we wanted to do something we had never done before. After doing some research, we decided to take a cooking class. Since Vienna was famous for Wiener Schnitzel and Apple Strudel, we couldn’t decide which one to take so we signed up for both classes at a restaurant called Meissl & Schadn.   

Meissl & Schadn is a real restaurant that also offers cooking classes of the two staples of Viennese cuisine. The classes take place in the front part of the restaurant where passersby can see the teachers and you practice your skills. I like the fact that the classes are small, which allows each student to participate from start to finish. They are also taught in English. 

Wiener Schnitzel 

Schnitzel is a thin deep-fried breaded meat cutlet, our favorite food to eat when we’re in Austria, Germany, and Czech Republic. And so we were so excited to get to make our own Weiner Schnitzel, an Austrian national dish, in its capital. 

Wiener Schnitzel is made with veal. It could also be made with pork or chicken, but it’s called a bit differently. We got to the restaurant early and got to admire its stylish décor before the class began. After being handed an apron, the teacher explained steps involved in making the original Wiener Schnitzel. 

We learned to pound the cutlet to make it thin and big. To do that, we put the cutlet between two sheets of plastic and pounded it with a wooden hammer. After we got the perfect size, we dunked it in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs before deep-frying it. There was a technique on how to make “waves” underneath the coating while the cutlet was swimming in hot oil. I was super excited we were able to do it.

After we finished cooking our Schnitzel, we were seated at our table, and the Schnitzel was served with side dishes of potato salad and cucumber salad. It was delicious. We washed it down with a glass of wine and beer and were so proud we made our own Wiener Schnitzel for the first time! We even got a certificate that read “True Schnitzel Maker”!  

Apple Strudel

The Apple Strudel class was on a different day. Apple Strudel or Apfelstrudel is a beloved Austrian dessert eaten on its own, with powdered sugar, or served with vanilla sauce or ice cream. 

In class, we learned all the steps involved in making traditional Apfelstrudel. To speed up the process, they already prepared the dough and filling so that we could start assembling everything right away. What made Apfelstrudel different than an American apple turnover was the paper-thin pastry dough, the thinly sliced apples, and the filling that included rum and raisin. We learned to roll and stretch the dough into a thin piece, filled it with the filling, and roll it up into a long log before sending it to the oven. It sounded easy, but it took a bit of practice to shape it right and not break it. 

While waiting for the Apfelstrudel to cook, we were seated at a table and had our dinner. The dessert of course was the Apfelstrudel we had just made! It was not as sweet as an American apple turnover, so we could eat without much guilt. We also got to keep the leftovers. And of course, we got another certificate for taking the class.

We had so much fun with both classes. It was a great way to get to know another country and its people, and I would highly recommend it. 

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