Guardian writer enthuses over culinary delights in Vienna

A British journalist has revealed “almost everything” she ate in Vienna was “delicious”.Rachel Cooke, who writes a popular life and style column for the daily Guardian newspaper, admits she “had not expected to like Austrian food”.Cooke reveals she was uncertain about which experiences her second visit to Austria may hold after a rather unfortunate stay at a spa the first time she spent a holiday in the country.The columnist explains in her article: “I expected (Austrian food) to be heavy and boring. What’s more – this is my own fault entirely – I had come to associate the country with a terrible queasiness.”On my one and only previous visit, I had stayed at a completely batty spa where the regime decreed that I was allowed to eat only one boiled potato a day,” she adds.Cooke stresses: “In Vienna, almost everything I ate was delicious.”She admits having fallen for the “marvellously-named Kaiser rolls” and the Gabelfrühstück, a midmorning snack popular with many Austrians.Reminiscing about a dinner at the Skopik & Lohn restaurant in Vienna-Leopoldstadt “on a night so cold you felt your eyeballs might freeze”, Cooke writes: “… And when we got to the restaurant, (…) everyone seemed to be wearing spectacles and black polo necks, and you couldn’t help but fancy that they were all talking about Freud or Rilke or Stefan Zweig.”The reporter says she “fell in love with tafelspitz”, a traditional beef dish.Describing the preparation of the tafelspitz, she praises Austrian butchers as the “most exacting” since they “have a different name for every muscle of beef”.She concludes: “I suppose you could say that the tafelspitz, intense, rosy and melting, spoke to the moment: welcome to the real Austria, it said, where some good things will never change.”Cooke’s report comes shortly after British writer and TV presenter Ben Fogle described Austrian food as “one of my biggest surprises”.In his article for the Independent newspaper, Fogle romanced over the traditional Jause snack, schnitzel, Apfelstrudel and “surprisingly good Austrian wines”.