Street food, the Viennese way
Vienna’s first wave of sausage stands came about in the days of the monarchy, as a way to provide a livelihood for disabled veterans. The precursors of the modern-day kiosks were wheeled contraptions containing boiling pans of water filled with sausages. Created by Johann Georg Lahner in 1805, the Frankfurter was a runaway success. Interestingly, the variety is known by most people internationally as a Wiener sausage. Burenwurst, Blutwurst, Leberwurst and Bratwurst were also highly popular. It wasn’t until the 1960s that sausage vendors finally had fixed stands. These kiosks are now part of the cityscape and a Viennese culinary trademark.
Viennese escargots were once typical street food, and there was even a special snail market behind the Peterskirche up until the nineteenth century. Rumored to have aphrodisiac properties, escargots farmed in the capital were also dubbed “Viennese oysters.” Market traders sold boiled and candied snails as snacks, and they also came deep fried, or wrapped in bacon and served with weinkraut (sauerkraut with apples). Viennese escargots are available to try once again at various street food markets in the city.
The history of the capital’s chestnut roasters dates back to the eighteenth century when Empress Maria Theresa granted a German minority in Slovenia permission to sell their wares as street vendors. Today, chestnut braziers can be found around virtually every corner as soon as the mercury starts to fall.
Text: Susanne Kapeller
Viennese Escargots Gugumuck (Wiener Schnecken Gugumuck)Rosiwalgasse 44, 1100 Wien