Tag Archives: Austria

Tasting Historical Europe – eCookbook Celebration in Vilnius

From Austria to Lithuania and back! Following the launch event for our eCookbook mid of January in Vienna, it was time to celebrate „Tasting Historical Europe – Exploring the culinary threads between Austria and Lithuania“ also in Lithuania.

On 25th of January, the Lithuanian capital Vilnius which is home to the Europeana Food and Drink project partner Vilnius University Faculty of Communication saw this second celebration for the eCookbook launch. Members from Lithuanian – Austrian community, also librarians and book lovers, as well as food bloggers and food fans gathered at the cozy coffee manufacture „Crooked nose & coffee stories“ based in downtown of Vilnius.

Professor Rimvydas Laužikas presenting eCookbook, Coffee Tasting from recipe by Anna Ciundziewicka, 1848
Professor Rimvydas Laužikas presenting eCookbook, Coffee Tasting from recipe by Anna Ciundziewicka, 1848

The evening started with an intriguing lecture given by one of the book authors professor Rimvydas Laužikas presenting not only authentic Lithuanian – Austrian dishes, but also a fascinating historic moments and interesting food stories that reflected to the common gastronomic history of two countries. It was followed by an engaging coffee education lesson, where the owner of the manufacture and a big coffee enthusiast Emanuelis Ryklys shared his knowledge about coffee preparation process, as well as its tastes and aromas.

“I don’t know how it [butter] affects the coffee, but I tasted it and it was amazing.” – Anna Ciundziewicka, 1848.

Finally, all event guest were invited to try an authentic coffee recipe published in the 19th century cookbook “The housekeeper of Lithuania” written by Anna Ciundziewicka and to experience the historic taste themselves!

Coffee education by Emanuelis Ryklys
Coffee education by Emanuelis Ryklys, Crooked nose & coffee stories

The eCookbook is a result of a joint effort between Europeana Food and Drink project partners Vilnius University Faculty of Communication and the Austrian National Library to reveal the invisible gastronomical threads forming European culinary heritage network.

Find out more and download the ebook here.


By Ingrida Vosyliute, Vilnius University Faculty of Communication

Tasting Historical Europe – eCookbook Launch in Vienna

This Tuesday, the Austrian-Lithuanian community met in the heart of Vienna to celebrate the launch of a special publication: The eCookbook “Tasting Historical Europe – Exploring the culinary threads between Austria and Lithuania” created by the Austrian National Library and Vilnius University – Faculty of Communication within the Europeana Food and Drink Project.

eCookbook Launch: Tasting Historical Europe- Exploring the culinary threads between Austria and Lithuania
eCookbook Launch: Reading by Prof. Wolfgang Klos, Austrian-Lithuanian Society.  Lithuanian roast goose with apples and sauce.

The book, which is available for free download, is dedicated to the historical gastronomic relations between Austria and Lithuania. It attempts to grasp the gastronomic contexts, including dishes that depict common gastronomic history.  Austrian recipes which were adopted in Lithuania and Lithuanian ones, which travelled to Austria have been selected using sources such as Europeana.

Seven Foodbloggers from Lithuania and Austria contributed to this culinary exploration of their countries. For the culinary reading, two traditional recipes from the book were specially prepared by the chefs of Dionysos-Nosh, the hosting restaurant for the evening. Guests could get a first glimpse of the eCookbook and learn about the invisible culinary threads  between the two countries – all of this framed by traditional Austrian and Lithuanian music.


Representatives of the Austrian – Lithuanian Society, University of Vienna, Verband Österreich – Nordische Länder or Kulinarisches Erbe Österreich could get inspired by the historic recipes and stories and were invited to share the eCookbook with their networks and communities.

Get inspired by Europes historical culinary heritage and download the book here.

Food and Drink Content Collection: Sachertorte & The Viennese Coffee House

In our series “Collecting Content for Europeana Food and Drink” we let you have a look into the selection process of culinary objects for Europeana. This time, we are in Austria, where the Austrian National Library shows us their collection highlights within the cultural heritage of food and drink.

Among old drawings, prints and photographs of animals, fruit and famous persons in connection with food and drink themes as well as early printed books containing among other things illustrations of herbs, the Austrian National Library features a a great selection of black & white photos related to the Viennese coffee house tradition.

Sachertorte – A piece of Vienna

Sachertorte is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialities. The chocolate cake was invented by the Austrian-Jewish confectioner Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich. Metternich engaged his personal chef to create a special dessert for his important guests: “Let there be no shame on me tonight!”. As the chef was ill, the sixteen-years-old apprentice, Franz Sacher had to undertake the task.

“Let there be no shame on me tonight!”

Sacher’s eldest son Eduard perfected his father’s recipe and developed the torte into its current form. The cake was first served at the Demel bakery and later at the Hotel Sacher, established by Eduard in 1876.

Sachertorte is being sold on the street in front of the Hotel Sacher in 1948
Sachertorte is being sold on the street in front of the Hotel Sacher in 1948

The dough is also referred as “Sachermixture” that contains many eggs and has a high fat content. The cake is coated with a thin layer of apricot jam and dark chocolate icing on the top and sides.

The Viennese coffee house

One will find Sachertorte in each of the numerous Viennese coffee houses, which are a typical Viennese institution. For some locals, their favourite coffee house serves as a second living room. Apart from coffee, you will be able to find newspapers, billiard tables or tables for chess and card games. Every coffee is served with the famous small glass of tab water, free of charge. People come here to read newspapers, play billiard, chess, and card or have a chat. But not only coffee houses itself are a typical Viennese tradition, the Viennese waiter is as well: He typically tends to be very grumpy and exhibits a certain arrogance.

About a hundred years ago, you could also find the Piccolo. He was the apprentice who supported the waiter in his daily work and helped him with preparatory tasks. Women, as a matter of fact, were not permitted to the coffee houses before the second half of the nineteenth century.

Men reading the newspaper, a piccolo serves coffee. Café Sperl in 1948
Men reading the newspaper, a piccolo serves coffee. Café Sperl in 1948
Men are playing billiard in the Café Sperl in 1948
Men are playing billiard in Café Sperl, 1948

The pictures above depict one of the famous traditional Viennese coffee houses founded by Jacob Ronacher as Café Ronacher in 1880. Ronacher sold the establishment to the Sperl family, who renamed the business Café Sperl. In 1884 ownership passed to Adolf Kratochwilla, in 1968 to Manfred Staub who renovated the cafe in 1983. In recent years, the Cafe Sperl has won several awards such as the “Austrian Cafe of the Year,” 1998 and the Goldene Kaffeebohne in 2004. The café is on the Austrian Register of Historic Places.

By the way, 5th of December is National Sachertorte Day, so why not take this occasion and indulge in a piece of the famous chocolate cake yourself?


By Zsuzsanna Brunner, Austrian National Library