Czech food in Austrian German

Why are buchty (Czech cakes) called Buchteln in Austria? And why is the Czech feast called vídeňský řízek (Wienerschnitzel)? And why do the Austrians never harvest Johannisbeeren (currants) but Ribisel? In this article you will discover how Czech food got to Austrian German.

Let´s begin with side dishes:

Brambory (Czech) – Bramburi (Austrian German) – Kartoffeln (German) – potatoes

Knedlík (Czech) – Knödel (Austrian German) – Kloß (German) – dumpling

And what about vegetables?

Křen (Czech)– Kren (Austrian German) – Meerretich (German) – horseradish. The Czech name probably comes from the word kořen (root).

Celer (Czech) – Zeller (Austrian German) – Sellerie (German) – celery. The Austrian-German word has the same pronunciation as the Czech one.

There are also “language siblings” among fruits:

Rybíz (Czech) – Ribisel (Austrian German) – Johannisbeeren (German) – currants

Švestky (Czech) – Zwetschken (Austrian German) – Pflaumen (German) – plums

The Czech language enriched the Austrian-German particularly in the area of sweet dishes:

Povidlové buchty (Czech) – Buchteln (or Wuchteln) mit Powideln (Austrian German). Povidlové buchty are traditional Czech cake with plum sauce inside. Look at the working procedure and try them on your own! The best link to the recipe for povidlové buchty with demonstrative pictures is peculiarly in German.

Lívance (Czech) – Liwanzen (Austrian German) – Fladen (German) – pancake

Palačinky (Czech) – Palatschinken (Austrian German) – Pfannkuchen (German) – crepes

Koláče (Czech) – Kolatschen (Austrian German) – Kuchen (German) – cake

However, the most famous among the foreigners is obviously alcohol:

Plzeň (called Pils in German) is a Czech city, where the most popular Czech beer is brewed – Plzeňský prazdroj. “Pils” is a German equivalent for ale beer and doesn’t even have to come from Plzeň.

Slivovice (Czech) – Slibowitz or Sliwowitz (Austrian German) – Pflaumenschnaps (German) – plum brandy.

Well, so what is the reason for the penetration of big German language with the small Slavic language? The Czech and Austrian people used to live hundreds of years together in the Habsburg Monarchy. Czechs used to go to Austria for journeyman years, especially to Vienna. Vienna was closer than Prague for many people from Moravia. It is said, Czech cooks and craftsmen were sought-after. So it’s no surprise that during so many years both languages were intertwined. And not just languages – also the tastes: one of the most popular dishes in the Czech Republic is the Wienerschnitzel. Wienerschnitzel is made with boneless meat thinned with a mallet (escalope-style preparation), coated in bread crumbs and fried. You can find it in every Czech restaurant!

Of course, there are also a lot of German words, which became naturalized in Czech. Let’s mention for example Strudel (German) – štrůdl (colloquial Czech) – závin (standard Czech), Erdäpfel – erteple (colloquial Czech) – brambory (standard Czech) or other words not connected with gastronomy. However, that could be a theme of the next article.

PS: I’m looking forward for your comments about your experience with buchty!


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