Only in Austria: Graz gets its first sausage vending machine

If you suddenly get the urge to fry up some sausages in the middle of the night, then Austria’s second-largest city Graz is the place to be.

Only in Austria: Graz gets its first sausage vending machine
Photo: KK

Josef and Brigitte Mosshammer have installed a 24-hour meat vending machine in front of their butcher’s shop in Graz’s Zinzendorfgasse. The machine only accepts cash (which is also typical for smaller shops and restaurants in Austria) and it serves up delicacies such as Berner sausages wrapped with bacon and filled with cheese, potato gulash, steaks – as well as vegetarians side dishes such as Sauerkraut pickled cabbage and spreads. So if you’re in Graz and feel peckish at 1am (or on a Sunday when most shops are closed in Austria) you need go hungry no longer. 

It’s officially the first 24-hour meat vending machine in Graz – but not the first in Austria. In April a butcher in Neulengbach in the Wienerwald installed a 24-hour vending machine – filled with meats for the barbeque in the summer and chops, steaks, and other hearty offerings in the winter.

The Mosshammers believe the idea will spread throughout Graz. “For us, it didn’t make sense to open a new branch, but we could easily expand our business with several of these vending machines throughout Graz”, they told the Kleine Zeitung newspaper. News of the vending machine quickly spread via the internet and the Mosshammers said on their first day of business their first customer arrived at midnight, from the village of Stattegg near Graz, and bought a steak.

The capital of haute cuisine, Paris, got its first meat vending machine in February, and the French capital also has a baguette dispenser.


How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

Despite being Austria's national dish, the origins of the Wiener Schnitzel lie further south. Here's the story of how the breaded meat dish came to popularity in Austria.

How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

The Wiener Schnitzel might be almost as famous at the city of Vienna itself; so much so the BBC says the Wiener Schnitzel “defines Vienna”. 

It turns out however that the dish was not invented in Austria at all. 

Even though there is Wiener (Viennese) in the title, the schnitzel actually originated from Milan in Italy as cotoletta alla Milanese, although the original recipe used a thicker cut of meat and was cooked with the bone in.

How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

As with many stories delving into Austrian history, the tale of the Wiener Schnitzel involves royalty, mythology and nobility. 

The story goes that Czech nobleman and Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky brought the recipe back to Vienna from Milan in 1857 after a trip there during the Habsburg rule.

READ MORE: Which Austrian cheeses are protected foods and why?

Radetzky described the dish as a “deliciously breaded veal cutlet” and the emperor requested the recipe. It was a huge success and the schnitzel quickly became popular across Vienna.

Today, the humble schnitzel is the country’s national dish and a key part of Austria’s culture.

You can even find it in cafes and bakeries as a sandwich version called Schnitzelsemmel, which is a schnitzel served in a bread roll.

What is a Wiener Schnitzel?

In case there are some readers out there that are unfamiliar with the Wiener Schnitzel, it is a piece of veal that is breaded and fried, then served with potatoes and a wedge of lemon. 

National Geographic describes the dish as “unassuming” but don’t let that fool you. The schnitzel dominates most menus in Austria and can even be found in restaurants specialising in international cuisine.

The schnitzel is also popular in households across the country, but outside of restaurants it is often cooked with pork instead of expensive veal.

READ ALSO: Caffeine, war and Freud: A history of Vienna’s iconic coffee houses

How to make Wiener Schnitzel

Impressing your Austrian friends with a homemade Wiener Schnitzel is easy.

Simply pound the meat (veal or pork) to an even thinness. Then dip it in flour, followed by egg and breadcrumbs. Fry the meat until it is golden brown. You want it to be crispy but not burnt.

Serve with boiled potatoes and a lemon wedge. A side of cranberry sauce is optional but recommended.