Passionate Heat in the Kitchen

Ramon Giron-Melendez
March 18, 2013

Having spent about two months in Vienna, it is safe to say, that the Viennese….know food. This is not the place to go if you want to lose weight. I repeat: this is not the place to go if you want to lose weight! Oh sorry, you wanted to lose weight? You must be mistaken, this isn’t Berlin….this is Vienna.

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, Vienna does each possible variant of the mealtime with perfection and class. Every pastry, every main course, every soup, is executed with elegance and finesse. Understandably, some of my friends are now saying, “Big whoop, so they make food that goes down once! Who cares?” And naturally, I do understand that at the end of the day your body will blindly put protein from either stir fried beef or slow cooked steak to good use, however, that is no excuse for having lax culinary standards. Consequently, I have yet to relinquish my conviction that Vienna has indeed a magical culinary touch.

What really makes Viennese cooking outstanding though, is their knack to make every dish complex, nuanced, and jammed pack with subtle flavors, unexpectedly invigorating your taste buds. Let’s take the Schnitzel for example. Sure, it may seem like your classic piece of breaded chicken, pork, or veal, but what makes it unique is its Austro-flatness. With this unique meat preparation the Viennese give their meat an increased surface area, thus enabling the Schnitzel, to carry more spice. Every bite is chalk-full of flavor. There is no “concentrated” area, but rather, the entire Schnitzel piece acts like an extended concerto movement that gives pleasure throughout its entire duration.

It is thus with these subtle tricks, that the Viennese have truly won their spot in the comestible sun of food preparation. Furthermore, much like the rest of Viennese Society, the Schnitzel also follows a tradition of paradox. In Vienna, it is customary to eat the Schnitzel with lemon. A fruity addition to a savory fried substance? Unthinkable! And yet, it has been thought. And indeed, it has yielded one of the best local dishes found in Vienna. Truly the Schnitzel with its quirky personality, intellectual ironies, earthy vibes, and brazen taste is simply irresistible!

So to my friends who think that a nice trip abroad will distract them away from thinking about food, please, be sure to avoid Vienna at all cost. Food-crazed foodies, WARNING: Vienna will only increase you passion for the kitchen and exasperate your lust for the succulent.

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Ramon Giron-Melendez

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Ramon, originally from Boston, MA, is a Junior currently studying History at Columbia College. Specializing in Eastern European history with a focus on the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, he hopes to deepen his understanding of the fundamentals of the dual monarchy during his time in Vienna. Through comparative research of geo-politically marginalized regions, he aims to find new ideas to aid development in the 3rd world. Strongly believing that everyone has an inner child, he actively works to raise awareness on the rights of children worldwide through is involvement as co-president of the Columbia Child Rights group. However what most captures Ramon&rsquo;s imagination is his admiration for one of Europe&rsquo;s greatest institutions, The Eurovision Song Contest itself! Eagerly following year round developments, Ramon enjoys watching how countries choose to represent themselves to the world and how they project their national identities unto this unique international platform. A passionate fan of music, he spends as much time as possible following the music industry. He can usually be found reading Rolling Stone magazine, keeping his eyes peeled for new emerging music genres, and eagerly looking out for new artists on the rise!</span></div>

2013 Spring
Home University:
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