A Schnitzel is a popular German dish that originated in Austria and is also commonly found in other Central European countries. It typically consists of a thin, boneless meat cutlet that is breaded and fried until crispy and golden brown. The traditional meat used for Schnitzel is veal, but variations can be made with pork, chicken, or turkey.
To prepare a Schnitzel, the meat is first tenderized by pounding it with a meat tenderizer or mallet to make it thin and tender. It is then dipped in flour, followed by beaten eggs, and finally coated with breadcrumbs or sometimes crushed crackers or cornflakes. The coated meat is then fried in hot oil or butter until it becomes crispy and cooked through. This type of Schnitzel is called Wiener Schnitzel.
Schnitzel is often served with lemon wedges, which are squeezed over the crispy meat to add a tangy flavor. It is also commonly accompanied by traditional sides such as potato salad, French fries, cucumber salad, or a variety of vegetables.
Two other popular types of Schnitzel are Jägerschnitzel and Zigeunerschnitzel.
Jägerschnitzel (Jäger means hunter) is topped with a creamy mushroom sauce. The sauce is usually made with mushrooms, onions, cream, and various herbs and spices.
Zigeunerschnitzel is topped with a zesty sauce made with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and paprika. The name “Zigeuner” means “gypsy” in German, reflecting the spicy and flavorful nature of the sauce (the name has recently been criticized to be somewhat racist, but is still commonly used).