Olga Hess began documenting Viennese cuisine prior to World War I, during the last days of the Astro-Hungarian Empire, and at a time when Viennese cuisine and pastry were considered one of the world's best. After WWI, she and her husband founded an Austrian Hotel School and continued to publish many local editions that reflected advances in nutritional guidance and the realities of ingredient availability and pricing after the war. The idea was to create a cookbook that allowed Austrian households to continue to enjoy the flavors and civility of pre-war Austria despite difficult post-war realities. Later, after World War II brought a new cadre of troops home after experiencing the cuisines of Europe and the new wave of interest in international cuisines brought on by Julia Child's blockbuster cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Viennese Cooking was translated into American methods and measurements specifically to appeal to the American market.
And that intersection between historical recipes and flavors and modern methods of preparation is what makes this book a great companion for folks who want to explore a new cuisine but don't want to have to dig into esoteric translations to do so.
(As a note, having traveled throughout Austria...it's a bright and comforting cuisine. Viennese pastries are delicious, but my favorites were the stews and hearty dinner fare.)
Release Date: 1952 (1970 printing)
Condition: Very good, book is in excellent condition but the dust jacket is missing.