Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Day in the Life



I will admit that, at first, I did not understand all the rage behind Sacher torte in Austria.  I mean, it seems like a really big deal here.  And not just in Vienna.  When Mom and I were in Salzburg (where happily neither of us lost our skirts) it was a big deal there, too.  We went to this famous coffee shop because it was blustery and cold, and we had already eaten Kase krainers with mustard and semmel rolls.  And everyone in this coffee shop, which was chocker block full, was ordering Sacher torte with their coffee.  We just got a cafe Melange and a Heisse Schokolade for Mom, and they came out on these dainty little silver trays with a shot glass of water and a little wafer cookie.  Very classy!
But, back to the Sacher torte.  The cake itself is rather dry, and I feel compelled to confess that most Americans are more interested in moist cake, namely Duncan Hines.  Perhaps, though, that is the real beauty behind the Sacher torte.  The dryness lends a whisper of airiness, which turns out to be the perfect complement to the chocolate ganache encasing the cake.  Then there is the filling.  I don"t even know if it is orange or what exactly, but it just perfumes the torte without being sickeningly sweet or gooey. 
You may ask why any of this is important, and that is a fair question.  What I think is, this moment, when someone understands the harmonious balance of the Sacher torte, is when you offically become an expatriate.  Sure, sure, we went to the official expatriate event for October, but I am telling you, the first time you show up for a morning meeting at work where everyone has a cup of  Viennese coffee in one hand and a piece of Sacher torte in the other....that is the real moment.  And possibly more important, it makes a breakfast to rival even the viennoiserie pastries;)
Possibly even cuter was when my Austrian coworker told me my picture of this Sacher torte (served at work) was not fit for a blog post picture because it wasn't served properly on a silver dish...