All about Mardi Gras... in Austria
“Fasching” – Austrian carnival time - is well known for fun and laughter, happy faces and colorful costumes. But the most important part of “Fasching” are the sweets known as “Faschingskrapfen” – a highlight of Viennese cuisine!
The origins of “Faschingskrapfen” extend back to the ancient world. The Greeks used to offer their godess Ceres sweet baked doughnuts and rich Romans served them at their festivals and parties.
In 1486, under the regency of Emperor Karl “Charlemagne.” these crullers were mentioned for the first time in Austria. They characteristically were made with butter, but didn't yet include the jam centre that would become typical.
Later, in the 17th century the crullers became part of peasants' everyday food. On special occasions they might be filled with dried fruit.
These Viennese doughnuts were finally named “Krapfen” after the confectioner Cäcilie Krapf. “Miss Cilly” was a famous Viennese cook and in the 19th century created “Cilly Balls,” crullers with a sweet apricot jam centre, basing her creation on old recipes. They immediately became the rage of Vienna's carnival dances and balls.
Unbelievabel but true: in 1815 alone the Viennese consumed more than 10 million crullers. The enthusiasm for Faschingskrapfen has not abated to this day!
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