The History of Wiener Schnitzel
"Wiener" means Viennese (from Vienna) in German. As the name suggests, the Austrians are accredited with the creation of the Wiener Schnitzel. The Wiener Schnitzel was perfected by the Austrians to become the delicious dish known today by every German and found in most German restaurants. However, the origin of the Schnitzel actually goes back to the 7th century Byzantine Empire.
The story goes that the Kaiser Basileios I (867-886AD) prefered his meat covered with sheets of gold. And what he liked soon became popular with the wealthy. But, this practice became too expensive, so an alternative was created - "yellow gold" (bread crumbs).
Over the years, the use of bread crumbs in coating meat spread to neighboring lands. It was in Milan, Italy, in the 1800's where the Austrian Joseph Graf Radetzky discovered a dish called "Costoletta alla Milanese" - a thick veal cutlet, coated with bread crumbs, and sauteed in butter. Radetzky, who was commander over the Austrian troops in Italy (1831 to 1857), reported military, political, and even culinary information back to the Austrian Kaiser.