Cooking the Australian Way
"Austrian cuisine typifies the saying that ivariety is the spice of life.î Throughout Austrian history, different groups of people settled in the country, and each group brought its own customs and cuisine. As the various groups mixed, they helped shape Austrian culture. In ancient times, Celts and Romans settled in Austria, and the country became part of the Roman Empire. Later, various Germanic groups and Magyars (Hungarians) settled there. Austria had various rulers until the tenth century A.D., when the Babenberg family gained control. The Babenbergs ruled for two hundred years, and Vienna became an important trading center during their reign. Crusaders (Christian soldiers who fought to win Palestine from the Muslims during the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries) stopped in Vienna on their way home from the Middle East. They brought sugarcane, muscat, and spices such as pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which Austrians incorporated into their foods."