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Anyone tried the World famous Viennese Sachar cake?

Anyone tried the World famous Viennese Sachar cake?

Jan 20th, 2006, 08:58 PM
  #81  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I had Sacher torte at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna and felt that it was definitely overrated. I truly have had much better Sacher torte from my local Safeway store. However, the coffee was truly exceptional--possibly the best cup of coffee I've ever had--and I'm a coffee snob, so I've had some good stuff.
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Jan 20th, 2006, 09:49 PM
  #82  
 
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50-cent Hostess Cupcake "Ding Dongs" are 66% better than any Hotel Sacher tort-ure...er...torte.

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 12:28 AM
  #83  
 
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I went to Hotel Sacher in September 2006 and ordered the obligatory Sacher Torte, expecting that it would be as impressive as its positively delirious reputation. What I was served just plain stupefied me. It looked as advertised, chocolate medallion and all. But the taste and texture were just really bad. The power of the pastry’s reputation is so great that I kept the revulsion from my face and stomached nearly a third or “it” before I quietly intimated to my brother that the magic torte might have issues. He gravely confirmed that something unspeakable and horrible was afoot. The substantial cost of the pastry and the need to avoid looking silly drove us through the chore of clearing the plate, but it was really awful. It was very dry. The texture was not dense but kind of like light fiberboard, minutely particulate and sedimentary, yet with low mass. The flavor was not bad, restrained chocolate going to the bitter side, like an unsweetened snack brownie, but with a pleasant apricot upgrade that distinguished it a bit, but was not the least bit remarkable. Overall impression: Ouch!/Yuk!/Gosh./weak.

It was so very disagreeable that my brother and I both concluded, in or disbelief, that the grinning waiter must covertly serve the day-olds (week-olds?) to the more uncouth-looking Americans (that is, to us). Indeed, for all I know, this may be what happened. More to the point, I hope it is what happened. Why? Because the alternative, namely, that what we ate was really supposed to be good, is just too much to bear. I’m still more troubled by the dreadfulness of that ridiculous little cake than I can rationally account for. (Is the world crazy, or me?). Seeing that others have a similar account is only partly comforting. On a continent filled with delicious deserts (I had crepes at Aranyszarvas in Budapest that I would sell my family for) the mere technical edibility of the “original” Sacher Torte is a baffling and genuinely disturbing mystery to me.

My point is not “go to Vienna, but avoid the Sacher torte.” My point is “go to Vienna, try of the Sacher Torte yourself,” then tell them, tell everyone, tell them all the horrible truth! [“Soylent Green is people!”].
jeselmira is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 12:56 AM
  #84  
 
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Thanks for the laugh jeselmira, I damn near fell out of my chair.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 01:05 AM
  #85  
 
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This thread reminds me of a famous line in a Nanni Moretti film.

"Cioé lei non ha mai assaggiato la Sacher Torte?! Va be' continuiamo così, facciamoci del male"
Eric_S is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 03:18 AM
  #86  
 
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BTW: We later took to calling the parched dessert “the Sucker Torte.”
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Jul 26th, 2007, 11:28 PM
  #87  
 
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Here's the straight story on Sachertorte. Hotel Sacher did not win, nor did they lose the lawsuit. The judge decided they could call theirs "The Original" Sachertorte and Demels could call theirs "The Genuine" Sachertorte. No one else was allowed to use the name.

The recipe has always been secret, though Gertrude Stein, in Alice B. Toklas cookbook has a version she says she got from a former pastry chef at one of the two establishments who went to work for her.

The description here of Apricot glaze, and of two layers at the Hotel and one at Demel's is accurate. All sorts of abominations are served outside Austria usng the name, using raspberry jelly, etc.

I have had both versions several times. They are delicious with lots of heavy whipped cream (Doppelschlag) and coffee, also with Doppelschlag. You can't judge the real thing except at the Hotel and at Demel's.

I don't know why, but on some days of the week Demel's tastes better, and on other days I prefer the Hotel Sacher version. On one occasion I had a mealy version at the Hotel Sacher, but that experience was never repeated. I never had a mealy version at Demel's. The reason could be that at Demels I have had individual serving versions (mini-Sachertortes), completely sealed in chocolate, so they stay moist, while the Hotel always served me slices from a larger cake, and it may dry out from standing around or even be from the previous day--dunno.

At Demel's they are formal but nice; at the Hotel Sacher I found them not so nice.

I don't much care for the Austrians, although my Grandfather was from there--they have a snobbish respect for titles and advanced degrees. Although I benefited from being "Herr Doktor" in Vienna, I saw how they treated others and it wasn't pleasant.
Someone once said that the greatest feat of PR after World War II was by the Austrians, who tried to convince the world that Hitler was a German and Beethoven an Austrian.
Sternlight is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 09:00 AM
  #88  
 
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We've discussed this before, ad nauseum.
mowmow is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 09:23 AM
  #89  
 
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DH said he preferred Hostess cupcakes.
crckwc is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 09:49 AM
  #90  
 
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We went to Cafe Sacher to try specifically their authentic version. It's nothing really special. Too sweet for me. Nevertheless, I recommend that you try it at least once, so that you know what it's all about.
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Jul 27th, 2007, 09:50 AM
  #91  
 
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I was introduced to Sacher Torte in NYC, where there used to be a number of excellent Austrian bakeries and patisseries. The "Eclair" on w. 72 was a favorite. Even 15 years ago it was a haunt of elderly Austrians and Germans. Their specialty for me was the mince pie made only at Thanksgiving.

But at the Sacher Hotel my friend and I were unimpressed (hardly offended) by the Sacher Torte. We thought they were intentionally trying to discourage tourists from coming to their cafe! Everywhere else in Vienna we thought the service as well as the pastry was better.

The real alternative to the torte is strudel - yum.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 11:10 AM
  #92  
 
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Yes, yes, the sacher torte from Eclair! The memory is positively Proustian.
Nikki is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 02:27 PM
  #93  
 
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I walked bz the Hotel Sacher on my recent extended trip to Vienna, but did not go in. I have eaten a sacher torte before and I can take it or leave it. I did eat, however, a lot of different torten while in Vienna and several pieces of apple strudel.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #94  
 
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Nikki, always enjoy meeting up with a neighbor!
tomassocroccante is offline  
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