Schlag in German is short for SCHLAGSAHNE, in English: whipped cream.
I love it! Especially when it is served with a slice of ‘Sachertorte’, my favorite dessert.
On the sixtieth day of our ‘incarceration’ – more accurately characterized as ‘quarantine due to COVID-19’– my better half, Susan, decided to surprise me by baking a Sachertorte.
This ‘torte’ (the German word for cake) derives its name from Franz Sacher (December 19, 1816 – March 11, 1907) an Austrian confectioner, best known as the inventor (at age 16) of this famous chocolate cake, now available world-wide by mail.
Sacher’s son, Eduard, opened a small hotel in 1876 opposite to the artists’ entrance of the Vienna State Opera-house on Philharmoniker Strasse. The place became a popular venue for officers of the Austro-Hungarian Army who regularly dated the Opera’s ‘rats’ (members of the Corps de Ballet) and who would meet their ‘dates’ at the hotel’s patisserie principally because it had so-called chambres séparées a la Parisienne.
Eduard Sacher died, at age 49, in 1892. His wife Anna, a woman with a ‘colorful personality’ took over the management of the business and elevated it into a place of elegance, fine food, superior service and, of course, fame – due to her father-in-law’s invention: the Sachertorte, traditionally served with whipped cream.
My last stay at the Sacher was fifteen years ago when I had to attend the annual meeting of our International Accounting Association in Vienna. The Partner organizing the meeting decided on a slightly high-brow program. He arranged tickets for our group to listen to the world-famous soprano Jessye Norman sing Schubert Lieder at the Wiener Konzert Haus the evening before the start of our conference. He further insisted that we all have dinner at the Sacher after the concert.
Dinner Jackets were of course de rigeur.
We had a splendid time though the noise emanating from the private dining room adjacent to where we were seated made it at times difficult to hear all the witty toasts that my colleagues proposed during our six-course gourmet meal.
The dinner over, three of us, resplendent in our Tuxedos, repaired to the lobby bar for a nightcap. As we waited to be served the private dining room doors burst open and Jessye Norman emerged in full flight, followed by some of her very noisy dinner guests. I rushed over to congratulate her for her performance that I had found truly moving. She smiled, looked me up and down then said: “Thank you waiter. Now please get me a glass of iced water.”