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I see recipes online about schnitzel... but on a stick. Is this actually a common practice? Was wondering if there is any cultural or historical significance to this.

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What kind of Schnitzel are we talking about?

As this is tagged German Cuisine (Austrian Cuisine would be more appropriate) the basic classical Schnitzel is a rather thin cut of meat that gets a crust and then gets fried in a pan.

There are plenty of variants of the Wiener Schnitzel, most using pork instead of veal but none of these are using any sticks —- filled Schnitzel like a Cordon Bleue might only use them for keeping the filling in.

So serving Schnitzels on a stick seems not to be a historic way of serving

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    I was today years old when I learned that "Wiener" is not a German name for a type of sausage but is a German word for "of/from Vienna, Viennese".
    – Abion47
    Oct 12, 2023 at 13:55
  • @Abion47 actually Wiener is the name for a sausage. In Germany? we tend to name name meals after their origin like Wiener or Frankfurter (sausage) Paderborner (bread), Kasseler (cured meat or a type of bread), Braunschweiger (smoked cured soft sausage that is smeared on bread), Frankfurter Kranz (rich cake). Actually I thought for a long time that Hamburger was named after Hamburg and not as ham burger
    – jmk
    Oct 31, 2023 at 7:05
  • It is named after Hamburg. Though the true origins are disputed, one prevailing theory is that a hamburger is derived from the "Hamburg-style steak", created after 19th century sailors and immigrants brought the idea of finely minced beef back to New York.
    – Abion47
    Oct 31, 2023 at 14:57
  • Thanks for the hint, now I am curious and will be looking into this. In the end the hamburger might be a heavily modified Labskaus :)
    – jmk
    Oct 31, 2023 at 20:03
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Sounds likely to be "fair food" as in things primarily seen at from the food concessions at fairs, or probably if you're seeing lots of recipes providing nostalgia value for people not getting out to enough fairs with schnitzel on a stick.

Can't say I saw that particular one at the fairs I have gone to, but that may be a regional issue.

Fair food is somewhat known for offering all sorts of food on a stick if it's not directly hand-holdable.

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Skewering food items is typically done for a reason, and it’s about convenience. Either you group multiple smaller items together to cook or serve them as a kind of unit or you add a form of handle that lets the cook or consumer grab the food more easily or with less mess - and both reasons can apply simultaneously, if you think about some Asian street food styles where the meat gets skewered and grilled, for example.

As a classic Schnitzel on the other hand is usually far too large to need a skewer for the former reason, which means if someone decides to put them on a stick (whether full-size or as smaller servings), it’s because they are supposed to be a kind of finger food or as some kind of novelty effect. It’s not the standard serving style and while I could find a few Google results, I was not surprised that they were limited in numbers.

In short - it’s most certainly not the classic style of serving Schnitzel, but if it works for a buffet, party, food fair or similar, it can make sense. Does a Schnitzel “belong” on a stick? Not natively so, as a German I would usually expect it on a plate (with sides and silverware) or in a bun or sandwich and so would my Austrian friends. But if it’s necessary for some reason, nobody will care.

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I've lived in Southern Germany for a long time now. I have never seen a schnitzel on a stick.

As Stephie said, the typical way it's served in Germany is on a plate if eaten in a restaurant. At a fair, you won't get a Wiener schnitzel, but they do sell simpler styles, usually in a bread bun, garnished with roasted onions.

I know of one reference of a schnitzel on a stick though. In the movie "Hoodwinked", there is a food truck selling schnitzel on a stick, coupled with an inane song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlhaqz7zfJo

The food truck in the movie is certainly intended to be humorous. I can't tell you if that schnitzel there is a satire invented by the movie crew, or a parody reproducing a food which existed before. But the way Internet works, there is a possibility that this is a minor trend started by the movie itself. If you want to know for certain, you'd need an anthropologist go hunt for older references.

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