Austrian cuisine, or Viennese cuisine, as it’s known throughout the country, is a mixture of all the culinary traditions of the many “Crown Lands” of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. While Bohemian and Hungarian traditions have taken precedence over the years, influences from across the Alps in northern Italy have joined the stream as well. The Austrians were quick to try the new ingredients, smoothing out contradictory tastes and assimilating the recipes to their own regional traditions. Overrefined dishes became a little more homely; dishes deemed too rustic were refined. The 19th century saw a vast increase in the variety of household cookbooks, with Austrians adapting original recipes from the Crown Lands and creating new dishes of their own. This was the beginning of today’s “traditional” Austrian cuisine. It led to a renaissance in the culinary arts in Vienna, and also in Austria’s regions. Today’s top chefs are taking the lead in creating new first class dishes, enhancing their appeal with fine Austrian wines.