New Zealand-based Twitter user and prolific pollster @Chamfy, is the accidental architect of Schnitzelmania, which started on Sunday evening as she sat down at the Bavarian in Newmarket to have her first memorable schnitzel since 2005 (in a tiny German town).
A casual Twitter poll about the wildness of the Aussie obsession with schnitzel, led to a frenzy from Kiwi tweeters not to be outdone in the Schnitzel Love Stakes (steaks?) by their Trans-Tasman rivals posting pictures and stories of their most recent schnitzel, swapping schnitz recipe tips and generally celebrating the ‘flat meat’. Many reflected on how it was a staple growing up.
The conversation took a life of its own, with ‘Schnitzel’ trending at number 12 in New Zealand, ahead of Ronaldo, Kainga Ora and working its way up to Kanye.
@Chamfy, a first generation Asian New Zealander who has spent nearly 25 years in Aoteaora, said she was amazed that nobody has ever mentioned the ubiquity of the schnitzel to Kiwi lif
“Just feel extremely baffled that for all our national conversations about identity, nobody ever mentioned all the schnitzel everyone has been having. Like why I have been pretending to like pavlova each time I go to renew my citizenship, when it could’ve been schnitzel instead?,” she tweeted.
“I’ve spent over a decade of working in middle New Zealand, people have come at me on Monday morning with stories of birds they saw, every part of their body bitten by sandflies, updates on their deck, something, something rugby, something. But not a single person ever mentioned schnitzel. Yet here we are, all these Kiwis are just casually having it and not telling anybody,” she tweeted.
The rise in demand as a result of this innocent Twitter conversation has been so acute, butchers are seeing their schnitzel stocks fly out of the window, bringing back scenes only last seen when Kiwis discovered Lewis Road Chocolate Milk.
Reuben Sharples, owner of Aussie Butcher New Lynn in West Auckland, says schnitzel is always a star seller in his store, but the level of demand this grass-roots movement has caused is putting his stock levels under stress.
“Kiwis normally go ‘schnit yeah’ for schnitzel but over the past few days we’ve seen demand go through the roof. At this rate, if you don’t move fast it schnit gunna be your day.’
The humble schnitzel is a thinly sliced piece of beef thick flank that is usually pounded with a meat tenderiser, then crumbed before frying. The dish is often associated with European countries including Germany and Austria but is in fact a firm favourite across the world.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand has now given @chamfy and 10 other Kiwi tweeters the ultimate Schninfluencer challenge: to compete in a cook-off to see who will be crowned the inaugural Schnitzel Champion of Aoteaora New Schnitzealand.