So what is it exactly about Vienna that made it the center of the baking universe for so much of the last century (and the one before that)? It may be nothing more than Vienna’s longstanding café culture, which dates back 300 years to the time of the Ottoman invasions and the Battle of Vienna, when the coffee-loving Turks were routed by an allied army of Hapsburgs and Poles. The Turks got their revenge however when the Viennese got addicted to the coffee they found in the abandoned Turkish camps (Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa correctly foresaw that eventually Westerners would be shelling out close to five bucks for single cups of the stuff, causing pernicious long-term drains on personal disposable income).
Two years later an enterprising Armenian fellow called Johannes Diodato would open Vienna’s first café. By the mid-19th century cafés were one of the pillars of Viennese culture, not to mention one heck of an outlet for munchie food.