A Culinary Tour Around The World: Germany and Spätzle

Guten tag. Willkommen. I love to travel and since school is in session right now, I am grounded but that cannot keep me from virtual travel. I have joined Joan of FOODalogue’s culinary adventure called A Culinary Tour Around the World and I have decided to meet her in Germany, let’s say inside the pink Schwetzingen Palace gardens, OK? I have been wanting to do a few German dishes for some time and jumped at the opportunity. Many of you know that Himself and I lived in Germany for 3 years in the small village of Hockenheim, just south of Heidelberg. Our apartment building was on the edge of the village and most of the traffic that passed us was folks walking their dogs out to the great sunflower fields. Each day at 4:00 pm a horse and buggy would go by which was very entertaining to my young son. We loved everything about living in Germany; the people, scenery, food, chocolate, bread, wine, beer, and way of life. In the picture above we (notice my Princess Di hairdo) are in Bremen, Germany, posing by the famous Town Musicians of Bremen statue and like others we grabbed the front legs of the donkey insuring that all our wishes come true.

A LITTLE ABOUT GERMAN FOOD

While there, I learned to cook from some of my husband’s co-workers and other German friends we made during our time there. My SIL, Ellen and I took a USO cooking class given by German women and man oh man we learned to cook some great dishes. I found the German cuisine delicious. Most dishes consisted of meat, potatoes or nudels, some type of sauerkraut or salad. Stews were popular as well as some excellent soups. Pizza was a huge treat and a bit different than ours- thin crust and lighter on the sauce and cheese. A very popular pizza with the Germans was the Hawaiian- pineapple and ham. Their bread is delicious, the pastries are not sweet as ours, and they laugh at the fact that Americans like PBJ. Many Germans are not entirely fond of peanut butter. The beers are gigantic and quite good, one being a beer I had at a local brewery that had a touch of cinnamon flavor. I think my favorite meal in Germany was breakfast- brochen which is a small roll, butter or Nutella, fruit, egg, some type of meat, yogurt, and pastry or any assortment of those mentioned. Of course just give me the roll and Nutella.

INTRODUCTION TO SPÄTZLE

I am going to teach you how to make spätzle as taught to me by my friend Jürgen. He said his mother made this noodle dish the old-fashioned way by scraping the spätzle batter off a wooden board into boiling water. Now there are some very modern and useful spätzle makers preferred by most today but I find it is just one more gizmo to wash and store. Spätzle are a wonderful side dish to sauerbraten, schnitzel, or wurst but can be a main dish or dessert of its own. In the following video I will show you how to make Spätzle, Schupf Nudel, and Käsespätzle- cheese noodles or the German version of Mac and Cheese. This method makes a very rustic looking noodle, if you want prettier noodles then you will need to get one of these. I have done the scrape technique for guests and not only do they like watching, they love these delicious Spätzle.


Spätzle
3 cups flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
4 eggs
1 cup milk
butter

In a bowl beat all the ingredients together except the butter. The batter will be thick. Have a large pot of salted water boiling on the stove. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter on a small wooden cutting board and using the flat end of a knife or a rubber spatula scrape 1/4 – 1 inch “wedges”- depending on the size of the noodle you desire- of batter into the water. Once the noodles float to the top of the water let boil one minute and remove to a bowl using a skimmer, spider, or slotted spoon. Toss with a small amount of butter and serve as a side dish with a big bowl of gravy or plain with butter. See video for other recipes and technique. Serves 4-6.

Note- It may help a bit to dip the spatula in the boiling water every so often. Sometimes I spray it with PAM.

I am very bad at pronouncing German words, forgive me. Enjoy.

Join Joan as she travels to other wonderful cities around the world. Go to her site and check out the details here. The round up to this German event will be posted on FOODalogue on 1/28/09.
Joan has also linked this event to Blogger Aid to fight world hunger. They have a Foodie Blogger cookbook in the works as a fundraiser to help in this effort. Go there if you would like to contribute a recipe.

Related Posts:
Käsebrezel

Tschüss,

23 Comments

  1. HoneyB
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    Another great post. I ate at a German place in Ames, Iowa when I lived out in the midwest. Was my first ever experience and was quite pleasant!

    BTW, we had a foreign exchange student name Jurgen!

  2. Rindy R
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Love the video! I had no idea the time it took to make Spatzle. I don’t think I ever appreciated it enough -but now I will. Thanks for showing us!

  3. ~Vanessa~
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Great post. I loved the food when visiting Germany and may have to give this a try. Thanks for posting 🙂

  4. Joan Nova
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    Robin – this was great! Your personal experience and insight into the culture added so much…and the video was like being next to you in the Big Red Kitchen. You could actually hear the butter sizzling in the pan! Thanks so much for participating. I hope this has piqued your wanderlust and you’ll meet me somewhere else.

  5. Rachael
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Years ago, my brother-in-law dated a German girl that taught us how to make Schnitzel. We loved it and made it often, we would buy the boxed Schupf Nudel to serve with it.

    I would love to make Schnitzel again very soon and make homemade Nudel with it!

    Thanks for showing me how 🙂

    Great Post!!!

  6. Linda
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    The parents of a friend of mine are 1st generation Germans in the US. She has introduced me to many great foods and spatzle is definitely at the top of my favorites list! I wish I had the patience to make it homemade. Very nice post.

  7. Joie de vivre
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Robin,
    Thanks so much for reading along with me! Your comments are so honest and I love them. Keep trying. I’m going to come back later today to watch your video, the kiddos want breakfast, but I think I’ll join you all in France next week! This is my first world tour and I’m quite excited. You’ve upped the bar with this video! 🙂

  8. Grace
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    my mom just went to germany for a week (my jealousy knows no end), and would you believe she ate NO spatzle!?!? ridiculous. i guess food isn’t as important to her as it is to me. 🙂

  9. That Girl
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    I loved Germany so much more than I thought I would. Although I did avoid Berlin, which could be why. I’m not much of a city girl. Munich was city enough for me.

  10. Liesl
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    Oh my gosh!!! I love Spatzle!! I have actually never made it, but I am going to do it…and use your recipe!!! I am very German and love German food so much!!! I have yet to go to Germany, but I am trying to plan a trip over Christmas to see the Christmas Markets!!! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to see more German recipes!

  11. Joie de vivre
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    I love the video. These don’t look difficult at all. I’ll have to try them as I think my kids would love them. Me too!

  12. Lisa
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Wonderful post! My family is German and I should really learn to make a German dish or two. Spätzle would be a great place to start!

  13. Melissa
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    While I was watching the video, I kept smelling the Spatzle and thinking how wonderful it smelled…then I realized that was my mom downstairs making dinner. 🙂 It looks great! Love the video!

  14. Sara
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    Great post – I’ve always been intrigued by spaetzle, I need to give it a try.

  15. Nicole
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

    LOVE the first picture! You look so tiny. I love Europe. I have only been to Germany for a few days on a couple occasions but I have spent a lot of time in France and Italy. Spatzle is so good when it is good. I loved it there and at a Bavarian restaurant in Mammoth we used to go to. But when I made it once some time ago… it wasn’t too thrilling for me.

  16. Amanda :-)
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:12 AM | Permalink

    So many wonderful memories!! We have the same picture in Bremen.

  17. noble pig
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    It looks amazingly yummy. I love german food since it’s closely related to the Polish food I grew up on.

  18. biz319
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Love this post!

    My daughter takes German in high school – she’s in her third year and has always gotten an A+ in that class – she’s going to Germany next summer after her senior year for 3 weeks and next spring we’ll get an exchange student for 3 weeks.

    She’s so excited!

  19. Jessica
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Yes! I absolutely LOVE Spätzle! I’ve been meaning to find a recipe for it! Yummy. 🙂 Oh, I also miss German Pizza, yummy! 🙂

  20. Peter M
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    I like Spatzle too and I really don’t know why I haven’t made it yet. I will soon remedy that!

  21. Angelnina's Cottage
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

    Wonderful! I discovered your blog through Joan. I love spatzle. I have never made it, but we live near a mountain Bavarian style tourist town, and they have an amazing German restaurant, and a German man makes a mean spatzle. I’m going to try this one.
    Thanks!

  22. Miss Elly
    Posted March 8, 2009 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

    It’s official: I love you!!! I found your site whilst stumbling and found your jalapeño dip. I’ve been looking around your site more and more and I’m hooked!!! I love all of your food ideas (especially your cleverly packed lunches) and this whole German business just pushes me over the edge! My bf is a soldier and got to spend 2 months in Germany and he raves about the food. It’s so exciting to read all of your posts about the creative crafts and organizing you do (I am counting the sugar scrub as a craft) and the delicious food you create! You inspire my soul!! Thank you!!!!!

  23. ap269
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Great job!!! I'm not from Southern Germany, but your spätzle do look authentic to me…

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