Spätzle (Swabian noodles)

“Spätzle” is a typical dish from southern Germany. They can be eaten to accompany a main course of meat or can themselves be a main course when combined with other ingredients.

Basic recipe

You will need (for 6-8 portions):

Ingredients for basic recipe

8 eggs
520g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt

In addition you will need some seasoning such as ground pepper or sweet red pepper powder.

We use a very fine type of flour called “Spätzle-Mehl”.

Spätzlepresse
You will also need the tool to make the Spätzle – this is called a “Spätzlepresse” and is similar to a potato masher, so you could try using one of those. You will probably be able to find the original article on ebay.de or
cookplanet.com
.

First steps
Break the eggs into a large bowl. Add the salt. Now slowly add the flour and seasoning and stir with a spoon until the mixture is firm with small bubbles.

breaking the eggsadding the saltmixingThe mixture is now firm

Now prepare a large saucepan of bowling water.

Through the press

Load the spätzlepresse with the mixture and hold it over the saucepan. Now press the mixture through the press so that the spätzle land in the water. Cut off with a knife if necessary.

The water is boilingThe mixture goes into the spätzlepresse... is pushed through ...... and through ...... and is cut off ...... into the water

The spätzle will sink and then rise. Once risen, leave for 2 minutes and then remove from the water with a sieve. Place them in a covered bowl.

Fetch the spätzle out with a sievePlace in the bowl and cover

They can now be served in this form as a side dish.

[audio:http://www.allthingsgerman.net/podcast/mp3/2006-11-26_spaetzle_basic.mp3]
Listen to the recipe as a podcast

Variations

Baked spätzle with chives, sour cream and bacon

Questions or suggestions? Put them in the Forum!

Are you allowed to have a barbecue?

On hot summer days people in Germany love to have a barbecue, the only trouble is that with so many people living in flats there are laws and other rules on when you can have one and even how. Even if you do own a house, having one in your back garden can be subject to regulations!

Having a barbecue in Germany is called “Grillen”, and the supermarkets are full of charcoal, instant barbecue sets, and of course sausages, steaks, marinated chicken breasts and other things to cook such as special cheeses. Often people will also eat salad with the meat.

The main ways of cooking are either on charcoal or using an electric barbecue. Using charcoal usually tastes better, but the problem is that the smoke has a habit of going towards one’s neighbours, which can often end in arguments. To avoid this, most people who live in any form of tower block or multi-family building have rules called the Hausordnung, which are meant to govern such situations.

Sometimes this can mean giving advance notice to the neighbours, but more often than not it it just bans the use of any non-electric barbecue on the balconies.

An electric barbecue or "Grill"

An electric barbecue or "Grill"

Because of this, the rules for having a barbecue in any given street can vary from house to house or from block to block! The only real way to know what is allowed is to read the Hausordnung or sit down with your neighbours and agree with them beforehand.

After a number of cases went to court in the 1990s about these problems, most people have resorted to using electrical barbecues on their balconies, with only those with large gardens still using charcoal. It means that for many, the only time people actually eat meat cooked over a fire is on days such as Maifeiertag, Christi Himmelfahrt and Fronleichnam when many churches, clubs and organisations have their annual fetes or open days and are usually able to cook on their grounds as they wish.

Osterei

An Osterei is an Easter Egg, and can refer to different types of eggs.  There are boiled eggs that have been coloured, blown-out egg-shells that have been decorated, and chocolate eggs that often have fillings inside them.

As in many countries, the eggs represent the spring and fertility, and is a tradition that goes back to the 13th Century, even though the term “Osterei” was probably first used in the 17th Century.

Many people hang decorated eggs on twigs in their front gardens.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

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