Swabia (Schwaben) is a region located in southwestern Germany. It is known for it’s culture and linguistic differences and the region’s boundaries include areas of both Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. However a greater portion of Swabia lies in Baden-Württemberg. People in this region speak a dialect known as Schwäbisch. Today we will focus on food, and look at five different specialties from this region.
Schwäbische Hochzeitssuppe (Wedding Soup)
This wedding soup is a beef consommé, though it is now often prepared with chicken or beef broth. Known for the ingredients they may contain, and the ingredients are plentiful, wedding soups can include meat dumplings, leberspätzle (liver dumplings), marrow dumplings, strips of pastry, pancake strips, pasta, asparagus and more. According to Culinaria Germany – an outstanding book (new edition available here)- wedding soup has always been a specialty in Swabia, because it is more economical to feed a large number of guests a soup, rather than a meat.
Spätzle are perhaps the most known food to come from Swabia. Made out of a wet dough consisting of eggs, flour and water, these egg noodles are often found as an accompaniment to another item.
The dough is either cut by hand or pushed through a spätzlepresse into bubbling water, once the noodle floats to the top it is done cooking. The size and shape of spätzle can vary from small balls of dough to long thin noodles. Some different varieties include:
Käsespätzle– Späztle mixed with cheese and baked, then topped with caramelized onions.
Leberspätzle– Liver is mixed into the dough as it is prepared. These are often served in soups.
Spinatspätzle– Spinach is added to the dough.
Krautspätzle– The cooked spätzle are then cooked again in a pan with sauerkraut and bacon.
Gaisburger Marsch– This is a soup which includes spätzle, potatoes, and some kind of red meat.
Schinkenrahmspätzle– The spätzle are cooked in a pan with ham and cream.
Dessert spätzle– In some areas, spätzle are cooked in a pan with sugar, butter or fruit to make a dessert.
Also known as schupfnudeln or fingernudeln, these thick potato noodles are served either as a savory dish or as a sweet dish. The noodles are formed out of a dough made with eggs, potatoes, and flour.
After being cooked in water they are cooked with butter in a pan and other ingredients are added. A classic combination is schupfnudeln, sauerkraut and bacon.
Dünnet is also known by dinnete, dennete as well as several other names. It is a piece of thinly rolled dough that is baked in the oven. Dünnet can topped with cheese, scallions, sour cream, bacon, onions, or other items. For some real pictures, from someone who travels Swabia to sell dünnet, click here.
Probably my favorite Schwäbisch food, maultaschen are like a tortellini, although they look more like a piece of pasta strudel. Maultaschen are usually filled with spinach, eggs, onions, sausage meat, parsley, breadcrumbs, and minced up ham and sausage. The assembly is similar to that of a strudel. The dough is laid out, the filling is added, and the dough is rolled over to seal the maultaschen. They are then cut into pieces and the cut ends are sealed, before being cooked in water.
After being cooked, the maultaschen are often served in a soup, sliced and cooked in a pan with eggs or served by themselves.
Metzger, Christine. Culinaria Germany. China: H.F. Ullmann, 2008. Print.