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German brezel

BREZEL: The Softer Version of the German Pretzel

A glazed, brittle biscuit that is usually salted on the outside and baked in the form of a loose knot or a stick. Brezel are soft, white pretzels, made from flour water and yeast, sprinkled with salt, and different seeds. They’re great snack, they’re in every bakery and street stands, sold plain, sliced, and buttered and sometimes served with cold meats and cheeses.

German brezelThe German word Brezel or Pretzel, which was borrowed into English, goes back to the assumed Medieval Latin word *brchitellum. This would accord with the story that a monk living in France or northern Italy first created the knotted shape of a pretzel, even though this type of biscuit had been enjoyed by the Romans.

The monk wanted to symbolize arms folded in prayer, hence the name derived from Latin bracchitus, “having branches,” itself from bracchium, “branch, arm.” Brezel baking has most firmly taken root in the region of Franconia and adjoining Upper German-speaking areas, and pretzels have been an integral part of German baking traditions for centuries.

In some areas, on January 1, people give each other lightly sweetened yeast pretzels for good luck and good fortune. These “New-Years pretzels” are made in different sizes and can have a width of 50 centimetres (20 in) and more. Sometimes children visit their godparents to fetch their New Years pretzel. On May 1, love-struck boys used to paint a pretzel on the doors of the adored.

On the other hand, an upside-down pretzel would have been a sign of disgrace. Especially Catholic areas, such as Austria, Bavaria or some parts of Swabia, the “Palm pretzel” is made for Palm Sunday celebrations. Sizes can range from 30 cm (1 ft) up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and they can weigh up to 2.5 kg (6 lbs).An old tradition on Palm Sunday dating back to 1533 is the outdoor pretzel market (Brezgenmarkt) in the Hungerbrunnen Valley near Heldenfingen

They’re a delicious combo of soft bread and salt, mmmmmm! Some prefer them with melted butter or even on the side of a nice ice cold beer! So if you enjoy the occasional beer or two every now and then I’d recommend you eat one of these soft salty treats along with it! Make it a new tradition with your family on New Years Eve! Bring good fortune to yourself and eat something that tastes amazing too!

 

Top Ten German Foods

Rudi’s Pick For Top Ten German Foods

Each region of Germany has its own specialty dishes and variations of typical German cuisine. Here are our top ten traditional German foods to try.

German food is rich, substantial and delicious, with each region having its own specialty dishes and traditional cuisine.Guten Appetit!

Top Ten German FoodsApfelstrudel

Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) is a delicious pastry filled with apples flavored with sugar, cinnamon, raisins and breadcrumbs – and has been popular since the 18th century. The delicate flakey pastry is made from an elastic dough, which is kneaded and stretched until it’s as thin as phyllo pastry. The pastry is wrapped round and round the filling building up many layers, and then baked. It’s served warm in slices sprinkled with powdered or icing sugar.

Eintopf

A steaming bowl of eintopf  will warm you up on a cold day. The name of this traditional German stew literally means ‘one pot’ and refers to the way of cooking rather than a specific recipe. However, most recipes contain the same basic ingredients: a broth, some vegetables, potatoes or pulses and then some meat (commonly pork, beef or chicken) or sometimes fish. There are regional specialties, for example,lumpen und fleeh (which means ‘rags and fleas’) in the Kassel area, which is similar to Irish stew.

Kasespatzle

Spatzle, noodles made from wheat flour and egg, are popular especially in the South. They’re often served topped with cheese (kasepatzle) – rather like macaroni cheese – and sometimes with roasted onions as well. They can be served boiling hot, straight from the pan – so be careful!

Kartoffelpuffer

These are shallow pan-fried pancakes made from grated or ground potatoes mixed with flour, egg, onion and seasoning. You can enjoy them either salty as a side dish to a main course of meat or fish, or sweet with apple sauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon. Look out for them in outdoor markets in the winter.

Rote grutze

This red fruit pudding is a popular dessert in the North. It’s made from black and red currants, raspberries and sometimes strawberries or cherries, which are cooked in their juice and thickened with a little cornstarch or cornflour. It’s served with cream, vanilla sauce or milk.

Sauerbraten

Germans love their meat – andsauerbraten (meaning ‘sour’ or ‘pickled’ roast) is a pot roast that’s regarded as one of the country’s national dishes. It can be made from many different meats (originally horse), which are marinated in wine, vinegar, spices, herbs and seasoning for up to 10 days. Schweinenbraten is a delicious roast pork dish, usually served with braised cabbage orsauerkraut and dumplings (knoedel), and washed down with a pilsner beer.

Brezel

Brezel are soft, white pretzels, made from flour water and yeast and sprinkled with salt (and sometimes different seeds), and great to eat as a side dish or snack – or with a beer. They’re in every bakery and on street stands, sold plain, sliced and buttered (butterbrezel) or with slices of cold meats or cheese.

Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte

You’ll find lots of cakes and tarts to tempt you in Germany, commonly made with fresh fruit. Few can resist a huge slice or two of the most famous of them all: the delicious schwarzwalder kirschtorte – Black Forest cherry cake. The cake is named afterschwarzwalder kirschwasser, which is a liqueur distilled from tart cherries. Alternating layers of rich chocolate cake, cherries and whipped cream are topped off with more cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings.

Schnitzel

A schnitzel is a thin, boneless cutlet of meat, which is coated in breadcrumbs and often served with a slice of lemon. You can choose aWeiner schnitzel, which is made of veal, or a schnitzel Wiener made of pork. If you order a Hamburg-styleschnitzel, it will arrive with a fried egg on top; while a Holsten-styleschnitzel will come with an egg, anchovies and capers.

Wurst

There are more than 1500 different types of wurst (sausage) made in Germany and you’ll find street stalls selling them everywhere. The most popular include bratwurst (fried sausage) made of ground pork and spices, Weiner (Viennese), which is smoked and then boiled, and blutwurst and schwarzwurst, which are both blood sausages. Look out for regional specialities like Berlin’s currywurst (sausage with curried ketchup on the top), Bavaria’s weisswurst, a white sausage that you peel before eating with sweet mustard, and Nuremberg’s grilled rostbratwurst, served with fermented shredded cabbage known as sauerkraut.i

Other Resources for German Cuisine and German Food Information

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German Apple Strudel - Apfelstrudel

German Apple Strudel: Strum-Strum-Yiddle Ye Yum Apfelstrudel

Apple-StrudelApfelstrudel is commonly referred to today as apple strudel.  The dough used to make strudel is similar to the flaky texture of baklava, a popular pastry from the Ottoman Empire during the late 18th century.  The dough used to make baklava is very similar to phyllo dough that got its name from the Greek word “leaf”.  Rudi Lechners Restaurant takes pride in making traditional German cuisine.

Apfelstrudel was made popular through the Habsburg Empire in the 18th century.  Austrian cuisine was formed during this time and has been influenced by many cuisines such as Bosnian, Hungarian, Polish and Slovakian to name a few.  Apple strudel is the most commonly known kind of strudel in these cuisines although it can also be made with just about any kind of fruit.  Apfelstrudel is considered the national dish in Austria.

A handwritten recipe dating back to 1696 is the oldest known recipe and is housed at the Wiener Stadtbibliothek, the official library of the City and State of Vienna, the capital of Austria.  Rudi Lechners Restaurant proudly serves this traditional German desert

(See our apple strudel Apfelstrudel Recipe Here.)

This delectable pastry consists of a filling of tart crisp apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts.  The traditional preparation of the dough is a difficult process.  It is kneaded and stretched very thin until it is almost transparent similar to phyllo dough.

The Hungarians and the Viennese improvised on this dough and perfected the strudel.  The filling wrapped inside this dough and baked to form this delicate, flaky dessert.  It is served as warm slices topped with powdered sugar or icing.  At Rudi Lechners Restaurant,  every effort is made to create this pastry in the traditional German way.

This traditional Viennese style pastry is substantial, rich and delicious.  The combination of sweet which is complimented by the slight spiciness of cinnamon along with the delicate pastry is sure to please the palate.  We invite you to try our Apfelstrudel after one of our many delectable German specialties as the finishing touch to your dining experience at Rudi Lechners Restaurant.   Guten appetite!

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