Since we’re still in Oktoberfest mode, I’m continuing my German food recipe celebration. Today I’m blogging about one of Germany’s most popular and beloved foods: Spätzle. Spätzle is a dish of tiny noodles made of eggs and flour. Before the invention of mechanical devices, Spätzle were shaped by hand or with a spoon and the results resembled Spatzen (which means little sparrows).
Traditionally, Spätzle was made using a Spätzle Brett (board). You would set a slab of dough onto a wet board and use a long sharp knife to quickly cut off strands into simmering water. German women were highly skilled at this and could do it super fast. Nowadays most Germans use a Spätzle maker. You can also use a colander with large holes. Aldi sells ready-made Spätzle and I have to say they are pretty darn good and fast to prepare. I just cook them in simmering water for about 12 minutes. I then pan fry the noodles with butter – sometimes I add breadcrumbs. Spätzle is also great with a creamy sauce.
Here’s another German tradition that goes well with Oktoberfest that I’d like to tell you about.If you have seen the movie “The Sound of Music,” you already know what makes up a Dirndl: skirt, bodice, apron and blouse. The dresses first began appearing in rural regions of Bavaria in the 1800s. In the first half of the 20th century, versions of the traditional peasant dresses were introduced into Munich’s fashion scene as leisure wear for wealthy women.
The Dirndl is especially apparent during the two weeks of Oktoberfest where a Dirndl for women and its male counterpart, Lederhosen for men, are must-have outfits.
Dirndls vary in price. Some designer Dirndls run from $500 to $1,000, but mass-produced Dirndls and lederhosen sell for $40 to $100 in chain stores.
When my daughters were very young, my mom (their Oma) bought matching Dirndls for them. The girls loved the dresses and pretended to be Heidi from the Alps. Now the girls are in college, but I am saving the Dirndls for their future children.I’ve always loved the look of a Dirndl – It’s feminine and fun.
Sound of Music photo credit: house-crazy.com