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Austrians definetely have their thing with Knoedel. As long as I was living only
in Austria, growing up there and all, I did not realize that. But when I first went
to work to another country, to Switzerland, people there brought up the idea in me,
that Austria could be a Knoedel-country. If not THE Knoedel-country, as for swiss
people a Knoedel is something quite exotic, and they are neighbours to Austria. Not
only the head chef there but almost every chef asked me at least once, what it is
all about with Austria and its Knoedels.
Let´s see how many Knoedel varieties Austria has, that come to my mind. There are
Semmel Knoedel, Kartoffel Knoedel, Speck Knoedel, Tiroler Knoedel, Grammel Knoedel,
Haschee Knoedel, Wurst Knoedel, Zwetschgen Knoedel, Marillen Knoedel, Erdbeer Knoedel,
Topfen Knoedel, Germ Knoedel, Griess Knoedel, Essig Knoedel ... hooo!! that is quite
a lot I would say, and these alone are common to Austrians like rice is to Chinese.
Why Austrians eat
Knoedel so often
by Bernhard Baumgartner
There is the simple side-dish Knoedel, which is served with saucy dishes such as
a paprika gulyas, or roast pork. Alone, Austria has two different kinds of this side-dish
Knoedel. There is the Semmel Knoedel, which is a white bread dumpling, and there
is the Kartoffel Knoedel which is a potato dumpling. The Semmel Knoedel is common
in Upper Austria and Salzburg, Lower Austria and Vienna love the potato dumpling.
Another big thing is it, to have some filling, and cover it with dough and give it
the shape of a ball. We do that with a lot of different fillings, and some different
doughs. We stuff potato-dough with apricots, plums, and strawberries but also with
minced leftovers from roast-meat and smoked sausage, with bacon, but the one with
no meat on it, just white bacon.
Is it maybe a praise on the globe, a monument for mother earth? Or is there a connection
with soccer, which is very popular in Austria, could be, but soccer wasn´t that popular
when they created the dumpling. White bread dumpling dough and potato dough are definitely
superb when one wants to cook very economic, for there are always bread leftovers
and often potato leftovers. Potato dough is better when the potatoes are cooked a
day in advance. So Knoedel are a welcome meal for Austrians and one can be very creative
on trying out new sorts.
The first prize in being economic goes to "SAUTEED DUMPLING with EGGS", for being
a dish made of Knoedel leftovers, which are a bread leftovers dish. WOW, you might
say, Austrians eat leftovers over and over! I do not agree with you in that, but
I do agree if you say Austria is a Knoedel-country, if not THE Knoedel-country.
Bernhard Baumgartner is an Austrian chef living and working in Vienna Austria. Visit
his website www.bernhards.at for more about Austrian cooking and eating.
Austrians just love to eat dumplings, many variations of those mostly round dough
balls are known and often enjoyed in Austrian households but also restaurants.
A Semmel is a simple white bread roll. Semmel are the Austrians first choice of bread
for breakfast or when having a sandwich. So Austrians bakeries produce millions of
these rolls every day, but you can´t eat them when they are over a half day old.
So on a poor day for Mr. Bakerman he sat on hundreds of leftover bread-rolls. So
that is why you can buy ready ground breadcrumbs and for the Knoedel ready cut and
dried bread cubes, the so called "Knoedel bread" or "Semmel cubes".