It’s celebration time! Like every year, January is my reader appreciation month. It’s when I want to thank you for your support. To change things up from years past, I have a special South Tyrolean cookbook as a give-away. And I’ll teach you how to make the king of South Tyrolean cooking: Knödel. The bread dumplings are the most iconic of our foods and say South Tyrol like no other dish. We eat them plain in broth, with salad, in stews, sliced as “carpaccio” and roasted as leftovers. Hope you enjoy our Knödel as much as we have for thousands (!) of years. Come and cook with us!
So what does Ötzi have to do with all of this? For those of you who don’t follow continental European anthropology on a regular basis, Ötzi is the mummy that was found in 1991 on a high pass in the mountain range that runs the border between Italy and Austria. Archeologists believe this Iceman belonged to the first independent Alpine cultural group, Tamins-Carasso-Isera 5 and lived between 3350 and 3100 BC. And believe it or not, scientist found traces of the Ur-Knödel in his stomach, i.e., a combination of grains and speck.
They key to a good Knödel is the right bread. Back home, we use left-over semmel, which is similar to the “Kaiser” rolls you can get in some US grocery stores. It’s virtually white bread buns. And it has to be old and dried out. Sounds delish, doesn’t it? Believe me, mixed with the right amount of milk, eggs, and parsley, Knödel make the perfect side dish to roasts, gulasch as well as other types of stews such as chanterelle or porcini mushroom ragouts. This basic recipe can be adjusted to a wide range of different varieties including speck, cheese, spinach, buckwheat, beat, ricotta and more. The options are endless!
But wait there is more. There isn’t just the “right” bread you have to find, there is also a “right” way to eat Knödel. Under no circumstances does one ever use a knife to cut a Knödel in pieces. Simply take your fork and spoon and carefully tear the Knödel apart. Got it?
All-in-all, this is clearly not your latest superfood but it is THE food symbol of South Tyrol. And, you might ask, what does Brad Pitt have to do with all of this? He has Ötzi tattooed on his arm. Seriously, I am not making this up! Might we say he is indirectly endorsing the Knödel?
If you want more South Tyrolean recipes in a special South Tyrol cookbook, then be the first to like today’s post on www.comeandcookwithus.com! Happy 5th anniversary and please help us celebrate by liking us on Facebook, favoriting us on Twitter and following us on Instagram. And if that’s not enough, drop me a comment on my website as I’d love to hear from you. Come and Cook with Us!