Monday, July 22, 2013

Words that end in "L"

In the Austrian variation of the German language, the way in which one creates a diminutive form is to add an "L" to the end of the word. Think Hänsel and Gretel, for example. Hänsel is "little Hans" and Gretel is "little Margarete." How cute, you're thinking to yourself right now. During my stay in Austria this summer, I encountered many "L"-words that left a lasting impression on my mind.

Question for my loyal readers (all five of you): Which of the following "L" words would you most like to try?
Please post your responses in the comment section below.

KrautfleckerL = little flecks of noodle with cabbage
This dish I had on my last evening in Vienna in a suburb called Nussdorf. It was part of a larger buffet that we ate outside at a Heurige. This version was served with bacon, as well. It's on the upper right-hand corner of my plate. I'm definitely going to recreate this one at home and offer it on list of possible dishes that my students can make for their Austrian cuisine project.

Krautfleckerl mit Speck in Nussdorf, 2013
BrettL(jause) = rustic spread served on a little board between mealtimes
Now this diminutive form is used quite ironically, since this spread that we were offered was anything but little. One evening in Graz, the group was treated to a true Steirisches Buffet. Graz is located in the Austrian state of Steiermark. All of the offerings on the buffet were specialties of the Steiermark, from the Käferbohnensalat (beetle bean salad, don't worry, no beetles included!) to the Kürbiskernölaufstrich (pumpkin seed oil spread) to the cured meats and mountain cheeses. I was barely able to stop myself from eating myself into a Violet Beauregarde stupor.

Steirisches Buffet in Graz, 2013

EierschwammerLgulasch mit ServiettenknödeL = chanterelle mushroom goulash with "napkin" dumplings
The Ottoburg restaurant in Innsbruck is located in one of the oldest buildings in Innsbruck. It dates back to 1180 to be exact. Their cuisine is an elegant blend of the traditional and the 21st century. I ordered this lunch special and was not disappointed. Knödel is the Austrian word for dumpling and derives its meaning from the idea of a "little knot." The "napkin" dumpling that I ate at the Ottoburg was actually slices from a larger loaf-shaped dumpling. Eierschwammerl is the name for the mushroom and actually describes what the mushroom looks like "little egg-colored sponges."

Serviettenknödel in Innsbruck, 2013
Eierschwammerl at the farmer's market in Salzburg, 2013
At the Schlossberg restaurant in Graz, I had a SemmelknödeL (bread dumpling), which looks more like what you would picture as a dumpling, self-contained little universes of starchy flavor.

Pork tenderloin with Semmelknödel in Graz, 2013
The MarillenknödeL that we made during our cooking lesson in Graz are little round knots of dough filled with whole apricots. I must say, I'm pretty proud of how they turned out. Additionally, the other two foods on this plate include Mohnnudeln (poppy seed noodles) and PowidltascherL (little plum pockets).

The fruits of our labor cooking with Lukas in Graz, 2013
Lukas Mayerhofer, master pastry chef
Student question #5: What kind of food do they {Austrians} eat?
Well, students, let's start with the foods that end in "L" and then go from there: 
SpinatstrudeL, MozartkugeL, RotkohL, ErdapfeL, SchnitzeL, NockerL, SchmankerL...

1 comment:

  1. My vote is for EierschwammerLgulasch mit ServiettenknödeL. This sounds and looks delicious. Hopefully I will get some soon!