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Schupfnudeln with sauerkraut
|Place of origin||Germany, Austria|
|Main ingredient(s)||Rye or wheat flour or potatoes, eggs|
Schupfnudel (meaning rolled noodle in German; plural Schupfnudeln), also called Fingernudel (finger noodle), is the name of a type of dumpling or thick noodle in southern German and Austrian cuisine, similar to the more internationally familiar Italian gnocchi. They take various forms and can be referred to with a variety of names in different regions. They are usually made from rye or wheat flour and egg. Since the introduction of the potato to Germany in the seventeenth century, Schupfnudeln have also been made with potatoes. They are traditionally given their distinctive shape—similar to an elongated American football—through hand-shaping. They are often served as a savory dish with sauerkraut but are also served in sweet dishes.
Schupfnudeln have been known as a trooper dish since the Thirty Years' War: out of their daily flour ration and water the soldiers formed long noodles, which they cooked afterwards. After the potato was imported to and cultivated in Germany in the 17th century, the recipe was modified and different variations emerged according to different regions.
Regional terms and forms
Though they can be found throughout Germany, they are especially popular in the cuisine of Baden and Swabia. There in addition to Schupfnudeln they are called Baunzen or even Bubenspitzle (literally little boys' willies).
In Bavarian cuisine they are known as Fingernudeln (finger noodles), Dradewixpfeiferl, Kartoffel- or Erdepfebaunkerl (potato Baunkerl) or Schupfnudeln, and in Upper Palatinate they are called Schopperla or Schoppala.
The name Schupf- or Fingernudel refers to the form and shape of the noodle and not to the ingredients. There is no universally authentic recipe but many widely different ways of preparation according to region. Many of these variations claim to be the original and authentic Schupfnudeln.
This disagreement about method is reflected in the subject literature. The Duden (reference book of German language) says that the Schupfnudel is a fried dish while Ludwig Zehetner writes in his Bavarian Dictionary that one should boil it in salt water.
Simple recipes only use rye flour and water for the dough, but many recipes include mashed potatoes, wheat flour and egg. The dough is kneaded and then rolled into a long, thin cylinder. This roll is cut into pieces about half an inch in width. These are rolled the typical shape of Schupfnudeln. Afterwards they are either cooked in salty water for about ten minutes or deep-fried. Many recipes include frying them in a pan afterwards as well.
Subsequently they are served in different ways: savory with sage-butter or sauerkraut or sweet with poppy seeds, sugar and cinnamon. In all cases it is necessary that the comparatively flavorless noodles incorporate the flavor of the other ingredients. Schupfnudeln can be served either as a side dish or as a main dish.