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Dampfnudeln are a type of yeast dumplings which are cooked and steamed simultaneously. This method creates a soft surface and a crunchy base is. That typical salty crust is the main difference to Germknödel – a similar German dish that is only steamed or boiled and is therefore soft all around.

Dampfnudeln can be served in a savory way with soups, salad, cabbage or other vegetables or as a sweet dessert with vanilla or wine sauce. In the south-western German region of Palatinate, it is common to serve potato soup with Dampfnudeln as a main dish first which is then followed by another course of Dampfnudeln with a sweet sauce for dessert.

The Origin Of Dampfnudeln

There have been ongoing disputes about where the yeast dumplings originally come from. Both Palatinate and Bavaria claim to be the place of origin.

The name “Dampfnudeln” is composed by the German words for steam (Dampf) and noodles (Nudeln). This refers to the way they are cooked as well as their form. Most people would not refer to the dough balls as noodles. However, the word “Nudel” is a modification of the word “Knödel” from the same stem. Like this one, many other germanic words that start with the syllable kn- all express a type of swelling. Although most people today mostly think of pasta, the expression “noodles” or “Nudeln” actually covers a much broader field.

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Rezept Bad Reichenhaller: Dampfnudeln mit Gewürz-Zwetschgen by Bad Reichenhaller, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0