Qu'est-ce que c'est? De-mystifying Chicago Restaurant Menus: Spätzle
By L. Stolpman in Food on Jun 11, 2008 3:30PM
We had the pleasure of eating that plate of spätzle (sometimes spelled as spaetzle) you see to the left while in Switzerland recently, alongside a nice pork cutlet. So what is spätzle?
Spätzle is a type of pasta/dumpling popular in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other surrounding countries. It is made with eggs and flour, a dash of salt and often a liquid (water or milk) to thin it a bit. The spätzle can be made by pressing the dough through a sieve or colander (as described here) over a pot of just boiling water. The little dumplings formed by the fallen dough float to the top when done. They taste exactly like you'd expect: similar to pasta or a dumpling, tender with just a hint of bite or chewiness. Spätzle can be flavored with additional ingredients, as well: Pureed apple in the dough makes it a great complement to veal. Or you can add some herbs. We like ours straight up naked, flavored, or sauced.
Want to give spätzle a try? Here are some Chicago restaurants where you can get a taste:
Glunz Bavarian Haus (4128 N. Lincoln): Cheese Spatzle sautéed with marjoram and onions, swiss, fontina and parmesan cheese, garnished with fried onion rings. They also serve a Spinach Spatzle in a white wine cream sauce and sun dried tomatoes, melted with fontina cheese and parmesan.
There's no doubt about it. Spätzle is special.