Dumplings – the classic round dish

What pizza is to Italians and schnitzel is to Viennese, dumplings are to South Tyroleans. What originated as a quick dish for the poor, the dumpling has long since become part of the gourmet cuisine. Today there are countless variations of the classic round dumpling: a main course, a side dish, or a sweet dessert. Whether prepared with spinach, cheese, or liver, filled with plums, strawberries, or nougat, boiled in water or steamed on top – dumplings always taste good.

Arguably the best-known South Tyrolean dumpling dish is the Speckknödel dumpling. The main ingredient is, of course, the local speck (cured smoked ham), which is cut into small cubes and sautéed with onion. Once the mixture has cooled, fresh herbs from the garden, bread crumbs, eggs, butter, and milk are added. Seasonings such as salt and pepper are then added. After a brief rest, the next challenge is forming the dumplings! Some use a spoon to do this, but original South Tyroleans only need two hands, cold water to moisten the dumplings, and a skilful twist. A test dumpling is placed in the boiling water; if it doesn't fall apart, the dough is just right. If it falls apart, you should add some flour. Serve the finished speck dumplings over a salad or in a soup.

Helpful hint: cutting a dumpling into pieces with a knife is considered a no-go in South Tyrol! Here, only a fork is used to divide the dumpling into bite-sized pieces.

Enjoy your meal!

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