Latest Event Updates
In Münich the Medieval city will open its door tomorrow where each year the apple strudel is the most popular dessert. Without blowing my trumpet I think I am already a master of making it.
Ingredients: 1 pound sweet apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced), 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1/4 cup dried currants, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 2 slices brown bread, crumbled, 1/2 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough, 1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a bowl, combine apples, raisins, currants, cinnamon, sugar and bread crumbs. Stir well.
Spread several sheets of pastry generously with melted butter and lay them on atop the other on a baking sheet. Spread the fruit mixture evenly over the top sheet, then roll the sheets up to form a log shape. Brush with melted butter again.
Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and fruit is tender.
The German apple strudel
Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 1 cup warm water, 2 cups poppy seeds, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup butter, melted, 9 apples – peeled, cored and diced, 3/4 cup heavy cream
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, egg and water and stir vigorously until mixture forms like a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rest 1 hour.
Grind poppy seeds in a food processor, if desired. Combine poppy seeds, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix well; set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Place the dough on a large work surface covered with a cotton cloth. Stretch the dough slightly to form a large rectangle. Pour the melted butter over the dough to moisten. Carefully stretch the dough into a large rectangle as big as your work surface will allow. The dough should be very thin and translucent.
Sprinkle the poppy seed mixture evenly over the stretched dough. Distribute the apples evenly over the poppy seed mixture. Sprinkle with about one half of the cream. Roll each side of the dough carefully to the middle and fold the ends under the strudel. Cut the strudel in half and place the two halves side by side in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cream.
Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, until golden and apples are tender.
Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Columbus Day in the United States when many Italian-Americans observe as a celebration of their heritage. They praise the name of their great explorer who brought the potatoes, tomatoes, corn and the beans from South America to Europe on the ship of Santa Maria. But on that day I think we should also say thank to the American native Indians who sublimated many wild fruits, vegetables and grains. Actually there are no European countries that can live without the Indian heritage. For instance the Italian spaghetti with tomato it would be inconceivable such as the Hungarian cuisine without paprika. The Provencal style stuffed tomatoes are just as typical French side dish as the Lyon style potatoes. The polenta and corn mush are popular cuts not only in the Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines, but also in the Hungarian’s.
The Treasure of the Incas, the potato, the corn and the quinoa
The ancient origins of Indian plants are still obscure. The majority of the botanists, archaeologists claim that the Inca civilization in Peru began in prehistoric times to produce the corn, and from there spread to Mexico, then to Missisipi Valley and to the another part of the North American continent.
During the long Inca realm there was a great variety of different climate zones. In Peru in particular, the mountain ranges provided highly varied types of growing zones at different altitudes. The staples of the Incas included various plants with edible tubers and roots like potato and sweet potato, in hundreds of varieties. Most of them are still unknown in the rest of the world. Slightly over 4,000 types are known only to Peru. There was also oca, which came in two varieties, one sweet and one bitter. The sweet variety could be eaten raw or preserved and was used as a sweetener before the arrival of sugar. The insipid, starchy root ullucu and arracacha, today we call batata or white carrot, something like a cross between carrot and celery were, like potatoes, used in stews and soups. Achira, a species of Canna, was a sweet, starchy root that was baked in earth ovens. Since it had to be transported up to the power center of Cuzco it is considered to have been food eaten as part of a tradition. Though the roots and tubers provided the staples of the Inca, they were still considered lower in rank than maize. Its name was mentioned first by the Vikings (who had already discovered America 500 years before Columbus) in 1000 AD when the great Viking sailor Leif Ericsson was sailing around Cape Cod observed a special wheat- ” the seeds among many birds lived was almost impossible to walk between the eggs.” Needless to say, that the special wheat was the corn, which had been already known in North America among the Indians. The conquistador-colonialists while searching for gold in Florida went further to New Mexico for many years they lived on corn however the colonists struggling of famine, realized only much later that the plants are cultivated by the Indians they could benefit from them, such as from the legendary treasures of the seven cities. Just the Hopi Indians (South America, West) grew 24 different kinds of corn, but the blue and white was the most common. They also grew beans, squash, melons, pumpkins, and fruit. The hopis owed the discovery of paprika as well, and introduced to the world the today most popular food, the chili con carne, which, if more then we think, was the Hungarian version of the goulash.
Amaranth was also one of the staple foods. (In addition, they used amaranth to create effigies of animals that were used in religious ceremonies. Later, the Spanish would ban the use of it for this reason).
And the Quinoa, which has been introduced only two or three years ago in Europe (a bit similar to amaranth) is just like in the rest of Central and South America chili pepper was also an important foodstuff among the Indians and highly praised part of the diet (the Inca Army was able to subsist on quinoa and fat when on long journeys).
The name quinoa was derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally “Qin-wah”, and was originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru before they were colonized and became nation-states, where it was successfully domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5200 to 7000 years ago. They were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex well before maize agriculture became popular.
Pangasius file with quinoa and pepper sauce (my own recipe, success is guaranteed)
Ingredients: 2 pieces of fresh tomatoes, pimento, salt, pepper, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 dl coconut milk, a pinch of sugar, 25 grams of quinoa, pangasius, Brazilian fish fillets or other white fish, 1 teaspoon curry, 2 tablespoons olive (for the fish), curry flavoured flour
Cook the quinoa in salted water while you wash and slice the peppers lengthwise. Season them with salt, then put 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan or grilling grid and grill the slices of peppers on both sides. When the peppers are grilled, transfer to a blender and add a pinch of sugar and pour over coconut milk. Blend paprika well with the coconut milk, taste it, add more salt if necessary. Keep lukewarm.
Roll the pangasius fillets in curry flavoured flour and fry them in hot oil until they are crispy on both sides. When the fish is ready, convert onto a plate alongside with quinoa and pour over paprika sauce. Delicious.
Quinoa with chard or spinach
Ingredients: Half a kilos of chard or spinach, cubes made from half a liter of vegetable broth, 1 bay leaf, 2 carrots, 12 ounces Italian Parmesan cheese, 2 dl milk, 2 egg yolks, salt, pepper, 1 clove of garlic
Wash quinoa. Cook vegetables in boiling water (20 minutes). Clean and wash the spinach or chard. Slice carrot. Pour water into a pot, and when it boils throw in the carrots and Mangold. Cook for 5 minutes. If you choose spinach 1 tablespoon oil 2 cloves garlic Evaporate it, then remove the garlic in the fat, then cook the spinach in a garlic flavored oil or butter. Place in a glass bowl with some of the quinoia, grate parmesan cheese onto the half. Place the cooked vegetables, and then again a quinoiát layer, a layer of vegetables, then the remaining cheese. Mix well the egg yolks to the milk, season with nutmeg, pepper and garlic powder. Pour the milk from the grocery quinoa and put it in the oven to 200 degrees and bake 40 minutes.
Why quinoa is so popular? Because the nutrient composition is very good compared with other common cereals and gluteen free. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. After harvest, the grains need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.
I was laughing when I picked up a brochure from our local deli shop about events and happenings in Münich and I have found among the recommandations the Potato museum. But after leafing through the booklet I realized that it is not exaggeration to say that the most important Bavarian food the one that foreigners most readily associate not just with Bavaria but also with Germany as a whole- is the potato.
Have been living in Münich for four years already it is not hard to behold that Bavarians love their side dishes the best of all the potatoes. Potatoes grace the table in about a hundred different ways, boiled and buttered, pan fried roasted, in sweet or savory potato salad, as pommes frites, large potato dumplings, and so on and on. Even it doesn’t say on the menu, it is good bet whatever you order it will show up with a serving of some kind of potato. I always wondered what the Irish and Bavarians ate before the potato was brought to Europe from South-America. If I’ve keyed up your enquiry and now you want to know more about this topic you must visit the potato museum in Münich.
The museum is actually an institution of Eckart Otto Foundation and was opened in 1996 in Munich. It shows a diverse collection of exhibits around the potato and it is the world’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the potato in art and art-historical terms. When you enter to the museum the centerpiece is an extensive photo collection. You can see here from oil paintings and watercolors of engravings to drawings, lithographs and prints to naive reverse glass painting and modern graphics, everything is represented, which has something to do with the potato and / or produced from their products.
The extensive collection of books of the Otto Eckart Foundation documented diverse and extensive career of the potato. For scientific purposes, the museum opens gladly, by appointment, his large library. Discovered by Columbus, the cultivation of potatoes in Germany in 1997 celebrated its 350 anniversary. Significantly involved in the rise of the potato in Germany was the Prussian king Frederick II promoter-potato cultivation since the Inca period artists were fascinated and inspired by the theme of potato. These historical documents also reflect the change in appreciation of this important crop. The museum is divided into eight thematically self-contained rooms such as:
1. History of the potato: From Inca gold to people’s food 2. Flowers, plants, tubers and harvest 3. Planting seeds –fling 4. Market scenes 5. Multi-talented potato: whether tape or gummy bears, the potato is always with 6. Rarities, collection 7. Prince and pauper’s dish meal 8. Gallery of modern art of potatoes
The best French potato salad
Ingredients: 2 small potatoes for each persons, cooked in boiling water and peeled, salt, pepper, 2 dl extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbs of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 onion, bunch of fresh basil leaves or dried, 1 teaspoon dill
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water, and cook until tender 25-30 minutes. Peel and transfer to a large bowl. Cut potatoes while still hot, into 1 inch pieces. Set aside to cool.
2. Chop or grate the onion. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, the mustard, a bit of lemon juice, then add red wine (raspberry) vinegar and stir until has reached a smooth velvety texture. 3. Season with salt and pepper. Toss over cooled potatoes and onion mixture the basil, the dill, and some fresh cilantro until evenly coated. Mix everything carefully together and chill until serving.
It is an excellent side dish with a fried Wiener schnitzel or with a fried fish..
I was surprised when I got a comment on my blog from one of my favourite blogger Nazan saying that she nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award!
I was so happy and I really appreciated Naz for nominating me. I discovered the wordpress.com by looking for some fennel recipe in January 2011 and I immediately knew that that was what I have always wanted to do!
Now I have to share 7 things about myself that I have not written on my blog…
1. When I am in a hurry I can make such a mess in my kitchen! If my grandma saw me she would be horrified!
2.The Japanese fox, the kitsune became my lucky charm or holy animal since I was in Japan in 2006
3. I’ve always wanted to have older brothers but I have two youngers (but I have one older sis)
4. my godmother is a Parisien we share the same name but her name is written differently–Sylvie–and I got many good recipes from her
5. I worked for the Justice Palace in Belgium as an interpreter
6. I used to play violin and danced ballet both for five years
7. I was a journalist for an agriculture magazin
Princes adventure who is also an Australian passport holder, lived in Dubai, and was born to parents of New Zealand and Canada. Cooking, educating, globetrotting and running are her hobbies and she has regular identity crises (such as myself) trying to decide where does she belong to…
Hungarians are especially passionate about their hundred kinds of soups (or more and it is no exaggeration) with even fierce rivalries between regional variations of the same dish.
Let’s start with the Goulash
The importance of livestock and the nomadic lifestyle of the Hungarian people are apparent in the prominence of meat in Hungarian food and may be reflected in traditional soup dishes, cooked over open fire in kettle such as the Goulash (cattle herd’s men soup-meal or stockmen soup) and the spicy Fisherman’s soup (a bit similar to Bouillabaisse). At making some traditional soups Hungarian chefs always like to combine beef and pork and enrich with noodles and dumplings or various forms of soup sticks like vermicelli and liver noodle. Potatoes and rice are commonly added to soup as well.
There is a saying in Hungary: if you have only two ingredients at home you can improvise for instance a delicious caraway seed soup or egg soup or even a hangover soup! But of course the Goulash is the ace among the Hungarian soups which is a bit similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two; however, Goulash soup generally has more liquid than stews and it can also be enriched with small dumplings, egg noodles see picture above-(csipetke in Hungarian, fingernail-sized bits out of the dough (csip means =pinch, before adding them to the boiling soup) or potatoes. But it is enough talking about the Goulash soup however I can bravely declare that it is the best composed soup among the so far existing soups all over the world. The Germans even set the soup to music…
Three hearty soups for winter
Kidney bean soup with smoked ham
Ingredients: 1 lb boneless pork loin, cubed in bite sized pieces, if desired, about 4 cups chicken or pork stock, 1 piece of smoked knuckle of 200 grs, or it can be replaced with 1 lb good quality smoked Polish or Hungarian sausage, 300 grs colourful beans or 2 cans kidney beans not drained, 3 carrots, 25 ounces potatoes, 1 root of parsley, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of red pepper, 3 tbs of flour, salt, pepper bayleaves, marjoram, basil, oregano and finely chopped fresh parsley
Soak beans in water and smoked pork in advance for overnight. Start to cook next day.
1. Put beans and ham in a pot and pour over water as well as the soaking water. Add onion and bayleaves, season with a bit of salt and sweet paprika powder. 2. Let it cook for one hour (but if you use canned bean than put the vegetables first and latter the kidney beans). 3. When the beans and meats are half-cooked, add the chopped vegetables, carrot, celery and diced potatoes, removed ham and cut into small cubes, and then put it back into the soup and continue cooking together. 4. When the beans, the knuckle and the vegetables are almost tender start to flavor. First add a pinch of thyme, a pinch of oregano, basil, marjoram, pepper. Then make a traditional roux in a separate pan (melt butter soatée onion and garlic flavor with red pepper and finally add flour) and when it is ready, dense the soup with that. Enrich with pasta noodles, and finish cooking.
Broth with meat
Meat soups-“húsleves” or broth are consumed at least once or twice a week in Hungary. This soup made by bringing to a boil and then simmering meat or chicken parts and/or bones in water, with various vegetables and flavorings. The classic chicken soup consists of a clear broth, often served with small pieces of chicken or vegetables, or with noodles or dumplings, or grains such as rice and barley.
Ingredients:1 kg of beef bones, 25 ounces of beef, 1 large onion, 1 egg white, 1 tbs of tomato paste, 3 carrots, turnip or parsley roots, celery, salt, pepper and paprika
Crush the bones, scald off and rinse. Cut the meat into 1 cm-s pieces, and place into the pot. Pour over 2 liters of cold water. Add onion, flavor with salt, pepper and sweet Hungarian paprika powder. Let it simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile clean and chop vegetables, toss them into cooking water and let them cook up.(The vegetables if we use at serving, sieve and set aside.) Finally when every ingredients are tenderly cooked, allow to settle for a few minutes. Then disconnect the fat and filter vegetables through a thick sieve or a clean tea towel. Degrease again before serving. Cook egg noodles in a separate pot in boiling water. When it is not hard anymore, sieve, rinse with cold water and serve with hot soup!
Jókai bean soup
The soup was named after a romantic writer, novellist Maurice Jokai (1825-1905) who was fond of it.
400 gr of dry beans, 2 pairs of Debrecen sausage, smoked pork knuckle about half kg, 2 liters of water, 80 grams of flour, 2 dl of cream, 2-3 carrots, 2 parsley roots, quarter of celery, 1 onion, pepper, 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbs vinegar
Soak dry beans about a day before cooking. Cook the pork until tender. Toast the chopped onion in a little fat, then simmer with sliced vegetables together. Pour the beans with the soaking water together, add the juice of smoked knuckle, the chopped green peppers, tomatoes and bay leaves and salt to taste. Fry the sausage, then cut into rings. Use the fried sausage grease make a light roux, sprinkle with a bit of paprika, add parsley, then the crushed garlic. Dilute with a bit of liquid from the soup then through a sieve, stir into bean soup. Re-boil it, season with a little of vinegar, add the sausage and cook noodles to soup. If necessary, add hot water to dilute. Mix sour cream with one egg. To serve add the chop, boned, cut into small squares knuckle meat, and spoon over hot soup. Add a few tablespoons of sour cream to and enjoy.
Chicken soup has also acquired the reputation of a folk remedy for colds and flu’s, and in many countries it is considered a classic comfort food.Hungarian chicken soup is a consommé, called even Ùjházi chicken soup it is made with entire pieces of chicken, chicken liver and heart, with chunky vegetables and spices like whole black peppercorn, bay leaves, salt and ground black pepper. The vegetables boiled along with the pieces of chicken are usually carrots, celeriac, parsley root and parsnip.
The chicken flavor of the soup is most potent when the chicken is simmered in water with salt and only a few vegetables, such as onion, carrots, and celery. Variations on the flavor are gained by adding root vegetables such as parsnip, potato, sweet potato and celery root, herbs such as parsley, dill, other vegetables such as zucchini, whole garlic cloves or tomatoes and black pepper. The soup should be brought slowly to a boil and then simmered in a covered pot on a very low flame for one to three hours, adding water if necessary. A clearer broth is achieved by skimming the film of congealed fat off the top of the soup as it is cooking, first bringing the chicken to boil from a pot of cold water and discarding the water before continuing, or straining it through a strainer or cheesecloth. Saffron is sometimes added as a yellow colorant.
One more word about soups: Some remarkable soups that are hardly noticed by locals, but usually conjure up much enthusiasm amongst foreigners the cold fruit soup the Sour cherry soup (in Hungarian: hideg meggyleves) and the Cold green bean soup with sour cream or yogurt. They are also important part of the Hungarian cuisine.
Living in Münich is equal to discover always something new such was the Wolpertinger in the German Hunting and Fishing museum on the other day. I have always loved the examples of taxidermy more than anything else on display in all museums of Nature I have ever been, because I think it is always a great opportunity to study the creatures (living, extinct or threatened) and their habitats and taxidermy used to be one of the few ways to see wildlife up close. Men have been stuffing animal skins for hundred years, yet the art of taxidermy-mounting or reproducing dead animals for display or for other sources of study-was not perfected until the early 20st century. However the era has passed but the beauty of these vintage specimens lives on.
My preceding statement is well demonstrated in the Hunting and Fishing museum in Münich. However until I entered I have never heard of a kind of taxidermy technology called rogue taxidermy. It might represent unrealistic hibrids species that not exist in nature, such as unicorns and dragons- (and there is also an another technology called anthropomorphic taxidermy, in which stuffed animals are posed in human activities and are often dressed in clothing. Such as Peter Rabbit style, the latter I really despise). But spending quite a time in the German Hunting and Fishing museum I was totally enchanted by a magical creature the wolpertinger!
What is a wolpertinger?
In Bavarian folklore, a wolpertinger (also called wolperdinger, poontinger or woiperdinger the current name may vary slightly, depending on the area) is an animal said to inhabit the alpine forests of Bavaria in Germany. It has a body comprised from various animal parts — generally wings, antlers, tails and fangs, all attached to the body of a small mammal. The most widespread description is that of a horned rabbit or a horned squirrel.
Actually the wolpertinger was mentioned first by Brothers Grimm in 1753 in their book of Collection of German legends, and it was called Kreißl. But in the Hunting and Fishing Museum of Munich shall have the title on glass formers from the town Wolterdingen back at Donaueschingen. These exhibited shot glasses made in the form of animal figures, which were generally called Wolterdinger. Which explanation is the correct one I don’t know but the issued copies of the museum is a prepared brats show mostly with a horned rabbit’s head. The body is usually the extremities of various animal species shall be added. Thus, the wolpertinger had often wings instead of forelegs and hind legs are formed with the feet of waterfowl. The compilation was left to the imagination of the taxidermist.
Wolpertingers around the world
The Elwetritsch (aka Elwedritsch, Ilwedritsch in Latin bestia palatinensis) is also a kind of wolpertinger, a birdlike mythical creature which is reported to be found in South-West-Germany, especially in Palatinate. The Elwetritsch can be seen as a local equivalent to mythical creatures of other regions, i.e. the Bavarian Wolpertinger or the Thuringian Rasselbock. For the origin, at least from the Palatinate further argument that the Palatine Germans who emigrated to Pennsylvania, America, had some “Elbedritschlicher” taken with them, “said she ate identify Heemweh grigg deede” (High German, literally, so they no would get homesick). There are also stories of Elwetritsche at the Amish occupied. A (English) newspaper of the Pennsylvania German Society in Kutztown, entitled It Elbedritsch.
Anyway the Elwedritsch had been quite forgotten in a while, till a Gentleman, named Espenschied “rediscovered” them. He began to organize “Hunting Parties” which were nothing more than playing a harmless prank on people. One of the Bavarian Kings was once served roasted, small birds for dinner, which were declared to be Elwetritsche, but were actually Quail.
In English speaking countries the name of the wolpertinger is: jackalope. Originally that creature was a mythical animal of North American folklore (a so-called “fearsome critter”) described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns or deer antlers and sometimes a pheasant’s tail (and often hind legs). The word jackalope is a portmanteau of “jackrabbit” and “antalope”, an archaic spelling of antelope. The jackalope has bred the rise of many outlandish (and largely tongue-in-cheek) claims as to the creature’s habits. For example, it is said to be a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of “killer rabbit”. Reportedly, jackalopes are extremely shy unless approached. Legend also has it that female jackalopes can be milked as they sleep belly up and that the milk can be used for a variety of medicinal purposes. It has also been said that the jackalope can convincingly imitate any sound, including the human voice. It uses this ability to elude pursuers, chiefly by using phrases such as “There he goes! That way!” It is said that a jackalope may be caught by putting a flask of whiskey out at night. The jackalope will drink its fill of whiskey and its intoxication will make it easier to hunt. In some parts of the United States it is said that jackalope meat has a taste similar to lobster. However, legend has it that they are dangerous if approached. It has also been said that jackalopes will only breed during electrical storms including hail, explaining its rarity. As a predator eats the jackalope smaller animals, but also herbs and roots, but according to the Hunting and Fishing Museum in Munich, he eats only “Prussian soft skulls.” yakk…
According to other stories jackalope is considered to be very shy. The different types of hunting it differ significantly from region to region. A well-known hunting rule is: “Wolpertinger can only be seen by young, good-looking women, if they are in the twilight with full moon of the company to entrust a right, hearty man image that knows the right places at the remote edges of the forest” Another rule states that you can only catch him when he sprinkled salt on its tail. Also familiar is the way to strike out at full moon with a candle, a bag, a stick and a shovel. The bag is held open by the stick and the candle is placed before the opening of the bag. If the jackalope attracted by the candle light, you can help him with the spade driven into the bag. It has been handed a different method: An outline describing the jackalope with different lengths of right and left legs, so that it can only run on free-standing hills in a specified direction. If it manages to scare him so that he repents and wants to run, he inevitably falls over and can be captured quickly.
The Bunyip is a legendary animal that is based on the stories of Aboriginal people in the rivers, water holes and swamps of Australia to live.
The skvader is a Swedish fictional creature was constructed in 1918 by the taxidermist Rudolf Granberg and is permanently displayed at the museum at Norra Berget in Sundsvall. It has the forequarters and hindlegs of a hare (Lepus), and the back, wings and tail of a female wood grouse (Tetrao urogallus). It was later jokingly given the Latin name Tetrao lepus pseudo-hybridus rarissimus L.
The skvader originates from a tall tale hunting story told by a man named Håkan Dahlmark during a dinner at a restaurant in Sundsvall in the beginning of the 20th century. To the amusement of the other guests, Dahlmark claimed that he in 1874 had shot such an animal during a hunt north of Sundsvall. On his birthday in 1907, his housekeeper jokingly presented him with a painting of the animal, made by her nephew and shortly before his death in 1912, Dahlmark donated the painting to a local museum. During an exhibition in Örnsköldsvik in 1916 the manager of the museum became acquainted with the taxidermist Rudolf Granberg. He then mentioned the hunting story and the painting and asked Granberg if he could re-construct the animal. In 1918 Granberg had completed the skvader and it has since then been a very popular exhibition item at the museum, which also has the painting on display.
PS: Stuffed “wolpertingers” are displayed in inns or sold to tourists as souvenirs all over in Germany in their “native place”. But in the “Deutsches Jagd- und Fischerei”-Hunting and Fishing- museum in Munich, features a permanent exhibit on the creature.
On my top list there are three, (actually according to the ingredients they belong to one family): the Chestnut puree, the Gundel pancake, and the Somlói galuska (sponge cake with raisins, walnuts, served with rum, chocolate sauce and whipped) all of them are divine!
Let’s start with he chestnut puree. It doesn’t matter summer or winter the chestnut purée or gesztenyepüré is always looked for in the confectionaries (unbelievable in a scorching hot summer people desire to eat this). However it is also wildly popular in France called as Mont Blanc but in Hungary when it is sweetened and served with whipped cream and cherries on top, (which is previously soaked in rum) there is no one who can resist to taste it. Allegedly it is originated from Italy (from around 1475, I doubt it and in that time it was yellow in color because the chestnuts were pickled) but today the Hungarian sweetened chestnut purée is inimitable burgundy-velvet coloured and amped up with chocolate cream and rum while somewhat of an acquired taste.
Yield: 6 Hungarian Chestnut Purées
Ingredients: 900 grams (31.75 ounces) sweetened chestnut purée or homemade chestnut puree, 4 tablespoons (less or more to taste) confectioner sugar, 1 tablespoon dark rum, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons superfine sugar, long-stemmed maraschino cherries for garnish and hot chocolate sauce
Preparation: In a medium bowl, mix together chestnut puree, confectioner sugar and rum (when it is sweetened than don’t add extra sugar). Pass through a ricer or vercelli press to make this purée a fluffy dessert. Portion out into serving dishes, so that make layers, first the purée then the whipped cream and again purée and cream and so on. Finally pour over hot chocolate cream and top or layer with whipped cream (sweetened) and cherry, if using. Chill it. Before serving sprinkle purée lightly with rum.
Gundel pancake in three steps
This elegant and very delicious dessert’s origin goes back to the early 20 century when in 1910, Károly Gundel took over the Wampetics lease and operated the restaurant. His son János Gundel, who had learned the hospitality trade at other hotels and restaurants, took over the restaurant’s management. He created a dramatic and luxurious style that increased its popularity and brought him an international reputation. In 1939, the restaurant did the catering for the Hungarian contingent at 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. In 1949, the restaurant was nationalized and operated by state company Hungaria Hotels, but it was reopened by Americans Ronald S. Lauder and George Lang in 1992. One of Gundel’s signature dish is the Gundel pancake, a crepe with a filling made from rum, raisin, walnuts, lemon zest served with chocolate sauce.
Ingredients for 20 sweet pancakes, fried in advance
for the walnut filling:
150 g walnut
150 g raisin
150 g powdered sugar
200 ml cream
grated lemon rind
10 g vanilla sugar
100 ml rum, 1-2 tbs of flour
1. Ground the walnuts finely.
2. Soak the raisins in rum.
3. Cook walnut in the boiled cream under low temperature and wait until tickens. If not add 1 tablespoon of flour. But be carefull not let it burn.
Add raisins to cream with rum. Put aside until using.
For the chocolate sauce
Ingredients: 7 oz. bitter dark chocolate
2 tbsp. rum, 1 dl milk (optional)
Melt chocolate in a bowl (only before serving) over bain-marie or in the microvawe owen, add rum and milk. Mix well ingredients.
to serve Gundel pancake
1. Fill the hot pancakes with the walnut filling.
2. Poor the chocolate sauce over pancakes.
3. Flambé it with rum and serve it hot.
3 1/2 oz. raisins soaked in rum
3 1/2 oz. ground walnuts
for the sponge cake if you prepare but you can buy ready sponge cake as well:
6 tbsp. powdered sugar
3 1/2 oz. walnut
1 heaping tbsp. cocoa
1 1/2 cups milk
5 oz. sugar
1 tsp. ground lemon peel
1 tsp. ground orange peel
2 tbsp. rum
1 1/2 cups milk
1 whole vanilla stick
2 egg yolks
2 oz. powdered sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
bitter dark chocolate
2 tbsp. rum
1. To prepare the sponge cake, beat the egg yolks and sugar until stiff, add the flour, then the stiffly beaten egg whites. Combine. Divide the mixture in two. Mix the ground walnuts into one half and the cocoa into the other. Pour the mixes separately into a high baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake in a medium hot oven until ready. (the sponge cake should be done in about 12 minutes. To prevent the cake from collapsing, do not open the oven door.)
2. Boil the milk and the vanilla stick for 5 minutes, remove, add egg yolks, sugar, and the corn starch.
3. To prepare the rum syrup, cook the sugar in 1 cup milk, the lemon and orange peel for 15 minutes, then add rum.
4. Break the sponge cake into smaller pieces and combine. Place one layer of sponge cake in the bottom of a large glass or on a plate, sprinkle with the rum syrup, the ground walnuts, raisins, smooth some of the vanilla cream on top, then repeat the layers again.
Make sure that the top layer is a sponge cake. Sprinkle the top with cocoa, add whipped cream made from 1 cup heavy cream, and pour the chocolate syrup on top.