Grüße, mein lieber Freund! Welcome back to another Dan-O-Myte recipe with Gram Gram’s German beef goulash and spaetzle. This is a dish Grandma Dan O used to whip for Dan all the time as a kid, and has remained a favorite in Dan’s family for generations. Tender, juicy beef with Spaetzle egg noodles give a savory meal that will leave you full, and satisfied while not breaking the bank. The secret ingredient is Dan-O’s Original, which gives the spaetzle a healthy dose of that Yum Yum Get Ya Sum!
Spaetzle, or Spätzle, is a type of European egg noodle that is commonly associated with the Swabia region of Germany. Its exact origins are contested, and while the dish is certainly older, the earliest written records have traced it back to the 18th century. Rosino Lentillo was a 1725 councilor and personal physician from Württemberg, and during his life wrote that “Spazen” and “Knöpflein” were made from flour. You see a common grain grown in the Swabian-Alemannic area during this time was Spelt. Spelt grew well in the poor soils of the region, and was affordable for cultivation with the often impoverished farmers. When the spelt was turned into flour, it was noted that it contained high levels of gluten, and that the dough could be made without eggs. This was convenient for the hardships many faced at the time, and led to Spaetzle becoming popular in the region. As time marched on, and industrialization began in the Münsinger Alb upland region, so did prosperity.
With prosperity came the next evolution of Spaetzle, transforming it from an everyday food to a culinary spectacle eaten on feast days. One written account of a Swabian farmers’ village in 1937 described spaetzle as a festive food. We can actually trace the importance of Spaetzle in Swabian cooking as far back as 1827 with the novel Die Geschichte von den Sieben Schwaben (The Story of the Seven Swabians). The novel mentions that it was custom in Swabia to eat 5 times a day, mostly soup but twice with Spaetzle or Knöpfle. To this day, Spaetzle is considered a Swabian speciality, and is generally associated with the German state of Baden-Württemberg. But it is also associated with France’s Alsace and Moselle regions. It’s estimated that Germany commercially produces 40,000 tons of Spaetzle every year.