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anzu

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Everything posted by anzu

  1. Apart from going wild on the foods that DH doesn't like all that much (Chinese sausage, zucchini, garbanzo beans - though not necessarily all combined into one meal), I tend to cook foods that are really labor intensive or time-consuming. This is on the principle that when serving it to anyone else - even a significan other - it will just be eaten without all the work put into it being appreciated (well, it may be appreciated as far as taste goes, but the hours worth of preparation will not be understood). Whereas eating it myself I know with every bite that it required step after step of preparation. Thinking about it, I'm probably enjoying the preparation more than the actual consumption. ETA, I adore Maggiethecat's line there about the usual unnatural acts with pasta and potatoes.
  2. Trying to re-visualize it in my head, I'd say that each pull is about 4-5 seconds to bring it out to a length where both arms are stretched out as far as you can take them. And it's usually shaken when pulling it out, though I have seen one instance (and one instance only) where the guy was not shaking the dough, but just pulling smoothly. What was the type of flour you were using on the second attempt?
  3. I cook frequently from Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish Food, I especially love the Sephardic section. Do you read French? If so, then Andree Zana-Murat's La Cuisine Juive Tunisienne. And my favorite: Mavis Hyman's Indian-Jewish Cooking. Many of the recipes in this book have become my staples.
  4. Finally got enough time to write a reply. Restaurants here seem to open and close at near-lightning speed. My favorite Thai, Vietnamese, and Turkish places have all closed recently, and I haven't yet found anywhere where the food was as good. In fact, the last few meals I've had have been downright awful. Because of the fast closure rate, I'll start off with a few rules of thumb instead of specific restaurant names: - Chinese is the ethnic cuisine most likely to be messed-up to the point of inedibility. Avoid it in general, as the chances are extremely high that you will be served over-cooked slop served in a sweet glue-ey sauce. Large numbers of Germans inside eating with signs of satisfaction are NOT an indication that the food will be any good. There is one definite exception to this in Berlin, I'll give the address below. - Thai cuisine is quite likely to be good. Vietnamese is also quite likely to be good. (There are significant numbers of Thais and Vietnamese living in Berlin). However, any restaurant - and there are many of them - that serves a mixture of cuisines e.g. Thai and Vietnamese food, Vietnamese and Chinese, etc. is almost certainly better avoided. - Italian can range from so-so to good. But no place that I've eaten at yet, here in Berlin, was even half as good as food actually eaten in Italy. (Icecream/gelato being an exception to this. ) - If seafood interests you, try visiting one of the many Portuguese restaurants. - There are quite a lot of restaurants serving food from the regions of former Yugoslavia. These, together with Greek cuisine, tend to be okay. However, probably catering to Geman tastes, they also tend to be awfully heavy on the meat, with not many other menu options. On to actual recommendations: BTW, when I know it, I've also listed closest train station (S-Bahn) or underground (U-Bahn). In addition, be warned that with Berlin street numbers, all numbers run consecutively along one side of the street, then consecutively along the other side. There is often a small sign hanging under the street sign with the numbers of the buildings in that block so, as long as the sign is actually there, this can be a useful guide to how close you are to your destination. Chinese food: Good Friends Address: Kantstrasse 30 (corner of Kantstrasse and Schlüterstrasse). Tel: 313 2659 S-Bahn: Savignyplatz Cambodian: Angkor Wat Address: Paulstrasse 22 Tel: 393 3922 S-Bahn: Bellevue (cross the foot-bridge, turn right and walk along the Spree up to Paulstrasse). Or alternatively, if coming from the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag area, this can also be reached by a nice 20-30 minute walk along the Spree past all the flashy new government buildings and - for part of the way - along the former course of the Wall. Vietnamese: 1) Monsieur Vuong Address: Alte Schönhauser Strasse 46 Tel: 308 72643 U-Bahn: Weinmeisterstrasse (or less than 10 minutes walk from S-Bahn: Hackescher Markt (gets good reviews, but I have not eaten here) 2) likely to be good: any of the Vietnamese restaurants along Kantstrasse, in the segment of road corresponding to S-Bahn station Charlottenburg and S-Bahn station Savignyplatz High concentration of ethnic restaurants : The stretch of Oranienburger Strasse between S-Bahn: Hackescher Markt and U-Bahn: Oranienburger Strasse. I cannot remember the name of even a single restaurant along this area. However, there are at least two Turkish restaurants (i.e. proper restaurants as opposed to Turkish fast food which is available pretty much everywhere), Indian, Kosher, and Thai restaurants. Turkish and Arab fast food: As Behemoth said, it is hard not to trip over a shawarma or döner kebap stand wherever you turn. Most are pretty good. They range from a hole in the wall, where you walk away trying not to drip yogurt sauce down yourself, to proper sit-down places with other Turkish or Arab food options. If a place has two spits of meat on the go at once, one of them will usually be turkey meat (Pute). A lot of places also sell lahmaçun (also labelled Türkische Pizza). I found the "pizza" name off-putting and their appearance rather lacklustre, and put off trying these for far too long. They taste far better than they look, and are worth trying. Many places also sell cheese or cheese-spinach börek. These come in 2 types: a thicker (oil-based?) pastry, and a flaky pastry (yufka) similar to filo but slightly thicker. I've found the yufka ones are better avoided. They look tempting, but have invariably been sitting too long and are soggy. I've been sucked in far too many times with these. A few places also sell gözleme. These are made to order, with the person behind the counter rolling out the pastry, adding your choice of about 10 fillings and cooking it on a brazier. There is sometimes a stall selling these among the stalls selling cruddy food and tourist stuff by the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, but more often than not it is not present. (S-Bahn and U-Bahn Zoologischer Garten or U-Bahn Kurfürstendamm.) Although Turkish or Arab fast food are readily available, I would still highly recommend the area near U-Bahn Turmstrasse (two stops from Zoologischer Garten). Go out the northern-most exit, then walk along Turmstrasse towards Beusselstrasse. Once past the city hall, i.e. from the intersection Turmstrasse/ Bremer Strasse you are in a region where about 80% of the population is non-German - mostly Turkish, Kurdish, and Lebanese. Fresh gözleme are available on Bremer Strasse, (about three shops in from Turmstrasse), there are countless places on and just off Turmstrasse selling shawarma and döner as well as other foods. There are also places selling Turkish sweets, Arab sweets (continue on Turmstrasse just past the intersection with Beusselstrasse, or turn right on to Beusselstrasse and look for the shop done up in the colors of the Lebanese flag). For fresh Turkish breads good enough to eat on their own, try the bakery on Turmstrasse just past the intersection between Turmstrasse/ Bremer Strasse. In particular, try their simit (sesame rings, labelled in German as Sesamringe), and açma (butter rings, labelled in German as Butterringe). There are actually several other regions (e.g. Wedding, Neukölln) with a very high non-German population that will have similar Turkish and Arab food offerings. However, those areas are almost certainly further away from the areas that you will probably be spending time in. Also, they can border onto areas that are, frankly speaking, a bit dodgy (especially after dark). The area I've mentioned is not so far away, and not dodgy.
  5. I just looked up Egyptian Cooking: A Practical Guide by Samia Abdennour (also American University in Cairo Press). Her tahina also has vinegar in it. So then I did a quick internet search for Egyptian tahina recipes. They all mentioned vinegar. Usually this was just a little vinegar, with the main souring agent being lemon juice. Most simply gave 'vinegar' as the ingredient with being more specific. But when a vinegar type was actually mentioned the most frequent was white vinegar, white wine vinegar appeared a few times, and red wine vinegar was mentioned once.
  6. anzu

    Storing Spices

    I also use a LOT of different spices. My kitchen is pretty minimalistic - everything was put together by me and my husband, and on the cheap. On one wall is an Ikea bookshelf, about 6 feet high, that's used for storing things in constant use. It's mostly spices. Almost all the spices are in square stackable tupperware containers about three or four inches on each side. Some are taller, and some are shorter. (I think I also bought these at Ikea, something like a set of 50 pieces for some insanely low price like six dollars?) that are stacked on top of one another. I've seen the same type of containers labelled as freezer containers. The shape and size of the containers means that they stack easily without toppling over, and the largeness of the containers means that it is easy to shove a spoon in there to get at the spices, it's easy to refill the containers when you buy fresh stuff (usually I buy loose stuff by weight, so it has to be refilled into some type of container anyway), and they are big enough to contain enough when it comes to the spices you go through at a really rapid pace. For spices that are not immediately recognizable by shape or color, I have a little label stuck on the front of the container. Because bookshelves tend not to be very deep, this works really well. I have one row of these stacks of containers at the back, and in front of them one single row of smaller containers of the stuff that gets used even more often. These don't come up high enough to obscure the labels of the containers at the back. Of course, in an ideal world, I would be storing the spices in glass or metal rather than plastic containers, but turnover is fast enough that I don't really think it makes a difference to the taste. I've seen people use the solution of having the spices in a drawer that you're thinking of. If your drawers are tall enough, try keeping the bottles upright in it and putting your own label on the top of the jars, you'll fit a lot more in that way, and somehow, it gives a neater overall effect.
  7. Well, you get this effect of the yolk oozing out with a Tunisian brik by placing your choice of cooked filling in warka (or substituting a spring roll wrapper), then cracking an egg into the center of the filling, folding over the wrapper or warka, and deep frying immediately. So surely similar principles could be applied for an egg roll and you'd get what you're aiming for?
  8. I only know what's available in Delhi (though I would be mighty surprised if you COULDN'T get sushi in Mumbai (i.e. Bombay)). In Delhi, you can get sushi at the Oberoi Hotel, located at Dr. Zakir Hussein Marg Also at the Shangri-La Hotel, in Ashoka Road I haven't eaten it. When I was living full time in Delhi, there was no sushi available. However: Each to their own, and all that, but it will be probably be very expensive compared to other Indian food options (you are also paying for novelty and snob value as well as mostly imported ingredients). IMO, even though you want to eat sushi all round the world, it would still not be particularly worthwhile in India as there is no 'Indian take' on it that I can think of, unless referring to probably a larger selection of vegetarian options to cater to the large number of vegetarians in India. Rice is imported, wasabi is imported, quite a lot of the fish would be imported. Heck, even MacDonalds in India will have more Indianized options than sushi will provide you. Or, if you really want an 'Indian take' on Asian food, go for Indian Chinese, such as for example 'chicken manchurian' or it's vegetarian counterpart 'gobi (cauliflower) manchurian'. But there is so much delicious food in India, with so many regional specialties, that to me it seems like a wasted opportunity - eating sushi means forgoing a meal that offers other dishes and ingredients you'd probably never get a chance to eat elsewhere. If I were just visiting India for the purposes of eating well, and without the family obligations etc. that make me stay in one place, I think I'd start in Tamil Nadu, in Chennai (i.e. Madras) then across to Kerala, and work (i.e. eat) my way up the coast to Goa... That would also be lots of rice, lots of seafood. No sushi. But that's just me (and just a dream, alas).
  9. Watching 'Tampopo' might give some ideas on combining the two...
  10. Bo is pronounced more like the boh ofyour transcription. Aim for the 'or' sound in a word like 'morning' and you'll be close.
  11. I think the conflicting information is due to there being slightly differing varieties, as well as the fact that they can be eaten as a green vegetable or as a dried bean. If I remember correctly - and don't eat the dried beans on the basis of what I'm saying without further checking - the green podded variety are okay to eat dried without further processing, whereas the purple podded variety have a greater concentration of toxin in the dried mature beans, and it is these which be processed before consumption. My understanding is that ALL the types can be eaten without qualms as a green vegetable. It is only when the pods are older and are mature that toxins are a concern in certain types. Hyacinth beans in the young, green vegetable stage are sold and eaten in India all the time (known in Hindi as sem, papri, papdi, or val/valor depending on region, type and transliteration conventions). I would actually go as far as to say that they are the most common type of green bean for sale in the markets (in Delhi at least). When most cookbooks in India talk about 'green beans' or 'broad beans' it is actually hyacinth beans they are referring to. So I can certainly chime in here and say that I've cooked and eaten it on plenty of occasions, and have lived to tell the tale. They are sold and eaten as a green vegetable when between one inch to about two and a half inches or three inches long. There's a picture of papdi/val here. Sem are a little flatter, and are slightly undulating. So, do the plants you grow look/sound like this?
  12. Actually, the type of sausage, what the sausage is made from, and whether it's eaten in a bun or alongside varies according to what part of Germany you are in. Some types of sausage that are commonly eaten at festivals and street markets are available only seasonally as well. The most delicious, IMO, comes from the Saarland region in southern Germany (just north of Lorraine). They're cooked on a Schwenker, a three-legged grill in which the grill plate can be raised or lowered over a bed of beech wood. The sausages are usually served in the bun, not alongside. These are street food (and smell so appetizing that it truly is difficult to walk past a place selling them when one is hungry). They are also widely sold at fairs. However, they are not just street food, but are probably also the most commonly cooked item on the barbecue (i.e. the Schwenker) in the Saarland (and the season to indulge in a backyard Schwenken starts as early and ends as late as the weather will allow). When not cooked on a Schwenker, most sausages in the Saarland are grilled on rollers, not boiled or steamed. Moving to Berlin brought with it the discovery that most of the sausage types available in the Saarland are unavailable here, and that - with the exception of some of the sausages at fairs - most sausages are indeed steamed or boiled here. This was definitely a culinary step backwards.
  13. There is an Indian sweet called patisa (also called soan papdi or soan halva) that uses slightly different ingredients to pismaniye, but yields a sweet with a very similar final taste, texture, and appearance. Given that the major difference between the two is in types of flour (the Indian one contains gramflour/besan/chickpea flour) and flavoring, my guess would be that probably the proportions and instructions for the Indian recipe could be applied to making pismaniye. Caveat here: I've never made patisa. In fact, I don't know anyone who's ever made it at home. However, there are quite a lot of recipes available for it floating around. One example is here.
  14. Chufi, unless I've remembered wrongly, you said somewhere that you have a copy of Penelope Casa's Delicioso (?) How about trying the rabbit with blackberries and brown sugar (p. 376). If rabbit is too expensive (and sometimes it can be!) or some of your guests might not like it, this can also be made with chicken. I actually prefer to use chicken thighs (with the skin on to get the best flavor) if I have guests because then serving it out is easy. This dish is roasted in the oven, and apart from pulling it out part way through to add the sauce onto the chicken pieces, it doesn't need last minute preparation. I know chicken doesn't necessarily sound too fancy, but I love this recipe. You are using blackberries, blackberry jam/preserves, paprika, cumin, wine, thyme, and a little wine vinegar for flavoring the chicken, so it gives all sorts of room to use these same flavours to play around with the accompaniments and other courses. For example, the blackberry or berry theme can be brought in all the way through from salad to dessert, whether in the form of actual blackberries, blackberry vinaigrette, as a last-minute topping on your pavlova, etc. You can reflect the cumin or paprika in side dishes such as cooked carrots or whatever else you feel like, and so on.
  15. Yup, (former) Mandarin teacher here. This would be taking it literally from Mandarin for 'boiled peanuts'. (I'm guessing that 'boiled' here would literally have been 'boiled in water', which is where you're getting the word water from). Nowadays I do technical translations from a couple of Asian languages, and occasionally my employers 'help' by giving me a machine translated version of the original text. The level of weirdness in those texts, of breaking the original words up in the wrong places, and of then choosing an inapproprate English translation for those words looks depressingly similar to both your translation and the menu in Ling's post. So I'd say that it almost certainly has been run through one of the poorer machine translation programs, and then never checked by anyone who knows any English. Incidentally, my absolute all-time favorite weird sign was the English on a packet of tea I bought once in China. Apart from allegedly curing gout, baldness, stomach upsets, syphilis, and what have you, it also was meant to cure 'hrrnk'. Hrrnk ?
  16. In the study cited, the turmeric and the substance derived from cruciferous vegetables were being injected, not orally ingested. So, based on that study alone, I would not start cooking and eating huge amounts of cauliflower, etc. with turmeric with the idea in mind that it would protect me from cancer. On the other hand, I would most certainly (continue to ) cook it and eat it because it tastes good.
  17. anzu

    Yams

    First off, poha is sometimes also labelled chivda, chiwa or aval. It's sold in Indian stores, and is rice that has been husked, parboiled, flattened into flakes by passed through rollers, then dried. It cooks extremely quickly. There is a picture here: poha. There is a Thai product that looks almost identical but has been tinted green. It has been flavored with pandan essence, and is not suitable for use in Indian savoury dishes. Sriracha is a type of Thai chili sauce. It can be relatively sweet and garlicy. There is a picture here. Watch out if you buy it, it can be terribly addicting. Now on to yams (deep breath): The term yams gets used to refer to so many different plants that I suspect there is still some confusion going on here. Arbi actually refers to taro (colocasia esculenta). These are usually quite short (5-6 cm long), with a brown skin that is sometimes smoother, sometimes shaggier. There is a Wikipedia picture and entry on them here. The taste is not particularly sweet IMO. There are many slightly different versions of taro plants, and they have differing amounts of oxalic acid. If you buy them from an Indian grocery store, be aware of the oxalic acid under the skin. Peeling them raw can cause skin irritation, in the form of redness and itching. It doesn't last all that long, but feels highly unpleasant. Boiling neutralises this, or wear gloves if you are going to peel them raw. The easiest way to deal with the irritation factor of taro is to first boil whole, then drain and DISCARD (due to the oxalic acid) the water used for boiling. The time required for boiling varies depending on size, but when not using a pressure cooker I usually boil them for about 20-25 minutes. Once boiled, they can easily be slipped out of their skins in pretty much the same way as peeling boiled potatoes. Then slice, etc. and use as the recipe directs. I haven't tried it, but I suspect that baking them would not give particularly good results. Personally I've found that the taro sold in Chinese and Japanese stores (Japanese name: sato-imo) seems to have less oxalic acid, and is therefore less likely to irritate the skin. However, erring on the side of caution is probably wise. "Yam" however, can also be used to refer to cassava (Manihot esculenta) This is also called manioc or yuca. Your description of long and thin with bark-like skin and sold in African shops makes me think that maybe it's these you are referring to. It is often around 30 cm (1 foot) long. There is a Wikipedia entry together with a picture here. There are a lot of really delicious sounding cassava recipes from South America, the Phillipines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc. I'm sure people here can suggest some particular favourite recipes if it does turn out to be cassava that you want to cook. Edited so what I've said makes more sense, and also to add, there are even more plants again termed 'yam', such as 'purple yam', 'elephant foot yam', etc. I haven't listed them here because they don't fit the description of what you have.
  18. Watch out for the Waechterbach! Pontormo and Curlz, I have these mugs, the bowls, a smaller plate, and a large rectangular salad plate not listed on that link. The color IS beautiful, and the proportions are nice. They also have black ones, and having a mix and match of both black and red is nice... BUT, before you buy them be warned of the following problems I've found with my own stuff: 1) the glaze is not really as good as it should be, nor does the material the pieces are made from seem to be quite durable enough. Due to the glaze, the pieces scratch very readily. It's easy to scratch them during washing, by stacking them up during storage, or even by scraping too hard with a fork or spoon. Due to the material, it is very easy to end up chipping the edges during normal handling. I've chipped one so far just through touching it lightly against the sink while washing. This was not dropping it, banging it hard, or anything. None of my other crockery would have chipped or broken from that treatment. 2) the material conducts heat VERY readily. You certainly can't put the mugs in the microwave to heat water in them - the handles heat up too much to be able to take out the mug (found this one out the hard way by burning my hand as I grasped the handle taking out of the microwave). Conductivity of heat is okay if you are not putting them in the microwave and simply pouring hot liquids into them. I don't think I just got unlucky and ended up with a few duds. Rather, I get the impression it's a problem with all of them. When major department stores here in Germany discount their tableware, this is frequently one of the items that gets discounted, and I suspect this is one reason. Also, they seem to end up disproportionally often in the bargain section due to scratches and chips. Being keen on the color, I've looked in the non-discounted section as well, and found that many of the pieces for sale at the regular price have nasty scratches in the glaze as well. And that's while still in the store and before they've suffered any of the wear and tear of use. So go ahead and buy (they're pretty enough that I don't regret having bought mine), but do be aware first of the possible shortcomings and the probable need for kid-glove treatment before you make the purchase.
  19. Quoting from that link: He's writing for people who are ready to consume raw potatoes?? What's next, raw eggplant? And yes, I know there's a thread somewhere here about people who are happy to eat raw potato, but it's still hardly mainstream...
  20. Yes, but unfortunately also sometimes no. I was living for about 2 years in a part of southern Germany where they had been mining coal intensively for several hundred years (and non-intensively for even longer). So it had been a center of coal mining and steel refining, most of which has now halted. The place looks clean and pure. It has the largest amount of wooded land of any part of Germany. But every year, come mushroom season, the newspapers are full of warnings not to gather too many mushrooms from the forest - all those years of mining and refining means that they are apparently loaded with heavy metals. In this case, at least, the plastic packaged stuff from the supermarket would actually be more wholesome.
  21. If your Chinese grocery stores don't have it (though I'm surprised they don't), Indian grocery stores might carry it.
  22. Just asking questions aloud here... - Something is 'wholesome' when it is meant to be 'good for you' due to a (perceived) lack of excess fat, lack of excess sugar, heck simply a lack of excess anything? - On top of that, it has to be within the (perceived) traditions of your culture? Taking the Cornish pasty example, the pastry is not really going to be all that healthy when taking the amount of fat required to make it into consideration, but then it's baked, so the fat is less obviously present - is it this that makes it 'wholesome'? Compare samosas: pastry outside, vegetable filling, so far it is surely as 'wholesome' as a Cornish pasty. But somehow the prep. method of deep frying them moves them out of the category considered 'wholesome'? Not sure - if fried properly - that they would actually contain any more fat than a Cornish pasty. (Having made 'fake' samosas the other day using shortcrust pastry using half ghee and half butter, and baking them in the oven, I'm actually wondering whether regular fried samosas might actually contain less fat). Re the lack of excess in general: let's say oatmeal is 'wholesome'. Does it stay 'wholesome' if you eat several large bowlfuls of it filled to the brim and are only with great difficulty able to waddle away from the breakfast table having completed your enormous meal? (a foodwise fairly traumatic stay at a friend's place during childhood comes to mind here). Re it being within your 'cultural traditions': is pho, for example, or bebimbap, or Chinese rice porridge categorized as 'wholesome'? If not, why on earth not?
  23. People who bake more often than I do will probably come up with better information, but anyway... If you're looking for fresh yeast, pretty much every supermarket has it in the refrgerator cabinets. It's very often near the milk, and frequently on the top or second to top shelf. The packets are often not labelled clearly, but they are usually fairly small silver foil packets - about 1 inch square (though I may be remembering this wrongly), and are also very cheap. If you can't see it readily, look along the price tags and the cheapest item along there may well be the yeast. I know Edeka and even Lidl carry fresh yeast for sure (haven't tried the Lidl one), and I think I've seen it in Karstadt too. I know I've seen Valrhona in Karstadt. The really small branches DON'T have it (that I have seen) but the larger branches do. You know how Karstadt usually has a separate section, away from the main food section, specializing in chocolates, cookies, etc. Whereas cooking chocolate is in the main food section, the Valrhona was always stocked in the chocolate and cookie section and stocked close to the counter - presumably to minimize the chances of people stealing the more pricy items (??) Qualifier: it's been about a year since I last bought any Valrhona, so it is conceivable that they're not stocking it any longer.
  24. Thanks so much for the discussion upthread about artichoke stems! I didn't think I was totally ignorant about food and I hate waste - I'm one of those people who cooks cauliflower leaves, plantain peels (well, sometimes), radish leaves, etc. - yet somehow the fact that artichoke stems are also edible had totally passed me by. I can't believe I've been wasting something not just edible but also delicious. Marlena, I'm having so much fun reading your blog. The only hard part about it is to actually keep sitting and reading it, as it so much makes me want to abandon all other activities in favor of racing into the kitchen to start cooking something...or popping down the street to buy some fresh simit...or booking a flight to Greece... Swisskaese: if you're reading this. Ever since you mentioned dates stuffed with minced lamb the concept has been preying on my mind. I even have minced lamb in the freezer and dates in the cupboard. What ideas for spicing did you have in mind? I think I'm going to have to cook this. Other people's ideas for spicing are also welcome, of course!
  25. Marlena, traditional German cuisine has quite a lot of these (though not as many as the UK, I think). I get the impression that they have gradually been declining in popularity and used to be far more widespread in the past than they are now. Older cookbooks, for example, tend to assume that everyone has a pudding basin with fitted cover. Recipes include steamed puddings raised with yeast, and puddings based on leftover bread that has first been soaked in milk to soften, or has been grated into breadcrumbs. Out of curiosity I've tried out a couple of these bread steamed puddings where the ingredients tended towards more stereotypically German breads: one used rye bread, and the other pumpernickel. (Both tasted a but too strongly of rye bread for to want to make them again). Many incorporate the fruits that tend to be most plentiful here in spring and summer, such as cherries, apples, and plums (Zwetschgen), though there are others with chocolate, dried fruits, etc. One book I looked at briefly in a bookstore about traditional food in Hamburg claimed that steamed puddings were introduced via British sailors going ashore in Hamburg. I'm far from expert, but there was no source given for the claim, and it sounded somewhat unlikely to me. It doesn't seem to jibe with the fact that in the past transport was difficult and relatively uncommon for common folk, and yet steamed puddings were apparently enjoying wide popularity over the length and breadth of German-speaking areas. Nor does it account for the huge popularity of both sweet and savoury boiled dumplings particularly in the southern part of Germany and across the Austro-Hungarian empire.
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