Erasmus Diary: How I discovered the Maultaschen, a special german dish

, by Florian Pileyre

Erasmus Diary: How I discovered the Maultaschen, a special german dish
Credit: Dr. Bernd Gross, Wikimedia Commons

As part of my Erasmus exchange, I spent 6 months in the beautiful city of Konstanz, in Baden-Wurtemberg, Germany. During this period I discovered the Lake of Konstanz, its small cities and villages, German culture and among it the Maultaschen, a typical German dish from Baden-Wurtemberg.

Erasmus exchange is often associated with parties in bars. As I was coming back from one of these nights of drinking in a bar with some new friends, or as the german called it “Bier Abend Feier” (an expression which deserves a full article), I was a little bit tipsy but even more hungry. On the way back, I met by chance one of my flatmates who had spent his evening doing the same activity as me earlier and who shared the same desire of eating. At the shared-flat, he surprised me with the proposition of cooking Maultaschen. I had never heard this word before but spent the following months with this word and its typical german spelling in my mind.. Without knowing what to expect I accepted, I was too hungry to refuse, and after all, Erasmus experiences are made for this, aren’t they?

My friend took two industrial giant raviolis-looking pieces out of the fridge, placed them in the pan and grilled them for a couple of minutes. Then he advised me to eat it with a white yogurt-cream before serving me Maultaschen. Tipsy or not, I took great pleasure in tasting this large German ravioli. Inside the Maultaschen the garniture is usually composed of a stuffing of spinach and meat. I later tried to do it again by myself, but it was not really a success. I found the Maultaschen quite difficult to grill in the pan because it is very big and the heart of the Maultaschen is still quite cold. My best advice is to try the Maultaschen in a typical German restaurant where it is made by hand. Traditionally this stuffed ravioli is served in a broth but nowadays it is also served in or with a salad, as a starter or as a main course. There are also several possibilities for garnishing it with other vegetables, onions or cheese au gratin.

According to the legend, the Maultaschen was created by Cistercian monks of the monastery of Maulbronn in Baden-Wurtemberg during the Middle-Age. The catholic religion prohibited them from eating meat during the period of Lent, so they would have invented a ravioli filled with a spinach filling that allowed the meat to be hidden.

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