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Fleischnacka is a traditional dish from the Alsace region of France. It is a savory pastry consisting of ground beef flavored with various herbs and rolled in noodle dough. After it is cooked, fleischnacka resembles a spiral. It is one of many dishes known as Alsatian cuisine and reflects the province’s Germanic roots.
Alsace is located in eastern France, adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. Prior to becoming part of France, the region was periodically under German rule. This cultural influence is seen throughout Alsace, including in the province’s cuisine. Many dishes, like fleischnacka, have obvious origins in non-French culture, which is evident in the etymology of their names.
The basis of a fleischnacka recipe is dough and beef. The beef is ground and seasoned with a variety of spices and herbs, according to preference, which often include nutmeg, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence. Herbes de provence are native to the area and are typically a mix of thyme, basil, and fennel. Eggs are also often added to the fleischnacka meat to hold the mixture together during the cooking process.
Dough for fleischnacka is simple and consists of flour, eggs, salt, and water. The dough is allowed to rise before the meat mixture is added. After the dough has risen, it is rolled until it is thin and into a rectangular shape, onto which the meat is spread. The dough is then rolled up and cut into thick slices. The slices are boiled in stock liquid, which sometimes contains white wine, for approximately 20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
This dish is one of many that are traditionally eaten in Alsace, many with Germanic influences. Baeckeoffe is one such meal, consisting of meat, potatoes and other vegetables baked in a pot. Large, soft pretzels, known as bretzels, and sauerkraut are common in Alsace and very Germanic in their origins. Tarte flambée, which resembles a thin-crust pizza, is known as flammekueche in Alsace and is often topped with onions, cream, and bacon. Other Alsatian dishes that are typically thought of as German fare include spaetzle, beer-based dishes, such as soup, and bredele, which are small cookies traditionally made around the holidays.
Beverages are another important part of Alsatian cuisine. Beer is quite popular, and Alsace is responsible for the production of most of the beers that originate in France. Wine, especially white wine, is also popular in Alsace. Rieslings and pinot blanc are common.