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A schupfnudel, or schupfnudeln in plural, is a type of rolled noodle. The dish is similar to dumplings, but is smaller in size and more closely resembles Italian gnocchi or pasta. It is common in southern Germany, as well as Austria.
People sometimes refer to schupfnudeln as finger noodles, or fingernudeln. This is because one shapes the noodles by hand with their fingers, and also because the finished noodles are roughly the size of fat fingers. Another name for the pasta-like food is bubespitzle, which translates literally to "boy penises."
Traditionally, a schupfnudel is made with rye or wheat flour, egg or potatoes. Basic spices like salt and pepper are in most recipes. Nutmeg also is a common seasoning. The exact spices used usually depend on other dishes the cook pairs with the finger noodles, however. The dish people serve most often with bubespitzle is sauerkraut, which is shredded sour cabbage.
Cooks who opt not to use sauerkraut with a schupfnudel recipe usually replace the sauerkraut with some kind of meat, often sausage. If a cook doesn't have any meat on hand, fried foods like fried onions are complimentary to schupfnudeln due to the final cooking process of the noodles.
To make finger noodles with potatoes, the potatoes are first boiled in water. After letting the potatoes cool, the cook peels the potatoes and either shreds them with a grater or mashes them with a potato masher. The next step is to add flour and the spices to the potatoes and knead the mixture until it is the consistency of bread dough.
Once the dough is ready, the cook rolls the dough into long strips, then cuts them into shorter strips and hand-shapes each one so the noodles taper at the end. The simplicity of this task and the fun of getting one's hands directly into the dough make schupfnudeln a perfect dish for children to help make.
When a cook has prepared the raw finger noodles, he cooks them in hot water until they float to the top. He removes each schupfnudel from the hot water and rinses them in cool water to stop the cooking action. Lastly, the cook fries the finger noodles in oil or butter, making the outside of every schupfnudel very lightly browned and crispy. Cooks usually blot the finished noodles with a towel or napkin before serving to eliminate extra oil or butter that remains from frying.
Schupfnudeln relies on a flour or potato mixture. It thus is a major source of carbohydrates at a meal. The frying process also makes finger noodles a very heavy and fulfilling dish.
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