Before I moved to a southern German region (the locals call it Schwabenlaendle), I had heard a lot about the “strange character” of the locals – Schwaben. According to the opinion of most of our friends and family, the Schwaben should be a special group of Germans with quite a difficult character.
They are supposed to be grasping and the nerd – prototypes among all Germans. It should be almost impossible for someone from other German regions to integrate into the circle of the Schwaben. So, you can imagine how difficult it could be for someone from another country!
I have to admit that I was not very motivated to move to this “strange” region with “weird” people, because everything I had heard sounded quite scary for me. Will the almost “embarrassing” orderliness of the Schwaben get on my nerves very soon? Will I feel comfortable in our new hometown? Can we soon make friends with the Schwaben? Will my Asian appearance rather be a barrier for getting in contact with the locals? So many questions in my head!
At the same time all this uncertainty was also an exciting attraction to me. I was really excited about this new experience with the “weird” Schwaben!
Well, half a year has passed. How was my multi-cultural encounter (Chinese-German-Schwaben) with the locals? I guess, all non-Schwaben will be disappointed by reading this. Because I can really only say positive things about our new Schwaben friends.
They are simply a bunch of open minded and friendly people! Be it my husband who comes from another German region called Pfalz or me as a Chinese, we both have been accepted and taken to their hearts by the lovely Schwaben.
Within a short time we have already built up a warm friendship with the locals, who are said to be really hard-working. To be completely honest, being hard-working is not a drawback, isn’t it?
On the contrary, no hard work, no economic miracle! No wonder this region is one of the richest in Germany. Probably because I am Chinese and at this point Chinese are very similar to the Schwaben.
Conculsion: We simply feel totally happy in our new hometown!
Also in the kitchen I have made “friendship” with the Schwaben Cuisine. Especially with the famous spaetzle – the almost holy pasta of the Schwaben. Sometimes I have the impression that the Schwaben can not survive a single day without their favorite noodles. It would not work even if you put them into a rehab center.
After I have scraped this pasta and have cooked it myself for a few times, I can now understand very well the obsession of Schwaben with their spaetzle. They are totally delicious! (Even though I really can not appreciate their most favorite combination of spaetzle with lentils and Saiten (i.e. sausages in the Schwaben dialect).
The way of preparing spaetzle reminds me of a special type of pasta from my hometown in Sichuan, which is scraped with a sharp knife directly into the boiling water. Perhaps this is also the reason why I fell in love with spaetzle in a short time.
For my version of spaetzle I take freshly squeezed carrot juice to give the pasta a beautiful yellow color and a slightly sweet note. The noodles were stir fried in a wok with a homemade Chinese sacha sauce. So, there we go with the first culinary intercultural encounter of a Chinese girl with Schwaben Cuisine!
It was an absolutely delicious encounter!
Ingredients (4 servings):
For the spaetzle dough:
1 tsp salt
1/8 l carrot juice
For the sacha sauce:
120g sacha paste (a paste made from fish and shrimps, available in Asia Shop )
3 cloves of garlic
100g oyster sauce (Asia Shop)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
30ml rice wine
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt and pepper
For the prawns:
400g king prawns (peeled, disemboweled)
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
- For the dough: Sift the flour and place in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, salt and water to stir everything to a viscous dough. Stir until the dough begins to get bubbles. Thus, air is being beaten into the dough and the noodles will be mellow.
- Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
- Boil water in a big pot, add salt.
- Put one small portion of the dough on a wooden board (if possible a spaetzle board, it is slightly sloped at the top), scrape the dough thinly with a spatula directly into the boiling water. Be careful not to scrape too thick.
- When the noodles float to the surface, they are done. Take them out of the water and mix with a little oil, put covered into the preheated oven at 60 degrees to keep warm .
For Sacha Sauce: Squeeze garlic cloves with a garlic press. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl.
- Rinse the praws with cold water and dry with a paper towels.
- Add half of the prepared sacha sauce and marinate the shrimps for 30 minutes.
- Give the oil into a wok or a pan and stir fry the prawns on each side for about 1 minute. Remove from pan and keep warm in a warm oven.
- Stir fry the pasta with the remaining sacha sauce and add the prawns, stir fry briefly.
- Serve with shortly blanched crunchy snow peas or broad beans.