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The Krauts are Hungary’s Germanic people, their ethnic traditions, including the food is distinct and yet part of Hungary’s heritage. There are Hungarian ultra nationalists that would disagree with this statement, but I would send them to my Sváb aunt down to Siklós to ask her if she thinks she was a Hungarian or not. I have a feeling they would sure get a good talking to, Ugyan már miket beszélsz össze fiam? – she would say. True she is my aunt by marriage, but a few years ago when my brothers assembled our family tree, I noticed quite a few Germanic names among my blood relations going back a few hundred years. I have Slav, Székely and probably Jewish blood flowing in my veins and I embrace them all. These days I am thankful to God for bringing me to Canada, where I fit in with so much comfort. And as much as my ultra nationalist relatives prefer to overlook, our family is not only Magyar, we are in fact descendents of several ethnic cultures as I suspect most people in current day Hungary are.

OK, before I begin to cry, I should move on to the strudli. As the name says it, strudli is a Sváb or Kraut dish, and throughout Hungary where pockets of Sváb groups live, they hold annual strudli festivals. Naturally, there are many recipes and each one is authentic to the person who makes it. The fillings can be savoury, mostly potato or cabbage and sometimes sweet with a túró or jam filling. Since I just made jam a couple of days ago, I made a jam strudli. For potato filling I have a recipe here and for túró I have a similar sweet ricotta filling here.

Strudli Dough:
1-1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup 14% sour cream
sprinkling of salt

filling of choice [I used jam]
1 l vegetable oil for deep frying [approximate amount]

• If you fill the strudli with potatoes, make the potato filling first.
• The túró filling can be prepared while the strudli dough rests.
• Combine the strudli dough ingredients and kneed until very, very elastic. A beater with a dough hook attachment makes this a breeze.
• Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
• On a well floured board roll out the dough to 2 mm thickness. The dough will be sticky, so keep flouring the rolling pin and make sure the dough is not sticking to the board.
• Cut the rolled out dough into 3X3 inch squares with a pizza cutter.
• Place 1 tsp of filling in the middle.
• Fold the dough over and press around the edges to seal the dough. Take care with the jam filled packets so they won’t open up during frying.
• Place vegetable oil in a pot. The oil should come up 1-1/2 inch in the pot. The amount of oil will vary depending on the size of the pot you use.
• Heat up the oil for deep frying and one by one slide 4-5 strudli into the oil.
• Gently flip strudli over with a fork and be mindful not to puncture the dough.
• When the first batch of strudli looks as if almost ready to come out of the oil, one by one slide in a few more strudli and then quickly scoop out the finished strudli with a large slotted spoon. Add a couple of more strudli to the oil and continue frying in this fashion until all the strudli is fried. The reason for this is if you take out all the strudli, the oil will heat up too high and by the time, you slide in the next batch it will just burn.
• Place the golden fried strudli on paper towels and serve.


  1. How rich your family origins are, Zsuzsa! I feel so stupid but the word "Svàb" has always made me think of Germany... (Schwaben is a German region, isn't it?). I already know Székely from the delicious Székely Gulyàs I have made from your recipe :-)
    Anyway these sweet treats look delicious, like a cross between doughnuts and the thinly rolled, crunchy deep-fried sweets called bugnes in French, faworki in Polish and which I'm sure exist in Hungarian cuisine too. If it wasn't so hot, I would try them with turo (I have some Polish fresh cheese now in the fridge).

  2. Zsuzsa, when I visited in Hungary in the late 90's my cousin from Budapest took me to a beautiful shop that had such gorgeous Herend, and other creative handmade ceramics, that was mad by the Schwabs. A friend of mine who's background is Schwab (Jewish) on his mother's side told me some interesting stories about how his family was transported from Germany (as farm workers)to work on the lands of the rich barons in Hungary, as did most of the Swhwabs did (hardworking farm workers) This man gets so infuriated every time this subject is being discussed, which is at least 200 years ago, and does not want to be called Hungarian for this reason what his family went thruough~

    You have a rich heritage, as a proud Hungarian, and so do I! My mother's family is all Székely from Marosvásárhely (with Jewish heritage) and on my father's side, Portuguese and Italian, but he was born in Hungary, and so was his father. He always claimed to be a proud Hungarian.
    I'm getting off the subject here, which is your amazing, light, and delicious little strudli. I love the different fillings, especially the jam fillings:D
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sissi you are correct, Svábföld is Baden-würtenberg province in Germany and the first Germanik people who relocated to Hungary were the sváb, [sváb is Schwabenin in German]. Later more came from other German provinces, Germany used to be little kingdoms, but the sváb name stuck and now all Germanik people are referred to as sváb. German Jews came too, but Jews were in small numbers. It is interesting that Elisabeth’s mother had a Székely and a Jewish origin. Székely is an ancient historically privilidged group of Magyars, but of course there were always Jews living among them and hence the Székely and Jewish combination probably through intermarriage.

    Elisabeth, I am a less proud Hungarian these days, the news out of Hungary is very disturbing, racism had a resurgence and I cry after I put down the telephone. Talking to my relatives leaves me very, very sad at times. In times of economic stress people tend to blame the minorities, so now they blame the jews, the gypsies and they blame the gays. I have seen it in the news, on TV, on the Internet and I heard my relatives talking trash. Very sad. What is wrong with the Magyar? My daughter thinks it’s karma... could nations have a collective karma? Why do Magyars hate people who are different? Sometimes I think this thousand years of opression was for a reason, could it be that Hungarians just don’t want anything if it is not forced on them? Why do they turn on each other? What difference does it make where your ancestors came from? Why do they think the magyar is better than anyone else? History keeps battering them relentlessly and there is no end in sight. I don’t know....I cry for my impoverished beautiful homeland and for the hate they have for those among them who are different. I am never going back.

  4. My Mom's family was from Oroszlány and My father's family was from Budapest; both with very Germanic names.
    I don't think my Mom made this type of Strudli, most of her Strudli's were made with Phylo pastry, and she always made a savoury one of cabbage (which until I became an adult, I never understood its draw, but I would give anything to enjoy one today).

  5. That sounds to me like rétes [strudel] and not strudli. I noticed some Germanic and Slavic sites refer to rétes as strudli, strudl, or strudle, but in fact they are not the same pastry.

    Homemade rétes or strudel is made from pulled dough paper thin, so thin you can see through it. Hence the wide use of filo pastry and let's face it, Hungarian filo is much better than North American filo. The other difference is, strudel is baked in the oven. I have a recipe on my blog for homemade pulled strudel. You will recognize your mom's strudel in the picture.

    Strudli is lesser known. Just google strudli fesztivál, you will see it is the same deep fried pastry as I have here.

  6. Thanks for the clarification, ZsuZsa. Since my mother's passing, I haven't anyone to speak Hungarian to. I'm going to have to brush up because we're off to visit Budapest in September!

  7. Thank you so much for the history lesson. I realise now how few things I know about Hungary... I know that communism is not guilty of everything, but I have realised that any totalitarian or repressive system makes people intolerant and this is what I observe in other post-communist countries. Of course looking for a scapegoat is easy too (it happens recently in Western Europe too, with employees from the London city at whom people spit thinking they are the ones to blame for the crisis and for their situation...).
    I will now remember not to mix up strudel and strudli ;-)

  8. Eva do you ever watch Hungarian television on the Internet? Plus there are full length movies on YouTube. Once you are in Budapest, all you need is a few days to pick it up even if you havn't used the language for years.

  9. Yes Sissi, I am aware there is racial tension in Europe and Hungary is not the only place with this problem. Sigh.

  10. Hello Zsuzsa
    Hungary is the last place where there is racism. The Magyars after all were founded by seven tribes were they not? Over the centuries there has been such a mingling of cultures, it's hard to imagine there is any racial purity on that land. My own background is Zsekely on my father's side, and Slav / British on my mother's.
    Sadly, human beings haven't lost their herding instincts, and as such are an easy target to manipulate towards racism when times are hard. Hungarians had great expectations after the demise of communism. The dissapointment leaves them vulnerable.

  11. You are so right Laszlo. Is there a pure Magyar? Many misguided ones would like to think so. During the Bosnian conflict I used to think that the much hated Trianon, where they divided up half of Hungary could have been the saving grace of Hungary in that they escaped the civil war. Shrunken to half the size still there is no peace. Magyar is against magyar and every trouble is blamed on the minorities. The Roma was always mistreated and the Jews were the historical scapegoats in Europe. Add to that the hatred against the gays now and Magyarorszag is becoming not a very attractive place for me. I don't want to be among people who hate. The only reason I left it was for love, now I can't go back for the lack of it. I will just keep making my own turo and live out the rest of my life in this adopted blessed place we call Canada.

  12. I'm sorry that you have become so disillusioned with the old country. Unfortunately what you describe isn't jus a local phenomenon. It is worldwide, wherever there is poverty, unemployment, and wide social disparity. You can see signs of it everywhere, including Canada. It is human nature to look for scapegoats when other solutions appear unobtainable. It's sad, specially for those who are the direct targets of these misguided attacks. The best we can hope for is that the proponents remain in a minority around the world.

  13. You are right Laszlo, but there are degrees of hate and I have to admit my disillusionment in part is personal and I recognize that too can cloud judgement.

  14. I understand you perfectly Zsuzsa, and I'm not trying to downplay the significance of what you said, but perhaps to alleviate your obvious pain.

  15. You are a good friend Laszlo. Thank you. :-)

  16. One last thing on prejudice. There is a DVD available from the libraries in BC titled: Zeitergeist. It was never released to theaters, but has a high rating amongs viewers. The whole movie might bore you as it is concerned with the economic conditions, but the first part has a segment on the origins of all religions. Facts theologians all know, but would rather not spread around, to preserve the system. General knowledge of this would go far to eliminate prejudice.

  17. I will check this out Laszlo. I am an avid fan and user of the local library. I order books and movies on line all the time. If they don't have this locally they will bring it in with an interlibrary loan. Thanks.




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