strudel n : thin sheet of filled dough rolled and baked
- For the typographical character nicknamed 'strudel', see @.
A strudel or a stroodle is a type of pastry that originated in the Habsburg Empire. It is most often associated with Austrian cuisine, but is also traditional in the whole area formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian empire (for example, in Hungary known as Rétes, in Slovenia as štrudelj and Slovakia known as štrúdľa or závin). The best-known kinds are Apfelstrudel (with apple) and Topfenstrudel (with Topfen soft cheese), while others include Weichselstrudel (sour cherry strudel) and Mohnstrudel (poppy seed strudel); there are also savoury strudels incorporating spinach, sauerkraut and so on.
Strudel pastry is very elastic. It is made from flour with a high gluten content, little fat (butter) and no sugar. The pastry is rolled out and stretched very thinly over the back of the hand. Purists say it should be so thin that a newspaper can be read through it. The tale is told that the Emperor's cook decreed that it should be possible to read a love letter through it. Then the pastry is laid out on a tea towel and filled. Then it is rolled with the help of the towel and baked in an oven.
Traditional strudel pastry is different from strudels served in other parts of the world that are often made from filo or puff pastry. It probably had its origins in Turkic peoples or Middle Eastern pastries (see baklava), and is related to Balkan Burek.
The American company Pillsbury markets a version of strudel called Toaster Strudels. These are somewhat similar to Pop Tarts.
In 2003, the strudel was named an official pastry of Texas (along with the sopaipilla).
ReferencesGundel's Hungarian Cookbook Gundel, Corvina, Budapest 1996
strudel in Bavarian: Strudl
strudel in Bulgarian: Щрудел
strudel in German: Strudel (Küche)
strudel in Spanish: strudel
strudel in Persian: استرودل
strudel in Italian: Strudel
strudel in Hebrew: שטרודל
strudel in Hungarian: Rétes
strudel in Polish: strudel
strudel in Portuguese: Apfelstrudel
strudel in Russian: Штрудель
strudel in Swedish: Strudel