German Russian Food Translations

Connie Dahlke, e-mail message to Milt Ost, 14 December 2009.

Hi Milt,

My Ger-Rus family homesteaded in Logan Cnty, N. Dakota, and my mother was born in Napoleon, ND.

Actually, I should have said my great-great-grandfather (Christian Kessler b. 1829 Gluckstal) barely could write his name. My great-grandfather (Joseph Rott b. 1852 Gluckstal) did a little better at his handwriting, and had benefited from the improvements in education in South Russia after 1865. In 1919 Joseph Rott sold his homestead farm out on the flat in Logan Cnty to the Johannes Spitzer family. Bert Spitzer still lives on the property, the last I heard. Joseph and Christina Rott lived in Napoleon until 1936, then they moved to Lodi, California. That same year, my grandparents (Gilbert and Martha (Rott) Ringering) moved to Oregon, taking their daughter (my mother - Verna Ringering (now Tillotson) with them. My mother was nine years old at the time.

Regarding the terms you mentioned:

Blatchinda is also spelled Blachinda, Plachinda, Platchenda, Platchinta, Blachinde, Blagenda, Bladginda, Plachenden.  Alfred Opp, who was born in Bessarabia, said they spelled it "Platschenta" in reference to "Platchta" or blanket. These, of course are rounds of (pie) pastry dough filled with a pumpkin/sugar/cinnamon mixture or even a fried onion mixture, the pastry is folded shut and edges crimped, and these are baked in the oven.

Halupsi are cabbage rolls, stuffed with an onion/meat(sometimes rice) mixture, covered with a tomato sauce and baked in the oven. They are also called Holubzi, Krautwickel, Holubtsi, Halupsy, Halupsie, Golubtsy, Galuschje, Holishkes, Galooptchy - Rose Marie Gueldner spends nearly six pages in her "German Food and Folkways" cookbook explaining how to make them, and the variations of fillings and sauces that can be used. In Bessarabia, Holubzi were also called Hulupzi or even Kaluschken.

Schwarta maga - or Deutscher Schwartenmagen - also known as Schweine Suelze. It is a type of sausage made from the pig's head, snout, ears, sometimes the brains, feet and any scrap parts. It is similar to Kaladez (see below), only the cooked, ground meat was poured into a cleaned pig's stomach, or a crock or pan to cool and gel. It was served thinly sliced with bread, or fried and eaten as a breakfast meat.

Dampf Nudla or Dampfnudle, Dampfnudlen, Dampfnudelen, Dampfnudeln, Dampf Nudele, are "steamed rolls" or "dumplings."  It seems that any type of dough dish could be called "nudla." Dampfnudla are generally baked in a covered dish or cooked in a covered kettle over very low heat. These are made from a yeast dough, rolled thin, spread with a little oil, rolled up like a cinnamon roll, cut into pieces about 1" long, and placed in a covered pan in which some onions and garlic have been fried, then a little water is added before the Nudla are placed in the pan. These are cooked until brown on the bottom and served hot with a meal. Sometimes they are cooked on top of a stew (then they are generally called "Strudla." There is also a sweet version of Dampfnudeln that is cooked in a sugar-syrup and served with a sweet vanilla sauce.

Kase Knoepfla are "Cheese Buttons" - these are stuffed (noodle) dough pockets -- noodle dough that is rolled into sheets and stuffed with a cheese mixture, much like manicotti. Or they can be made individually with the noodle dough rolled thinly, cut into 3"- 4" squares, stuffed, folded over and edges sealed. These are then boiled in broth. These are also called Kaeseknepfla, Kaesknoepfle, Kaese Knoepfla (sorry, AOL won't put in the umlaut!) and also Perogies or Pyrogies.

Kaladyetz is known as Kaladez or head-cheese. The broth used to boil the parts of the pig such as head, ears, feet was saved, and the meat from the cooked parts was ground finely. Then a shallow pan was lined with slices of boiled eggs, cooked carrots and parsley. The ground meat was spread over the first layer, and the broth from cooking the meat was poured over all. When cold, this became an aspic, or jellied dish that was then inverted onto the serving platter so that the eggs, carrots, etc. decorated the top of the meat (head-cheese).

Kuchen, of course, means "cake" or "dessert." But in German-Russian terminology it means a custard-filled pastry made in a pie pan. The Volga Germans made a pastry dough much like a cookie dough, rolled it out and lined the pie pan, covered it with fruit, then custard, or left out the fruit and used the custard and then a streusel topping before baking. Often they put a little anise into the custard. The Black Sea Germans tended to use a yeast-raised pastry dough, roll it into a thin round, line the pie pan, cover the dough with sliced fresh or dried fruit, or even onions and sugar, then cover with a custard (often cooked), sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon and bake the Kuchen in the oven.

Stirrum or Stierum or Stirum or Stirom means "chopped pancakes." The pancake batter is stirred as it fries until it cooks up similar to scrambled eggs. This takes a lot of oil to keep it from sticking! I prefer to fry the batter as a thin pancake, turn it over, then chop it up. Often raisins are included in the batter. The pieces are generally served sprinkled with powdered sugar mixed with a little cinnamon, or sometimes plain Stierum was served with a lettuce and cream salad as a light supper. The raisin variety is known as Kaiserschmarrn.

Go to  and click on the left tab labeled "Foods and Recipes." This will take you to a page with links to cookbook titles (the cookbook descriptions list many of the recipes in each cookbook), recipes you can print, and other food-related links. The Recipe Search link is also on that page.


Connie Dahlke

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