Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia

One-hour videotape documentary produced by Prairie Public Television, and North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, ND, copyright 2000.

Documentary available at the following Germans from Russia Heritage Collection website:

Selig, Barbara. "Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia." German Life, February/March, 2002, 46.

Rezensionen - Reviews - Videos

Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia continues the story of Russia-German immigrants begun in The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie (see the December/January 2000/2001 issue of German Life), this time highlighting the contributions of women in the preservation of their cultural heritage and indeed their very survival. As the German people migrated from their homeland to Russia in the 18th century and to the United States and Canada a century later, the women managed to maintain an important aspect of their culture, namely their ways of preparing food.

In the cold and often forbidding lands of Russia, as well as on the American and Canadian plains, the women had to use what was at hand, often only flour, eggs, water, and salt, to create a myriad of delicious foods that prove the truth of the saying that for the Russia-Germans "food is love." One particularly touching testimony of this spirit shown in the video is the story of a mother who fashioned Easter birds for her children from a simple dough. Her now-elderly daughter shows us how.

This video teaches the uninitiated viewer how to make other dishes such as cheese buttons, spiced watermelon syrup bread, Fleischküchle, and watermelon pickles. Younger women are still learning the traditions though they are utilizing the conveniences of a modern kitchen. In an age of homogeneity, especially in the area of food, it is a delight to know that German ethnic foods are still flourishing. It makes the viewer, even those who were raised on different fare, want to get in a car, drive to the prairie and experience for himself or herself a Kuchen, some Knöpfla soup or, better yet, some wedding schnapps!

Some recipes come with the video and others can be obtained at the website:

To purchase a copy of the video call 1-800-359-6900 or visit the Prairie Public website at: Mahlzeit!

Reprinted with permission of German Life.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller