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We often have strudel for a vegetarian lunch option. Today's strudel was Ratatouille Strudel. What is strudel and what are the nutritional facts?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Strudel isn't a single dish, it is a family of dishes.

I think that the origin is actually from the Otoman empire, the Austrohungarians appropriated the dish when they shared a border (but don't have a source handy). It is still very popular on the Balkans. (Older fiction translations there don't say anything about "meat pies", they always talk of "meat strudels").

A strudel is defined by its dough. It is like laminated pastry without the laminating. The dough is made from a very simple recipe, often only just flour and water. It has no leavening at all. It is rolled out like pizza dough, but much longer, until the whole sheet is transparent (maybe 1/3 mm thick). You may hear that this is phylo dough, but in the West, I've only seen phylo sheets which were thicker than that, and they were dried.

The sheet is then filled with anything you want to have in it. In Germany, sweet kinds made with apple or cherries are most popular. On the Balkans, you have the sweet ones too, but it is more popular with pumpkin, almost never cherry. There are also savoury kinds there, especially with spinach or with a mixture of eggs and feta. But as you see with your Ratatouille, you can put practically any filling in it.

A thickish strip of filling is put on the sheet of dough, and it is rolled like a very large crepe (a sheet can reach 80 cm in diameter). The filled dough sheets can be laid in a rectangular pan parallel to each other, but it is more traditional to form a spiral from the first one and place it in the middle of a round pan, then add to the spiral with the second one, etc. Therefore the word "strudel", which means "maelstrom". It is baked, and it is cut along the radii of the spiral for serving.

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I can't give you any nutritional information on strudel, because there isn't that much dough in it. The majority of calories will come from the filling, and I have no idea what was in yours. It won't be possible to define it even for the ratatouille itself, because there are lots of variations for that, too.

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A strudel is a type of German pastry where a filling (usually sweet, but can be savory) is wrapped in (puff) pastry. Nutritional facts greatly depend on the type of filling and the type of pastry used. This recipe has the breakdown for a version of ratatouille strudel, but your strudel might have different values.

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It's not puff pastry. It's sort of similar, but not the same. – Mike Baranczak Apr 21 '11 at 18:24
hence the parenthesis... I've seen it with both (although I suppose technically it's not a proper strudel in that case). – Korneel Bouman Apr 21 '11 at 18:27

From what I know, strudel is from Hungary. There are different types of strudel, but my mother usually prepare apple strudel at home by mixing flour in her big and noisy Magimix 4200.Then she peels the apple, cuts it into pieces, and rolls the dough around the apple's slices. Well done strudel is just like a pastry.

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