We just returned from a restaurant that served "dumplings" in a cheese sauce. This was an Italian restaurant. My wife didn't like them. They were the size of baby carrots, or baby meat wieners. She had expected the baseball sized ones. But the worst according to her was that they were what she called "patzig", which in this context means mushy and sticky.

Does anyone know what would cause this? My wife says its probably from over cooking.

  • Welcome! The "why were they this way?" is a fine cooking question, if you can describe them clearly, but asking why they'd be that way while you have this unknown word in your question makes it hard for people to answer. It looks like "patzig" means "snotty" - does that seem like an accurate translation to you and/or your wife? When applied to dumplings, perhaps very soft, gooey, kinda melding a bit with the sauce?
    – Cascabel
    Oct 9, 2017 at 2:37
  • Knaidel in Yiddish or German is a dumpling
    – mroll
    Oct 9, 2017 at 2:52
  • Knödel (or Knoedel) is German for dumpling.
    – Robert
    Oct 9, 2017 at 2:58
  • 1
    Where those potato or bread dumplings? Also... an Italian restaurant serving German-style "Knödel"? What where they called on the menu, tiny Knödel in an Italian restaurant sounds bizarre to me!
    – Layna
    Oct 9, 2017 at 5:59
  • 3
    Are you sure the restaurant didn't serve some variation of gnocchi, but using an unfortunate translation as Knödel?
    – rumtscho
    Oct 9, 2017 at 6:43

1 Answer 1


The international dumpling clan is a quite diverse family:

They come in a lot of sizes, from tiny, bite-sized gnocchi to huge, family-sized serviettenknödel and are made from a wide range of bases, like ricotta, potatoes, stale bread, breadcrumbs...

If you were in an Italian restaurant, you probably were served some member of the gnocchi family - and your description of size and shape supports that. Now gnocchi can be very light and airy, but they quickly turn sticky and mushy, both from overworking the dough and overcooking, from undercooking („raw“ centers), sometimes also because they were prepared in advance an not cooled/stored/reheated in an optimal way. And some types are a per se a bit denser than others.

Without seeing and tasting the food you were served, it’s basically impossible to fully explain what happened and whether they were within the usual acceptable range or not.

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