Czech Culture, Food, and Family: The Case of the Missing Knedliky or One More Colossal Knedlíky!
If you read our recent posts on The Czech ‘King’: The Colossal Knedlíky, you know how much we all love knedlíky, its history, and variety here at Onward To Our Past® Genealogy & History Services Company!
If you missed our most recent posts on knedlíky, you can click here for the first one and click here for the second. You can also read the entire story in pdf by clicking here.
We had a wonderful time researching, writing about, and taste-testing the Colossal Knedlíky! But best of all when we write an article is what we like to call here real world field review! What we mean by this is when our readers comment to us about our articles, take note of any errors they find, omissions, differences of opinion (as long as they are civil), and the very best, when they make suggestions!
This just recently happened with our knedlíky articles and we couldn’t be happier as a result.
We love all the comments, especially those from readers who often harkened back to their youth and the times knedlíky paid an important role in family gatherings, holidays, birthdays, etc. Plus those who said they hadn’t made a dumpling in far too long and were heading out to try them again. These really warm our hearts!
This time however, it was an omission/suggestion note in an email that really caught our eye and was a huge help in our quest to be as complete and accurate in our Czech work as we possibly can.
The email came from Dr. Haldis Haukanes, Professor of Health Promotion and Development, at the University of Bergen, in Norway. Professor Haukanes had read our work on knedlíky as an outcome of our early communications with her regarding her engaging paper, “Ambivalent Traditions: Transforming Gender Symbols and Food Practices in the Czech Republic”, published in the journal Anthropology of East Europe Review, in 2003, and her 2007 paper, “Sharing food, sharing taste? Consumption practices, gender relations, and individuality in Czech families”, published in the journal, Anthropology of Food. If you have not read these papers, we encourage you to do so as they provide a marvelous look at the changing scene in Czech families today, especially when it comes to food – and of course our colossal knedlíky is mentioned. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Haukanes you can read her 2003 paper on our site simply by clicking here!
While being complimentary about our work, Dr. Haukanes brought to our attention a significant oversight in our article. In our terminology of knedlíky work we had missed an entire type of very important, and historic, knedlíky! So what was it that we missed?
Dr. Haukanes kindly suggested we take some time and familiarize ourselves with chlupaté knedlíky!
As you might imagine, when a person with the credentials of Dr. Haukanes suggests something to enhance our work we take it seriously! Especially since none of us in the office were familiar with chlupaté knedlíky, nor had any of our other readers caught our oversight.
And so it began!
First stop of course was a good, old Google® search. The vast majority of the search results for chlupaté knedlíky were simply recipes, in Czech. We could tell these were for a wide variety of take-offs on this food, many of which, by the foods added, we could tell were quite modern. Not what we were looking for at all.
We did, however, discover its nickname in English, which seems to be either ‘fuzzy’ or ‘hairy’ dumplings. Not particularly appetizing as far as nicknames go, but we followed up anyway and once again found dozens of recipes, but again all different and what seemed to be modern adaptations to this food. We wanted more authentic so we could truly understand our missing knedlíky!
So we began to research further and called Dr. Haukanes back as well. Guess where she happened to be? She just happened to be in the Czech Republic at the time. We couldn’t believe our luck!
Upon Dr. Haukanes’ return she informed us that she had spent some of her time asking about chlupaté knedlíky. She reported that to actually be called ‘chlupaté’ they must include raw potato. Otherwise they just don’t qualify!
This pricked our interest even more in this elusive chlupaté knedlíky and we were off to find a recipe we could say was more traditional than many of those we saw online and in newer recipe books.
Tomorrow we continue and complete our search for the elusive chlupaté knedlíky and bring you a traditional family recipe, in English, straight from the Czech Republic!
Onward To Our Past®