Maultaschen are a type of large Swabian ravioli, a typical dish in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, Germany. There are many stories as to the origin of the dish but one of the most interesting alleges that maultaschen were created by monks as a way of hiding the fact that they were eating meat during Lent. The traditional filling of maultaschen is a mix of ground meat (usually beef or pork) and spinach. The use of spinach in the mixture helped “disguise” the meat from God, which was then further disguised by being wrapped in a layer of pasta. As a result of this folklore, sometimes you might find maultaschen called by the alternative name herrgottsbescheißerle, or “God’s little cheaters.”
Like many dishes that have been around for centuries, the recipe for maultaschen has evolved and been personalized over the years. In addition to spinach and meat, maultaschen filling often includes onions and nutmeg, but you can find them made with many different types of filling. The way maultaschen are served also varies, the most common preparations are as maultaschen geröstet, cut into slices and pan-roasted with scrambled eggs, maultaschen in der brühe, cooked and served in broth as a soup or geschmälzt maultaschen, pan-fried and topped with zwiebelschmälze (caramelized onion) and usually accompanied by potato salad. While we woudln’t hesitate to order maultaschen, no matter what the serving style or fillings, the classic geschmälzt maultaschen is our favorite variety.