National Apple Strudel Day on June 17 has given us an excuse to indulge ourselves with the sweet treat. Apple strudel is a Viennese dessert made from thinly rolled out dough sheets, apples, sugar, and an assortment of spices. The world-famous dish is enjoyed as both a breakfast item as well as a dessert at night. It is also paired with coffee and tea for evening snack time. It can be accompanied by a generous dollop of whipping cream or a dusting of icing sugar/cinnamon. While ‘Apfelstrudel,’ as it is called in Austrian, is a sweet dish, it can also be savory when the apple is replaced with spinach, cabbage, or other vegetables and herbs. The word ‘strudel’ comes from German, and it means whirlpool or an eddy.
History of National Apple Strudel Day
While the origins of the first National Apple Strudel Day remain unclear, the origins of the dish itself are also somewhat unclear. Many believe that apple strudel is a German dish, but many others consider it Austrian—some going as far as saying that apple strudel is the national dish of the country. The first written record of dessert exists at ‘Wienbibliothek im Rathaus,’ which is the Vienna Town Hall Library, from 1697. It was during the Austro-Hungarian reign of the eighteenth century in Austria that the dessert really took off with the masses. Yet, the famous apple strudel, according to many scholars, may have originated in Greece or Turkey.
Through historical records, it is believed that apple strudel’s popularity in Europe was the direct result of growing globalization. Trade routes and international travels trace the earliest records of strudel to an Assyrian manuscript from the eighth century B.C. In these papers, the dish is described as a full meal made of puff pastry layers with honey and nuts. The Mesopotamian kingdoms and the extensive usage of the Silk Road ensured the arrival of the sweet strudel to Greece and Turkey. For Greece, the inspiration led to the creation of ‘güllaç,’ which is a cornstarch pastry with the goodness of pomegranate, rose water, milk, and nuts. On the other hand, the Turkish came up with ‘baklava,’ which is a multilayered pastry sweet of a variety of nuts like pistachio and peanuts that have been roasted and cooked in a sugary syrup. Both the dishes today are enjoyed in Ramadan, which is the fasting month for Muslims. Coming back to our equally beloved apple strudel, the dough for the treat is made by repeatedly flogging the dough against a tabletop. As layers start forming, each of the layers is filled with spiced apple slices and nuts. In the traditional recipe, the prepared strudel is shaped into a swirl into the baking container. It is baked until the dough is completely cooked and takes on a golden shade.
National Apple Strudel Day timeline
An Assyrian script shows the first records of thinly rolled and multiple layered doughs.
The Turkish phyllo dough is used with the ‘crazy dough’ from England in a multiple layered dough recipe, giving it a unique texture and look.
The first recorded instance of an apple strudel recipe is found in an Austrian cookbook kept at Wienbibliothek im Rathaus.
Anna Dorn pens and publishes a detailed recipe for apple strudel in the “Great Viennese” cookbook.
National Apple Strudel Day FAQs
What is the difference between apple pie and apple strudel?
Apple pie could have a more doughy texture, whereas apple strudel can have a flaky texture.
Is Apple Strudel German or Austrian?
Whether Apple Strudel has German origins or Austrian remains conflicted, but that’s okay as long as the dish is enjoyed to its fullest!
How long does strudel last?
At room temperature, apple strudel remains fresh for up to two days. If covered and refrigerated, it can be stored for an additional three days.
How To Celebrate National Apple Strudel Day
Eat an apple strudel
Welcome the day by eating an apple strudel for breakfast, but do not stop there. You can have an apple strudel for your evening snack or as a dessert after dinner. Whether you enjoy it with cream, or ice cream, or icing sugar, or just as it is, having an apple strudel will never be a wrong idea.
Make an apple strudel
There’s a lot of technique involved in making an apple strudel. You have to pound the dough to give it the texture. But if you are not in the mood to work those biceps, don’t fret because you can just buy some ready-made pastry dough for the strudel. Choose your choice of favorite fillings to go along with your apple slices, and you are good to go.
Share with family and friends
Double the joy by sharing the treat with your friends and family. You can invite them over or have a party virtually. Whatever you choose to do, it is going to be fun because apple strudel is involved.
5 Facts About Apples That Will Blow Your Mind
Crabapple is true American
The crabapple is the only variety of apples that is native to North America.
Four to five years to savor an apple
If you want to plant an apple tree in your backyard to enjoy the fruit, you will have to wait for four to five years because that is the amount of time apple trees take to produce their first batch of apples.
Humans have been eating apples since 6500 B.C.
Archeologists discovered that humans have been harvesting, consuming, and enjoying apples since 6500 B.C.
Apples great fiber source
The apple fruit does not contain any fat or sodium, and it is a good source of fiber.
Ripen apples at room temperature
If you wish to ripen your apples, you should do so at room temperature because they ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than in the refrigerator.
Why We Love National Apple Strudel Day
It’s a celebration of apple strudel
Apple strudel is a sweet treat enjoyed by many all over the world. It has traveled over the continents and over time to come to us in the shape of the recipe we enjoy today. Due to its versatile nature, you can enjoy it at any time of the day without feeling guilty.
It’s a celebration of cultures
The many varieties of strudel today showcase the traditions of different cultures. Whether you like your strudel sweet and fruity, or you like nutty, or you like it plain simple and savory, there’s something for everyone here.
It’s a celebration of food experience
Food not only sustains us, but it is also a life experience that must be enjoyed to the fullest. The distinct textures and tastes paired with the wafting aromas that pull a person towards the food are, at the core of it, what makes food an experience to live through.
National Apple Strudel Day dates