German week is upon us once again at Aldi. It’s that special time that comes twice a year — once in the spring and once again in the fall — when Aldi sells a range of products that are made in Germany or are inspired by German or European cuisine. Aldi is a grocery store that began in Germany, so it’s always a treat to get a taste of the grocer’s origins.
You might find some of the following products during German week at Aldi:
- Beef schnitzel
- Pork schnitzel
- Chicken schnitzel
- German strawberry and Black Forest cream cakes
- German cherry chocolate chip, triple chocolate mousse, and marzipan mousse luxury cakes
- Fruits of the forest and caramel apple strudel
- German cabbage blend
- German potato blend
- Potato sticks
- Cherry and apple frangipane tarts
- Donauwelle and bienenstich indulgent cakes
- Jaffa cakes
- Savory strudel
- Peanut puffs
This week, I picked up some knöpfli at Aldi. You may ask: what is knöpfli?
If you’ve shopped during German week at Aldi in the past, you’re probably familiar with späetzle, which is a dumpling-noodle type of dish that goes well with a variety of sauces or as a side dish to entrees such as schnitzel.
Knöpfli is pretty much just späetzle in a different shape. Späetzle are longer in shape because they’re traditionally made by slicing dough with a knife on a cutting board. On the other hand, knöpfli (which means “little buttons”) are made by pressing the dough through the holes in a special sieve, resulting in small round noodle-dumplings. Knöpfli is popular in Switzerland, Germany, and other parts of Central Europe.
The Aldi knöpfli comes in two flavors at the time when I bought it: cheese truffle and lemony greens. The cheese truffle knöpfli features knöpfli with cheddar cheese and a sauce with truffle (1%), and the lemony greens knöpfli features knöpfli and kale with parmesan cheese and lemon sauce.
Deutsche Küche Cheese Truffle Knöpfli and Deutsche Küche Lemony Greens Knöpfli are Aldi Finds, which means they’re only in stores for a short time. Each store receives one shipment, and after that sells out, they’re gone unless Aldi decides to bring them back during another German week at a later point. Aldi does not offer online ordering for products not currently in stock at your local store.
This knöpfli cost $5.49 for an 18-ounce package at the time of publication. That comes out to about 31 cents per ounce. With about four 1-cup servings per package, that’s about $1.37 per serving.
This is a product of France. (Yes, not everything in the Deutsche Küche line is German-made. Some of it is more generally European.)
If you’re watching out for allergens, both flavors contain milk, wheat, and egg.
The packages have directions for heating this from frozen on the stovetop or in the microwave.
To heat on the stove, open the bag and pour the frozen contents into a warm skillet. Cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly. Let stand for 1-2 minutes before serving.
To microwave, open the bag and pour the frozen contents into a microwave-safe dish. Cook on high (900 watts) for 7 minutes. Stir, then cook on high for 3 additional minutes. Stir before serving.
I chose to heat both of these in my microwave. They came out hot and ready to serve in the time advertised.
Keep reading for more information about each flavor.
Deutsche Küche Cheese Truffle Knöpfli:
This has plenty of cheese flavor, and when I stirred it partway through cooking in the microwave, some stringy bits of cheese even stuck to the spoon. It also has a definite mushroom or truffle flavor. It wasn’t my family’s favorite flavor (not even among the biggest mushroom fans), but we still ate quite a bit of this when I served it with dinner. While it has a mushroom flavor, that flavor comes from seasonings and there are not any noticeable pieces or chunks of mushrooms in this. The black specks appear to be pepper or other spices.
The knöpfli dumplings have an irregular rounded shape and a satisfying chewy, soft texture. I might like this shape better than späetzle. It’s fun to eat.
Ingredients include knöpfli pasta, water, cheddar cheese, semi-skimmed milk, black truffle flavoring olive oil, onion, vegetable oils, half and half, sugar, broken white summer truffle, modified cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, black pepper, xanthan gum, and cayenne pepper.
This has some fat, sodium, and carbs. A 1-cup serving has 250 calories, 13 grams of total fat (17% DV), 5 grams of saturated fat (25% DV), 65 mg of cholesterol (22% DV), 760 mg of sodium (33% DV), 26 grams of total carbohydrates (9% DV), 1 gram of dietary fiber (4% DV), 3 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of added sugars (4% DV), and 8 grams of protein.
Deutsche Küche Lemony Greens Knöpfli:
This flavor did not sound appetizing to me, but several of us really liked this. One family member said it tastes a bit like pesto pasta with the greens and cheese flavors. It does even contain some basil, which is a staple of pesto. The sauce is definitely not the same as pesto, but it is similar. The “lemony” notes are not that strong and actually work really well in this dish. The kale can be a bit chewy in places. Otherwise, this is good, and again, I like these noodle shapes.
Ingredients include knöpfli pasta, water, kale, semi-skimmed milk, parmesan cheese, sunflower oil, lemon juice, butter, modified cornstarch, sunflower seeds, salt, garlic, basil, lemon peel, white pepper, and xanthan gum.
This also has some fat, sodium, and carbs. A 1-cup serving has 190 calories, 7 grams of total fat (9% DV), 2.5 grams of saturated fat (13% DV), 60 mg of cholesterol (20% DV), 690 mg of sodium (30% DV), 24 grams of total carbohydrates (9% DV), 1 gram of dietary fiber (4% DV), 2 grams of total sugars, no added sugars, and 6 grams of protein.
Deutsche Küche Cheese Truffle Knöpfli and Deutsche Küche Lemony Greens Knöpfli feature noodle-dumplings that are made with the same type of dough used to make späetzle. The difference is that knöpfli comes in small round-ish shapes while späetzle features longer noodle-like shapes.
We liked the lemony greens flavor the best because it reminds us somewhat of a pesto sauce. The cheese truffle flavor wasn’t our favorite, even amongst the mushroom fans in our family, but it’s not bad. If you enjoy European cuisine, these are worth trying.