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Lentil stew with lamb

As a stew , filling soups are generally referred to, often of rural origin, which are used as a complete meal. Typical main ingredients are legumes such as peas , beans or lentils , vegetables such as cabbage , turnips , carrots or potatoes , and also cereal products such as barley , bread or pasta , cooked in water or broth . Depending on the recipe and option, there are also leeks , celery and onions , meat , sausage or bacon (these are often cured or smoked ). The different cooking times of the various ingredients are taken into account during preparation.

Dishes that are prepared in a pot are very old and widespread worldwide. In German usage, however, only those dishes are called stews that have a low proportion of liquid, i.e. not pure stews. Well-known stew dishes are, for example, pea soup , lentil stew , Pichelsteiner , Gaisburger Marsch , turnip stew , kettle goulash , cholent .

International names for stew dishes are stew pot , chowder , casserole , olla podrida , Irish stew , husepot , hotpot , pot-au-feu , cassoulet , puchero and cocido .

Concept history

The cooking technique of preparing a complete meal from different ingredients in a single pot used to be widespread, especially in northern Germany and even as far as East Prussia , due to the fact that the low German hall house common there had an open fireplace for a long time and not a closed stove . Only a kettle could be hung over the open fire . Dishes made from vegetables, potatoes and meat cooked together used to be regionally referred to as “mess”, as there was no other expression for it. "So although well into the 19th and 20th centuries, what was cooked together was part of everyday nutrition in the countryside and in the city, the general term stew is missing."

The invention of the pea sausage as food for the German army in the Franco-German War was the introduction of the stew to the military. Since 1910 and during the First World War , the so-called goulash cannon replaced the larger field kitchens that had previously been used in the German army . But while the relevant dictionaries on the language of the soldiers of that time use the expression goulash cannon and a synonym pea cabbage , the word stew does not appear in it. The Rumford soup was also a stew, but was not referred to as such.

Both “stew” and the much more frequently used term “stew” were recreated during the First World War. Home economics teachers and administrative officials have been promoting these dishes since 1915 as part of the mass meals in war kitchens . Stews required fewer cookware and made extensive use of all food resources possible. The acceptance of the “stews”, however, varied. They were consumed without complaint in north, central and south-west Germany, but they met with considerable reservations in Berlin, and especially in Bavaria. The highly fluctuating quality since 1917 meant that the term “stew” barely made its way into culinary literature after the end of the war. The evidence focuses on poor and emergency meals, especially during the period of inflation, on stews in student canteens, and in the educational efforts of home economics. The term has been gaining importance again since the beginning of the global economic crisis - and is then ideologically reloaded by the National Socialists.

In the 1920s, agrarian-romantic ideas became popular in the youth movement . “In literature and the bourgeois local art movement , too , eating from a bowl becomes a community topos . [...] The individualization, which is culturally objectified for everyone in their own plate, thus becomes the fall of man in the process of civilization . With the one pot in which the same thing is cooked for everyone, the symptom is supposed to revise the matter. "

According to the sources, the German word Eintopf for soups prepared in a pot and used as a main meal was first coined in the early 20th century. Older cookbooks don't know the term. In the Duden , the first entry for stew is included in the 1934 edition; it does not appear in older editions. However, its use is occasionally documented for the period before 1933.

Public stew for the benefit of the Nazi winter relief organization , 1938

The term stew was popularized by the National Socialists and used ideologically . The National Socialists gave the everyday court a symbolically exaggerated meaning and brought it into connection with the concept of the national community . Stew Sunday was introduced in 1933 . All citizens were asked to replace the usual meat dish with a stew on one Sunday a month and to make the money saved in this way available to the Winterhilfswerk (WHW).

According to folklorist Konrad Köstlin , the popularization of the term during the Nazi era was based on certain bourgeois ideas of the 19th century, which viewed the term home-style cooking as a contrast to the allegedly over-refined French cuisine and placed this simple food in a positive context with the German " People's character ”brought. "In the thoroughly democratic folk festival theory of the beginning of the 19th century, the idea of ​​a common and equal meal is formulated several times, through which social differences should be abolished in favor of national commonality."

Cultural history

Cooking different ingredients together and combining meat and vegetables in one pot is probably one of the oldest known cooking techniques and is therefore thousands of years old. This cooking technique is known in all cultures. Outside of Germany, the consistency for the conceptual classification as “ one-pot-dish ” does not matter, in German these dishes are sometimes called differently.

Examples of historical stew dishes are the cereal porridge of the Roman gladiators , which in addition to barley gruel also contained broad beans, a mixed dish of cereals, vegetables and meat of the Germanic peoples and the hominy of North American Indians and later of the early settlers, that made of crushed corn , beans and meat or fish duration.

The three-legged Dutch oven is a special pot for cooking over an open fire without a kettle . Such pots are known in various cultures. In the Arab world, the entire kitchen equipment used to consist of a fireplace with a three-legged cooking vessel above it, which was located in the house or in the courtyard. The same was true of the kitchens of the lower classes in ancient Rome and Greece. Other examples are the North African tagine or the Sač in some Balkan countries .

A modification of cooking in a cooking vessel is the development of multi-tiered pots with inserts, as they are often used in Arabic and Chinese cuisine . Vegetables are braised in the lower part of the pot , while rice or couscous is cooked at the same time using the steam in the perforated attachment above . In China, the stew made in this way is called keng . The Japanese cuisine has the generic term Nabemono for dishes that are completely cooked in a pot or a pan. One of the most popular stews of this type is shabu shabu . The typical curry dishes of Indian cuisine can also be described as stews or ragout . Also pilaf is a stew-like dish.


Web links

Commons : Stews  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Eintopf  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Konrad Köstlin: The stew of the Germans. What is cooked together as cult food , in: Utz Jeggle (Ed.): Tübinger Contributions to Folk Culture, Tübingen 1986, pp. 220–241.
  2. Konrad Köstlin The German stew. The cooked together as cult food , in: Utz Jeggle (Hrsg.): Tübingen contributions to folk culture. (Studies by the Ludwig Uhland Institute at the University of Tübingen; vol. 69). Tübingen Association for Folklore, Tübingen 1986, ISBN 3-925340-51-3 , p. 223.
  3. Uwe Spiekermann: Is stew a Nazi word? ,
  4. Konrad Köstlin: The stew of the Germans. The cooked together as cult food , in: Utz Jeggle (Hrsg.): Tübingen contributions to folk culture. (Studies by the Ludwig Uhland Institute at the University of Tübingen; vol. 69). Tübingen Association for Folklore, Tübingen 1986, ISBN 3-925340-51-3 , p. 229 f.
  5. Official information from the Duden editorial team in March 2009.
  6. ↑ Concise dictionary of welfare, 1929
  7. ^ Karl Kraus: The last days of humanity , 1927.
  8. Konrad Köstlin: The stew of the Germans. The cooked together as cult food , in: Utz Jeggle (Hrsg.): Tübingen contributions to folk culture. (Studies by the Ludwig Uhland Institute at the University of Tübingen; vol. 69). Tübingen Association for Folklore, Tübingen 1986, ISBN 3-925340-51-3 , p. 224.
  9. a b c Gert von Paczensky / Anna Dünnebier, Full pots, empty pots. The cultural history of eating and drinking, Munich 1994, p. 35 ff.
  10. ^ Alan Davidson, The Oxford Companion to Food, New York 1999, article One-pot-cookery .