Fastnachts Anyone?

Well, I have said before that almost all Amish can be considered Pennsylvania Dutch (I say almost because the Swiss Amish might beg to differ), but absolutely not all PA Dutch are Amish.  This distinction becomes important when talking about a tradition like Fastnachts, a Fat Tuesday treat in some regions.  While a fastnacht really doesn't seem to differ that much from a doughnut or the lard cakes in last week's Amish Cook column, the  Fat Tuesday tradition doesn't hold significance in the Amish community which does not observe Lenten customs.  But all across Pennsylvania today, Fastnachts are being served.  I loved this article that describes one woman's annual fastnachts foray, the piece just really focused on the "generational connections" such culinary treats can carry. For instance, the woman in the article using the same stainless steel bowl for mixing that her grandmother once used.  I love these tender traditions that sadly seem to be disappearing slowly.  Click here to read more.

Re: Fastnachts Anyone?

Actually, the word "fastnachts" for baked goods is a typical example of language "degrading in transport".
"Fastnacht" is the German word for Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday or however you call it. "fast" stands for fasting, "nacht" for night.
In most regions here traditionally some sort of crullers or doughnuts, baked in hot fat are served. But they are called "Fasnachtsküchle" ("küchle - dialect for 'little cake') or "Fastnachtskrapfen".

Re: Fastnachts Anyone?


Interesting article as a Kansan I have never heard of Fastnacts

linda .


Re: Fastnachts Anyone?

oops! I noticed the misspelling after I posted. Liberal and Olney England compete each year on "Fat Tuesday" and Liberal came on top with beating the running time of Olney England again this year.

paulaayn's picture

Re: Fastnachts Anyone?

I usually make fastnachts before Lent starts.  But this year we've all come down with a cold and I just feel to yucky.  I do it more for the tradition, not to rid the house of leaven.  We don't really keep Lent with food, I usually give up something instead.  This year is Coke -wish me luck.

Re: Fastnachts Anyone?

Oh, gosh, Paula....good luck, let me know how the "Coke fast" turns out....Unfortunately, I love my cold Coke in the morning...I wish I didn't:(  I CAN give up my morning can of Coke....I just don't like to....

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