Helmut's Strudel

"You’re the Apfelstrudel of mein eye."
-Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)


A strudel is a type of sweet or savory layered pastry with a filling inside. The history of strudel dates back for hundreds of years, it was made as an easy yet satisfying meal by the poor. The name Strudel comes from the German word for "whirlpool" or "eddy". The rolled version of the pastry looks like the inside of a whirlpool.

Strudel is most often associated with Austrian cuisine, but is also a traditional pastry in the area formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Strudel gained popularity in the 18th century through the Habsburg Empire (1278-1780). In these countries, apple strudel is the most widely known. Apple strudel is considered to be the national dish of Austria, and is the official state pastry of Texas. The Viennese are the ones who made this dish famous with their delicate, thin layers of dough and sweet, tart apple filling.

It was the Turkish Baklava pastry, introduced into Austria in 1453 that laid the foundation for strudel. Gradually strudels with different fillings were created. The oldest strudel recipe is for a milk-cream strudel. It was handwritten in 1696 and the original can be found at the Viennese City Library.

From 1800 onwards many types of strudels were created. These include apple strudel, almond strudel, semolina strudel, rice strudel, quark strudel, milk-cream-strudel, grape strudel, poppy strudel, nut strudel, cabbage strudel, meat strudel, damson strudel, cherry strudel, pear strudel, apricot strudel, ham strudel, coffee strudel, Parmesan strudel, roll strudel, mushroom strudel, herb strudel, and cinnamon strudel.