German Club Celebrates with Apfelstrudel

Posted on December 11, 2013 by

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A few weeks ago, Fleetwood’s German Club decided to bake apple strudel as a way to experience some German culture. The club also made sugar cookies while the strudel was baking.

“The German club baked apfelstrudel, the German word for apple strudel, to learn about the German culture to enrich the curriculum. Traditionally German people use seasonal fruit in their baked goods.  In the fall, apples are a good fruit to use. The club plans to try baking again in the spring and to use seasonal fruits since the strudel can be made with any fruit,” German teacher Christine Moll said.

The history of apple strudel dates back hundreds of years.  It was made to be an easy and tasty meal for poor people of the community. The name strudel comes from the German word “whirlpool” because the rolled version looks like a whirlpool.

This dessert is often connected with Austrian cuisine; it is also connected to the former area known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

“The German baking was a fun experience. It was fun making the apple strudel and sugar cookies,” senior Rachel Looker, who is the president of the German club, said.

“It was a group effort that required everyone’s cooperation. Everyone pitched in and made it a fun, tasty time,” senior Ian Grafe, who is the secretary of the German club, said.

Fleetwood’s German club also attended the Leiderkranz on 5 November.

Before the American Civil War, German American heritage was at an all-time high. German Americans had singing groups formed to help keep German music and culture booming.

“The name of the organization that we went to was called Reading Leiderkranz, and the event was called The Due Evening of German; it’s for any German class. They also had a dance group there called GTV Edelweiss,” Moll said.

In 1847, a group of twenty-five men formed a singing group in hopes of preserving German heritage. The group’s name was called Deutscher Leiderkranz der Stadt New York.

“First they served us dinner, which had sausage and other German foods.  After dinner, they gave us an oral presentation of the dance group and costumes.  Then the GTV Edelweiss group performed for us. And then there was a little dance competition. Alex [Kitxis] and Nicole [Spanier] won the competition, and then everybody danced,” Moll said.

“First we went around in circles, and then the boys went into the center as the girls went around us. Then the boys smacked the girl’s thighs, and then we picked the girls up for a bit. There were eight teams, and, at the end, the announcer said the last three won. My dance partner was Nicole Spanier, also a sophomore, and we were one of the final three groups,” sophomore Alex Kitixis said.

After the Civil War, German culture grew rapidly, and, to this day, there are Leiderkranz societies throughout the country.

“The food was good, and the dancing was fun.  We danced a lot. The people were beautiful, and the outfits were gorgeous,” junior Mike Wamsher said.

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