(Swabian diminutive of Spatz, thus literally "little sparrow", also Spätzli or Chnöpfli in
Switzerland or Knöpfle or Hungarian nokedli) are a type of egg noodle of soft texture
found in the cuisine of Germany and of Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Alsace and South Tyrol.
The geographic origin of spätzle is not precisely known; various regions claim to be the originators of this noodle. Written mention of Spätzle has been found in documents dating from 1725, although medieval illustrations are believed to place this noodle at an even earlier date.
Today, in Europe spätzle are largely considered a "Swabian speciality" and are generally associated with the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. The leading German producer is Herrman, which produces approximately 13,000 tons per year.
The estimated annual commercial production of spätzle in Germany is approximately 40,000 tons, which does not include spätzle made by individual households and restaurants. Pre-made spätzle are also available internationally from companies such as Maggi, a division of Nestlé.
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