Unesco World Heritage Site

Maulbronn Monastery

Exterior of lay refectory at Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

JAKOB'S MAULTASCHEN

To avoid wasting a precious piece of meat during Lent, the resourceful Maulbronn lay monk, Jakob, hid it in dumplings. The Maulbronn dumpling ("Nudeltasche"), made out of pasta dough, was later abbreviated and called a "Maultasche" and has since become a favorite Swabian dish.

Interior of monks' refectory at Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Were the Maultaschen created here?

A PRECIOUS FIND

It was near the end of Lent when lay brother Jakob, on his way home from collecting sticks, unexpectedly came upon a nice cut of meat: A fleeing thief had dropped his sack right at Jakob's feet. Once back at the monastery, he discovered the tasty contents. It is forbidden for monks to eat meat during Lent however Jakob could not bear to waste the precious piece of meat. But how could he preserve it before it spoiled?

WELL PACKAGED

After pondering this problem for several days, the perfect idea came to him while he was preparing the Maundy Thursday meal. He chopped up the meat and mixed it into some vegetables. He was still plagued with guilt, so he hid the mixture in a small pocket of dough. That way, he was able to hide the meat from the eyes of God as well as his brothers. And so he served the hearty meal as Lenten food. This is why Maultaschen are colloquially known as "Herrgottsb’scheißerle" ("small God cheaters").

Visitors in the monks' refectory at Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

The monks' impressive dining hall is open to tours.

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