Schneeballen: Rottenburg Snowball Pastries
A Schneeballen – or “snowball” in English – is a pastry made from shortcrust pastry especially popular in the area of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Its name derives from its round, ball-like shape with a diameter of about eight to ten centimeters and is traditionally decorated with confectioner’s sugar. The main ingredients are flour, eggs, sugar, butter, cream, and plum schnaps. Since these pastries are especially popular in this region, we decided that a taste test was in order.
To give it the characteristic shape, the dough is rolled out and cut into even strips with a dough cutter. The strips are then arranged alternately over and under a stick, or the handle of a wooden spoon. Eventually the stick is lifted and slowly removed while the dough strips are formed into a loose ball. Using a special holder called a Schneeballeneisen in order to retain the shape, the ball is deep-fried in boiling fat until golden brown, and finally dusted with confectioner’s sugar while warm.
There are definitely no shortage of stores selling schneeballen in this toen! We ended up going into “Diller’s Schneeballen”. It was located in the Old Town main square, just to the right of Marktplazt 8 (above). Although the square was buzzing, we found that this little side store was quiet, which is probably why we were attracted to it.
Even before stepping into the store, the windows filled with schneeballen begin to tempt you!
Coated only in powdered sugar, the original flavour might seem rather plain, but decided to that one for comparison. We also took a chocolate dipped schneeballen.
Surprisingly, Schneeballen is not only served sweet. Our walk through Rothenburg ob der Tauber proved that there were a lot more interesting flavours to choose from! To name but a few, we saw Garlic Flavour, Cheese Flavour, Shredded Coconut flavours and Green tea Flavour. There were even pastel coloured ones that were dipped in pink chocolate!
Even though the schneeballen were tasty, we didn’t feel they were a “must-eat”. If you are all about experiencing the foods popular to a particular region – then absolutely, GO FOR IT! For us they just weren’t that special. After all our year in Asia, our palates have changed and we cannot handle as much sugar as we could before.
I do, however, imagine that they would be good with a hot cut of coffee on a winter’s day! It was just too hot on this particular day, and the schneeballen didn’t seem like a good “walk and eat” type of snack.