Last Saturday, at the farmers market in downtown St. Paul, I discovered a new vendor who made me as excited as my grandma’s cookies. I had one of those grandmas that wore an apron in the kitchen. When my grandma Bea wasn’t at her nursing job, she was in the kitchen cooking. She baked fresh donuts and was a master cookie maker. I can remember hugging her and literally smelling a poof of flour that escaped from that well-worn apron. My grandma made fresh strudel and kringle that I can still close my eyes and almost recreate the taste today. I am not a strudel maker so my family has been strudel-less.
No longer will my family lack strudel! I found the strudel mecca at the farmer market in St Paul. Rhuland’s Strudel Haus makes strudel that they call “love on a plate” at their bakery in Eagan. You buy them frozen and bake them at home. Savory strudels set you back $20 while sweet strudels are $15. At the market they run a special where if you buy two strudels you save $10. One strudel easily would feed a family of four if you added a green salad as an accompaniment. Sweet strudels would make a perfect dessert size for 6-8. Each strudel is about 15 inches long and they look like giant white French bread loaves but they are frozen solid. You bake them on parchment paper for about 45 minutes and they come out flaky, golden and crisp. The sweet strudel varieties are what you would expect with apple, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb and cherry but they also have fig honey and goat cheese and ginger pear. There are many savory versions. Before we got to the market, they had already sold out of the savory three cheese burger and spinach feta artichoke which left us to choose from Reuben, Italian stallion, much burrito, brat and kraut, buffalo chicken and chicken asparagus alfredo among others. My family picked the chicken pot pie.
“Love on a plate” is a great way to describe these tasty strudels. When you cut into the flaky pastry strudel the first thing you notice is the wisp of steam that escapes. Inside our pot pie there were chunks of grilled chicken, pearl onions, carrots, peas and green beans. All of this goodness was enrobed in delicious chicken gravy that spilled out of the strudel. The strudel was really delicious. It was buttery and flaky and there was lots of crust to filling ratio. The ingredients tasted fresh and the veggies were large enough to add flavor and heft without becoming an afterthought to the chicken. The chicken itself had large pieces and the meat was real chicken chunks that tasted good – no pressed meat here. I was so mad I didn’t get the special so I could try a piece of the sweet strudel too! Next time I am at the farmers market I will pick up a few of these as it was an easy quick dinner. When they use the tag line love on a plate – I can concur, they mean it.
In addition to the farmers market in St.Paul you can find Rhuland’s Strudel at Goldens Deli in St. Paul and at the winter market. You may even run into Rhuland’s strudel truck at various county fairs and markets. Can the State Fair be far behind?
Rhulands Strudel Haus
St Paul Farmers Market
290 5th Street East