Easy Tyrolese: Rachel Roddys recipe for canederli dumplings in broth | A Kitchen in Rome

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These bread dumplings, bathed in a delicious meaty broth, are typical of the south Tyrol, where isolated farmsteads made enterprising use of simple ingredients

The restaurant was about 100 metres from Fortezza station, in a small town in an alpine valley in South Tyrol, and had high-backed wooden benches and a line of stuffed animals in the window. When I am hungry, my already-limited objectivity dissolves like an aspirin. As I sat on a soft cushion on that hard bench, wondering if the animal next to me was a stoat or a fox, the canederli put before me were, in that moment, the single best thing I had ever eaten. I might as well have discovered a new planet or set of tastebuds. It was short-lived bliss: I had another train to catch, so I wolfed it down, giving myself such indigestion that I found it hard to ask for the bill and run to the platform.

Fortunately, this was, like my bliss, short-lived. Sitting on the train, Alto Adige rushing past like a Super 8 film, I could once again appreciate the chocolate-brown bowl on a lacy doily in which three sturdy dumplings bobbed around in amber, salty meat broth. A perfectly fine food elevated to ecstatic by growling hunger and a train timetable.

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