Spätzle are hand formed noodles and probably the most well known culinary invention from Schwaben. A Spatz is actually a sparrow and there is evidence that these noodles where called Wasserspatzen (water sparrows) in the 18th century. The word Spätzle means little sparrow. It appears that they started out looking more like a little dumpling, resembling sparrows, instead of the unique irregular noodle shape they have today. They can also be shaped like round little nuggets but where I am from, they are either formed by pressing the dough through a Spätzlespresse or they are formed by scraping the dough off a wooden board into the simmering water. Both of these methods result in a long noodle. Sounds complicated, but it is easy. And it is worth the effort as homemade Spätzle are more than delicious. Here’s proof, the word also means little darling, Spätzle is what you would call your child, like a little love nugget, and that’s exactly what Spätzle are. There are hundreds of recipes with Spätzle in Germany, but this one is one of the most popular. Spätzle with cheese and caramelized onion.