The Queen of Krapfen


The Queen of Krapfen

Round, doughy and fried in boiling hot oil, Krapfen are a delicacy popular throughout the German-speaking world – and made to perfection by Filomena Resch. Known in the village as Kesselmooser Mena, she is an expert at making this simple but delicious dish with just five ingredients: flour, milk, eggs, butter and salt. Filomena was born in 1932 and has lived her whole life in the mountain village of Collepietra. As she mixes the dough she tells us about her childhood on the Kesselmoos Hof farm: “My parents had 15 children. We ate everything we grew on the farm. We were just grateful to have enough for everyone. My mother cooked a lot of different things – and it always tasted good.”

Mena bakes the traditional South Tyrolean Krapfen

Today – at over 80 years of age – Filomena enjoys playing cards with her friends over the internet, skyping with her family and simply enjoying life at home in Collepieta, surrounded by the peaks of the Dolomites. Everyone in the village knows
her – and her Krapfen. “Youngsters these days don’t make them anymore, including my own children. Instead they come to my place to eat them,” she laughs. The tradition of making Krapfen dates back many hundreds of years. Filomena learnt it from her mother, who learnt it from her mother, who learnt it from her mother. Recipes and secrets are passed down through the generations – though you won’t find any written instructions or lists of ingredients. Filomena, like her
mother, grandmother and great-grandmother before her, knows instinctively how much is needed of each product. Over the years she has learned to trust her eyes and her hands – after all, she explains, kneading the dough properly
is one of the secrets to making good Krapfen. The temperature also plays a key role: the kitchen should be warm, while the oil in the pan should be “devilishly hot”. And, last but not least, you need the right timing. After leaving the dough to rest for one or two hours, the Krapfen must be shaped quickly and placed straight into the pan. Even today the people of Collepietra are known jokingly as “Kloatznstingl”, a term which comes from the dialect word “Kloatzn” meaning dried pears. The reason? Traditional Krapfen are filled with a mixture made from dried pears – a delicacy often served on special occasions such as celebrations and religious holidays. In the past Filomena has made hundreds of Krapfen for the annual Steinegg Live festival of music and culture held in Collepietra. She likes being involved in village life and is pleased that Collepietra has managed to retain its strong sense of community. 

These days Krapfen can be found throughout the province of South Tyrol, filled with all manner of weird and wonderful things: spinach, poppy seeds and jam, to name but a few. But if you want to try the real deal then you have to come to Collepietra – and pay a visit to Filomena Resch.


Mir Kloatznstingl

"Mir Kloatznstingl" are stories from Collepietra, insights into what makes us locals, who we are, what we do and love, what moves us. Let the videos move you, too: Breathe our life, feel our pulse beat, feel our feeling for life.
Author: Sonnleiten Dolomiten Residence