Gnagi Origins

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All about Gnagi 

If you’ve been a patron of Old Swiss Inn or you’re a first timer at our establishment.

We recommend that you try our Gnagi. Gnagi literally knuckles in Swiss. You can think of it as being a Swiss version of Crispy Pata.

All over Europe they actually make this dish with its various names called:

  • Schweinshaxe or Eisbein ( Germany)
  • Gnagi or Wädli (Switzerland)
  • Austrian Stelze (Austria)
  • Knöchla or Adlerhaxe (French) 

There’s actually more to it than it seems.

To start with, the origins of this dish is formerly a  typical peasant food, where the recipes were made to make inexpensive and tough cuts of meat more palatable. These inexpensive cuts usually require long periods of preparation. In this case, they make use of the hock. It’s the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot of a pig, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg. 

Depending on the region, the knuckles of pork are prepared in different ways. In Northern Germany and Poland, most knuckle of pork is salted, in Southern Germany it is not salted but roasted or cooked crispy. It also comes with different side dishes depending on where it’s being eaten. 

In Switzerland, the main two variations of the dish is one that is baked or fried and one that is boiled. Both are eaten with a side of sauerkraut, gravy and potatoes.

While in Germany, they may serve it with Scheinshaxe with Rotkohl (sweet and sour red cabbage) and Kartoffel Knödel ( Potato dumplings). 

It’s really a matter of preference if you want something crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, or something that is tender and soft all over. 

Try both versions at Old Swiss Inn and let us know your favorite.