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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, October 1

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Recipe Tue Sep 02 2008

They Make It, I Make It

I've been in a creative mood lately and eager to try out new recipes--well, not new, but recreations of childhood favorites.

Behold, the Runza:
Its Wikipedia entry defines it the best: "a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, pork, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. [Runzas] are baked in various shapes such as a half-moon, rectangle, round (bun), square, or triangle."

The Runza has roots in German and Russian cooking, with its original name, the bierock, being dough with stuffed filling. In Nebraska, a Runza is shorthand for an awesome local fast food experience, with a chain of restaurants of the same name. They sell the normal fare, such as hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and salads of offensive, questionable natures (what is in a "Shanghai Chicken Salad," pray tell?), but the Runza is what you show up for, and they know how to make them: the Italian, Cheese, Cheeseburger, Swiss Mushroom, BBQ Bacon and the BLT varieties currently grace the menu (I literally didn't have the heart to look at their nutritional values).

Runza restaurants are mainly in Nebraska, and I don't make it back there often; I got a hold of an online recipe and spent a morning in my tiny kitchen drowning in flour and ground beef as I made the suckers from scratch. I was expecting that my final product would knock the socks off anything I've ever tasted in the restaurant. It smelled right (cabbage does wonders for flavoring), but it was a misshapen, dry and doughy Runza Frankenstein:


I retreat to my laboratory for further research.

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CAK / September 2, 2008 10:07 AM

The Germans (me) call this graughtbrock.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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