What is Faspa ?
Mennonite Heritage and
"Faspa" is one of those Low German words for which there is no direct English translation. Faspa meant a light lunch about 4 p.m. on workdays. Faspa also meant the gathering of family and friends, usually at 4 p.m. Sunday, for a light meal and fellowship, with an emphasis on fellowship. The meal always included zwieback, coffee and might also include cheese, cold cuts, and jelly.
From the Mennonite Heritage Museum cookbook FROM PLUMA MOOS to PIE
1st edition 1981 and revised in 2007
Krause House Zwieback
2 1/2 cups milk 1 T. salt
1/4 cup margarine 2 pkg. dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar flour
Warm milk, margarine, sugar and salt to 120-130 degrees. Combine 3 cups flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add warm liquids all at once. Blend at low mixer speed for 1/2 minute. Then beat at high speed 3 minuets. Stir in enough flour to handle. Knead until smooth. Dough should not be too soft. Cover and let dough rise 1 hour or until double. Grease cookie sheet. Pinch off large balls of dough and place on greased cookie sheet. Pinch off smaller balls and place on top, pressing down firmly with flat of fingers. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. Bake until brown in 400 degree oven, about 15-30 minutes.
"Faspa" is a lunch served in the afternoon around three thirty or later. "Faspa" is almost a must on Sunday afternoons. It is taken for granted that when you go visiting on Sunday afternoon, invited or not, that you will be served "faspa" by your hostess. Almost eveeryone is prepared to serve such a lunch, too.
The main item on the menu, of course, is zwieback, though at times bread is substituted. Jelly, coffee, cheese, lumps of sugar, cake, cookies or other sweets complete the meal.
Sometimes, a large group of individuals happen to visit at the same place on the same Sunday afternoon. This can put the hostess into quite some anxiety, wondering of her food supply will by adequate. Perhaps she can slip out the back door and borrow a few zwieback from the neighbors. If that isn't possible, crackers often have to suffice.
From THE HOMEMAKERS CLUB cookbook Henerson, NE first compiled in 1951 and reprinted and revised in 1970
The Henderson, NE community was part of the original group of Low-German Mennonites, from the Alexanderwohl Village So. Russia, that came in 1874.
This disscription of "Faspa" is taken from the Mennonite cookbook OFF THE MOUNTAIN LAKE RANGE published in 1958. (It is no longer in print).
These Low-German Mennonite immigrants came from the same Colony (area) of Russia (Ukraine) as the Goessel area Mennonites, but settled in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.
To see the process of making them. Click the word Zwieback below.
2014-2019 Mennonite Heritage
and Agricultural Museum
Created by Fern Bartel nee Schmidt