Kluski vs. Egg Noodles

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Polish egg noodles are more slender than Italian types.
Polish egg noodles are more slender than Italian types. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

In the dizzying world of international pastas, it helps to remember that all kluski noodles are egg noodles, but not all egg noodles are kluski. In fact, kluski are not even always noodles. In many Polish communities, "kluski" is a generic term for pasta, which can mean either a noodle, a dumpling or the popular pasta dish of the region.

Noodle Nomenclature

The terms "kluski" and "egg noodles" are sometimes used in generic, even interchangeable ways. Kluski can mean any kind of Polish light dumpling, as well as egg noodles. Recipes for homemade kluski usually start with a basic egg-flour dough, which is then either rolled thin and cut into strips for noodles, or formed into dumplings.

Eggy Elucidation

Although egg noodles are often known as kluski in the Polish community, the basic egg noodle is most associated with northern Italy. Egg noodles -- no matter what their international origin -- use a basic recipe of eggs, flour, water and sometimes salt. The richness of the noodle depends on how many whole eggs and additional egg yolks are used in the basic recipe. Egg noodles -- kluski and otherwise -- often exist in dried form, packaged in cellophane bags.

Dried Doppelgangers

You'll find packages of dried egg noodles labeled either "broad noodles" or "kluski" available for sale. Often, a major brand might produce both broad egg noodles and kluski egg noodles, sometimes sub-labeled as European-style. In general, egg noodles are broader than kluski noodles, which are more slender. Egg noodles can range from 1/4 inch to 1 inch wide, depending on whether they are cut as broad or extra-broad dumpling style. The more slender kluski are about 1/8 inch wide, but twice as thick as other egg noodles.

Pasta Preparation

Because they are made with the same dough, commercial broad and kluski egg noodles have virtually the same nutrients, fat and calories. Broad egg noodles generally cook more quickly than kluski, in part because their broader surface area absorbs heat more quickly, but mostly because they are not as thick as kluski. Exact time may vary depending on the brand, but in general kluski take about five more minutes of boiling than broad styles.

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