Q. Why is kuchen so famous in Eureka?
A. Maria Luz Alandy: The word "kuchen" is German for cake. This area of the Dakotas was settled by Germans from Russia. They brought with them their way of cooking and baking. Kuchen was a favorite dessert. They used ingredients that were available to them from their farms — flour, eggs, cream and seasonal fruit or cheese.
Q. What is kuchen?
A. Kuchen is basically a pastry with a sweet bread dough base, a filling and a custard. The filling is generally fruit. The custard is made of eggs, cream and sugar.
At our store, we make many sizes and flavors. We have more than two dozen flavors. We have fruit flavors, gourmet chocolate and sweet flavors, and traditional flavors such as cheese and cinnamon-sugar. We also make low-sugar kuchens.
Q. Is there any tricks to making good kuchen?
A. To make a good kuchen, one should make the dough and the custard from scratch. The kind of flour used for the dough and the ability to maintain and regulate the proofing of the dough are important. The custard should be made using quality ingredients and made as smooth and as creamy as possible.
Q. Who are your customers?
A. We have customers from Eureka and surrounding towns who buy our products either at our store or from the local supermarket. Ken's carries our products here in Eureka and in Aberdeen. We also sell through our website. We have shipped to almost all of the 48 contiguous states.
Q. What other products do you sell at your store?
Q. How many employees do you have?
A. I work full-time in the store. I have one part-time employee who helps me during the slow time of the year, and one to two other part-time employees during the busy time of the year. I also have a person who does the books and monthly reports.
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. We are proud of all our products and our efforts to continue the heritage of the people in this region.
Q. What is the greatest
compliment your business has ever received?
A. Actually two things: Receiving the ABBY award in manufacturing in 2007, and being featured as one of five desserts worth making the trip for by the National Geographic Traveler magazine two years ago.
Q. Goals for the future?
A. I hope to be able to expand the business and market our products to the more populous areas of South Dakota. I hope to make all South Dakotans know that kuchen is our official state dessert and that Eureka makes the best kuchens!
Owner: Maria Luz Alandy
Address: 1407 J Ave. (Highway 10), Eureka
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