Maultaschen (Swabian Ravioli)
Maulbronn is known for its Maultaschen, a kind of large Swabian ravioli. Legend says that they were invented in this monastery by some monks who wanted to circumvent the lenten fast rules by hiding pieces of meat in dough. Therefore, "Maultaschen" are called in this region "Herrgottsbescheisserle", roughly translated as "God's little ***ters". In Swabia, they are considered as a national dish but can also be found quite often outside of Swabia.
The traditional way to have Maultaschen is "in der Brühe" in broth, like a soup. Of course, both restaurants at Maulbronn Monastery have them on their menu.
A local story
The Maultasche is a local dish, something like a pasta square filled with a meat and spinache mixture or any other mixture. It is well known in all of south-western Germany.
Maulbronn claims to have been the town where this dish was invented.
The story is that a monk in the cloister had hidden some meat, it was lent and it strictly forbidden to eat meat. But he didn't want to let it go waste, so he decided to hide it underneath pasta dough. He chopped up a lot of spinache and herbs, cut the meat in very small pieces, mixed it all together and then folded the dough around the mixture. The legend says that all the poor from the area were more than happy with this new dish and they expressed their gratitude. The monks also loved it, but they weren't allowed to speak.
The dish became known as the Maulbronner Nudeltaschen - Maulbronner pastabags - too long a word so it got shortened to Maultaschen.
And why the name Maulbronn? Here the story says that a mule - Maultier in German - had discovered a fountain - bronn in old German - and so the cloister was named Maulbronn. There is an old fountain with the picture of the mule engraved in sandstone.