Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Joys of German Food

I've decided that no one understands the concept of comfort food quite as well as the Germans. Having had both Bavarian and Badische foods, I find they have this in common.

Your quintessential German meal will take other cuisine over its knee, spank it, and send it to bed. Picture this:
  • A hunk of meat, probably pig, roasted and basted with something containing beer. The only "artistry" the cook worries about is hacking it free of the carcass and fitting it on the plate.
  • Knodel (potato dumplings) or spatzle (flour noodles) beside or under the meat, with some kind of beer-based sauce slathered over both.
  • Maybe some kind of vegetable, probably cabbage boiled in beer. Maybe brussels sprouts (rosenkohl - rose cabbage) or red cabbage (rotkohl) if the cook is feeling particularly artistic.

Everything on the plate either contains beer or is cooked in beer, except the noodles. At least, those don't have beer in the recipe, but the cook may have decided to slip some in anyway.

Served, of course, with a beer. None of your pansy American 12oz urine samples, mind you, but a full half-litre of something that is twice as alcoholic as domestics but goes down as smooth as you please. (I am not a beer drinker, except when in Germany.)

My lunch today:

  • Wild game (venison and wild boar) goulash over spatzle with cranberry sauce, pears, and a field greens salad
  • Hefeweissen dunkles bier (Dark wheat beer)
  • Schwarzwalder Kirshetorte (Real Black Forest Cake! Nothing I've ever had in the USA compares...and actually eating it in the Black Forest helps the experience)