When I first moved to Germany, I made a promise that each time I went to the supermarket or went to dinner, I would try something new. While that has led to some very interesting experiences (mostly involving the discovery that apparently in Germany, all you need to make a food is a noun and the word “salat” after it), it’s also lead to the discovery of some favorites- and some mistakes. Here’s a few of each.
Ever wanted to overdose on cheese and noodles? Then Käsespätzle is the dish for you! Usually served in a hot skillet, this delicacy tastes best when swished down with a hearty beer. Typically you’ll find other ingredients besides just the noodles and cheese (sometimes mushrooms and bacon bits), but let’s face it- the only reason you’re going for this is because you heard “German mac’n’cheese” and stopped listening after that.
Oh hell yes. German mac’n’cheese is the shit.
A lot of people tend to forget that in the good ol’ days, you would use every part of the animal when you butchered it. So while most butcher shops in the States will offer your usual cuts and limbs, you probably won’t find pig knuckles. Well, for those of you wondering where those delicious, tasty knuckles wound up, look no further than German beer halls. They come in a few varieties (so far I’ve found roasted and broiled), but honestly I was quite surprised at how tasty they were. I was also surprised that there was that much fat and grease to be found in Babe’s appendages. So it’s not health food- but still pretty damn good with mashed potatoes.
You only live once- so why not go down with a pig knuckle in your gullet?
Literally translating to “meat salad”, this basically takes all the things you liked about egg salad (the eggs) and replaces it with shredded meat. Imagine you’re eating a sandwich with cold cuts, lettuce, tomato, cheese, bread, and mayo. Now switch the lettuce, tomato, cheese, and bread with more mayo, blend it, then add even more mayo and peas, and you get Fleischsalat. I tried this once after going down the aisle from Kartoffelsalat to Eiersalat to Thunfischsalat to Käsesalat and assumed that Fleischsalat was the next logical step. It wasn’t so much a step as it was a stumble down the stairs.
Meh. It’s not the most adventurous thing you’ll find, but the risk/reward ratio here is pretty low. Maybe don’t bother unless you’re
Taking a quick break from the meat for our veggie friends, there’s tasty Spargel for you to enjoy. I’ve already written before about Germany’s love affair with the pale asparagus, which still continues to confound me. But the good news about the Spargel harvest being plentiful is that there’s literally hundreds of ways to prepare it. You can get soup, you can braise it, you can bread it, you can roast it- and all with a large serving of hollandaise sauce. Again, not exactly healthy- but it only comes once a year, so get your fill now!
I mean, you pretty much have to if you want to consider your time in Germany complete. I think it’s a requirement to get your Resident Visa (but what would I know?).
And now we’re back to disgusting. I seriously cannot even begin to understand who thought this was a good idea. Onions? Great, love those. Pickles? Ok, I can get behind that. Cold cuts? Sure, why not. All of them stuck together into some weird, clear gelatinous blob with other garbage parts of an animal and then sliced off like cheese? Hold up. Nevertheless, you’ll find it in the deli or even sliced and ready to go in the fridge next to the cold cuts. I tried it once and spat it immediately back out. To this day I cannot find a single person who claims to enjoy it.
It’s the equivalent to a waste bin stuck in tasteless Jell-O. Only do it on a dare.
PS: If this post does well, there will be more stories of German food- and I’m open to suggestions of things I should try! Comment below!
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