Dixie Peach: Friday Shuffle - The Edible (and Inedible) Edition

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Shuffle - The Edible (and Inedible) Edition

The other day Rachel commented on one of my posts that she would have a hard time living in Germany because she's not a fan of German food. And you know what? I had the same thought when I moved here. I never thought I could adapt to German foods but after 10 1/2 years of eating it, I've learned to manage. Even learned to love some of it.

The first thing I ever ate in Germany was potato salad and Wienerwürstchen, which is like a long, thin hot dog. I despise hot dogs - they're disgustingly mushy - but I loved Wienerwürstchen...mostly because it's not mushy at all. And over the ensuing weeks I tried other German dishes - some hits, and some horrifying misses.

What's Good
~ Bratwurst. I will eat a variety of bratwursts but the best is the Thüringer style. Particularly fabulous if it's grilled and the skin has gotten a bit black and wrinkly. Unfortunately to the chagrin of my husband, I eat my bratwurst with ketchup.

~ Currywurst. While it can be bought all over Germany, it's a speciality of Berlin. It's a bratwurst that has a ketchup based sauce over it that's been spiced by curry powder. Particuarly wonderful with fries that you can dip into the curry-ketchup sauce.

~ French Fries. I know they originated in Belgium, but fries in Germany are wonderful too. I'm guessing they're also great in Holland. It's just because potatoes in Europe have a better flavor than the bland, flavorless Russett potatoes you find in America. I've seldom had crappy fries in Germany. My sister, who normally isn't a French fry eater, dreams of them and orders them at every opportunity when she visits me.

~ Wienerschnitzel. Technically not German either - it originated in Vienna, Austria (which is why it's Wienerschnitzel...Wien is the German name for Vienna) and I don't eat genuine Wienerschnitzel either since the genuine type is made with veal and I opt for pork schnitzel. Either way, it's lovely. When the meat is really thin and tender and the breading is crispy and flavorful it's heavenly. Know what? Goes great with fries.

~ Döner Kebap. Again, not originally German - it comes from Turkey - but it was adapted to suit German tastes. The döner you find in Turkey is different, unless you're in an area that caters to German tourists. My favorite way to eat it isn't in the more common flat bread but instead on a plate with the meat, salad, sauces and - yes! - French fries all piled together. Get a bit of each thing on your fork, pop it in your mouth and proceed to have your eyes roll back into your head.

~Grillhänchen. This is a rotisserie grilled chicken spiced with a rub made of salt, pepper and paprika. These are sold at stands everywhere and regardless of where you buy it, they all taste the same - fantastic.

What's Bad
~ Harzer Käse. This is a cheese made in the region of the Harz mountains. It also looks and smells like what you'd get if you had a pedicure, took the scrapings from the callouses on the bottom of your feet and compressed them together into a log shape.

~ Teewurst. One of the many sorts of spreadable wursts you can buy. I'm especially grossed out by the "grob" style, which means the bits of meat are not finely ground and so you can really see and taste the chunks of fat in it.

~ Weisswurst. This is a sausage that's boiled. It's rather soft and you eat it by dipping it in a sweetish mustard (that right there makes it a big no for me), putting the end into your mouth and then squishing a bit of the wurst out of the casing into your mouth.

~ Sauerbraten. We're not even going to get into how genuine Sauerbraten is made with horse meat. Most people, however, usually make it from pork or beef. It's soaked in a marinade and I swear, by the time it's ready to be cooked, it's gray.

And the nastiest of all?

~ Losewurst. This is ground pork mixed with a lot of spices and then is cooked in pig's blood and is usually served over boiled potatoes. Pig's blood. Who in the hell dreamed that up?. The pig's blood still has to be warm when you begin to cook it. It doesn't smell bad - actually it smells nice and peppery when it's cooking - but it looks like an autopsy. When B was a chef he had to cook this dish fairly often which disgusted him no end. My MIL, however, loves it and every time I see her eat it I become nauseated. Which I supposed is only fair since she is completely disgusted by all poultry and B and I eat a lot of chicken. To each his own.

Y'all need to get that nasty, nasty image out of your heads, right? Just think of the cakes in Germany. They make delicous, delicious cakes in German. And maybe a shuffle will help.

Hit it.
  1. Follow That Sound - Sharon Little
  2. Feelin' Alright? - Traffic (So kind of Bixente the iPod to be concerned over your wellbeing)
  3. How She Could Sing The Wildwood Flower - Emmylou Harris
  4. Stand And Deliver - Adam Ant
  5. The Way That He Sings - My Morning Jacket
  6. 25 Or 6 To 4 - Chicago
  7. Still The Night - BoDeans
  8. Meeting Place - The Last Shadow Puppets
  9. Chasing Pavements - Adele
  10. Communication Breakdown - Led Zeppelin

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Anonymous Rachel said...

~ Harzer Käse. This is a cheese made in the region of the Harz mountains. It also looks and smells like what you'd get if you had a pedicure, took the scrapings from the callouses on the bottom of your feet and compressed them together into a log shape.

Oh. My. Lord. I'm trying not to throw up in my mouth. LOL!

2:47 AM  
Blogger G in Berlin said...

Note the commmon thread of pig in edible German food. Or else that it's from somewhere else. Since I don't eat pig, I can honestly say the only German food I actually really love is Federweisser wine. The Schwabian red. That and quark are the only foodstuffs I would miss from Germany.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Significant Snail said...

Thanks for the cake and the shuffle, post pig's blood. That is a nasty image to remove!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Rachel - I suppose every cheese eating nation has their own smelly cheese. Personally I think Camembert is just as funky smelling.

G - Actually half of my listings of foods I don't like are non-pork (the chicken, the fries and the döner) and two are essentially the same thing, but one has a sauce on it. There's a lot of other foods in Germany that aren't pork and aren't disgusting. Breads, cheeses, vegetables, fish dishes, poultry dishes - there's a lot to eat in Germany that's not pork if you look for it. I actually eat relatively little pork.

Significant Snail - Cakes in Germany are wonderful. Zuckerkuchen (sugar cake) when it's fresh is one of the great pleasures in life.

9:20 PM  
Blogger G in Berlin said...

Oh sure, but bread and cheese are better in both Italy and France (as is wine) vegetables and fruits are also better in both those places, and Berlin has a great scarcity of non-smoked fish (except for herring, which is better in the Netherlands). Not saying I don't eat those and I also eat a huge quantity of turkey (and am very grateful it exists- it didn't 10 years ago) and chicken. But I can get those better elsewhere as well.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Renate said...

Oh Dixie, I bet you I could fix you a Sauerbraten that you would LOVE. I don't know what people in your region marinate the meat in, but mine does not look gray when it gets done. I have yet not served it to an American that didn't like it.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Renate said...

I have not yet served it . . .

Of course

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if they get the Losewurst as inspiration from Blood Pudding. Similar concept.

The concept being disgusting, that is.

D Mollie

1:37 AM  
Blogger Rositta said...

Love Teewurst although prefer the fine one and also cook a mean sauerbraten. When I lived in Quebec I very occasionally used horsemeat, it's quite a delicacy...ciao

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a bit of trivia: Wienerschnitzel actually originates from Milan, Italy. The Austrians got the recipe there, brought it back to Vienna, renamed it, and claimed it as their own. So if you ever see Veal Milanese on a menu, it is what most people more commonly know as Wienerschnitzel. Cheers!

10:37 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I love trivia like that! I am going to remember that tidbit of information.

7:24 PM  

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