Sunday, April 07, 2013

German food (or rather, what I ate while in Germany)

While in Germany (and Austria, for a day), I mainly ate from these food groups:

Fruit. I don't know where the heck it came from since it was freezing cold in Germany while we were there, but I had the best oranges (they might have been Clementines) EVER in Germany. Also strawberries. Also apples. And all for way cheaper than I can get them in the UAE! Yum.

Yogurt. I love yogurt anyway, so the fact that I could choose from lots of delicious German/Austrian kinds was just a bonus. My favorite was this kind that came in a jar. I have no idea if there was something extra special about it, but it sure tasted extra special.

Bread. Oh how I have missed good, dark bread. Mostly we ate light rye and dark rye, as well as some brötchens that you buy from the store in a package and they're almost all the way baked, and then you put them in your oven for a few minutes so it's almost like fresh bread. So tasty.

Meat. Let's be honest: it was mostly pork. I'm sorry if that offends my Muslim friends but - and I say this as someone who was vegetarian for a few years, and who adheres to strict religious dietary guidelines, and who, even when not a vegetarian, went without pork for the first two years we lived here - PORK IS DELICIOUS. The friends we were staying with cooked us a ham dinner for (the day after) Easter and it almost made me cry happy tears.

The other meat of note that I ate was (turkey) Schnitzel. Also delicious.

CHOCOLATE. And. how. Each day in Germany was not complete without sampling some new German delicacy. Thankfully, the friends we were staying with were on the same page as me on this topic, so they were able to point out the best stores to buy copious amounts of Milka and Ritter Sport products. On our way out of their small town, we practically cleaned out the village store of Milka chocolate. There were so many varieties to choose from, but I already know my favorites so I stuck to those:

You know, Toffee-Ganznuess, Caramel w/Alpenmilch, regular Alpenmilch, Jogurt, Oreo, Da'im, etc. I only took home two kinds of Ritter Sport because I had narrowed down my favorites by the time we left the country: Peppermint and Coconut (those are two different kinds).

The other major food group while we were in Germany was American Food, because the friends we were staying with are affiliated with the Army and thus have access to a well stocked commissary. I think they got tired of me exclaiming at every American delicacy they pulled from their shelves. I even got excited about Cheez-Its. I KNOW. Are Cheez-Its even good? Yes, they are. Because they taste like AMERICA. My favorite American food that we ate while we were there was plain old Cheerios, though. I miss those so much.

As you can see, food is important to me. I don't know if I am abnormally prone to forming strong food memories and associations, but I've realized this about myself: food brings me great happiness. It doesn't even have to be fancy high-brow food. It's not like I'm a cheese or wine connoisseur, out there seeking the best vintages or whatever. I love food that takes me back to a time or place, or a food that I'm not able to eat very often so it's special when I get a chance.

Take the ham dinner, for example. On an objective level, sure, it tasted good. But it probably did not taste good enough to warrant me feeling the way I did when I ate it. It reminded me of special dinners growing up, of Christmas or Easter and sitting at the table with my family, eating my fill. It also reminded me of what I've been missing, NOT eating ham (specifically) for probably more than three years. Combined, those two sentiments made for a delicious dinner.

Anyway, yes, I am weird, but food is good. And hooray for German chocolate!!!


Jen said...

I've always wanted to try schnitzel.

Liz Johnson said...

I love Ritter Sports - specifically the chocolate truffle ones. SO GOOD.

And no bacon? I suppose ham is delicious on its own, but BACON.


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