We were in Frankfurt, which is the "financial district" of Germany.
German seemed intuitively easier for me to understand on a menu rather than the French did in Paris, unfortunately even though I took/learned some French in school as a kid!
We saw a Monet exhibition, and an Italian/German food fair. The best part was eating out, of course.
.... sensing a theme with my Europe posts? Its all about the food!
The salad is pictured first, although it was the most difficult to find. The Germans like meat, and a lot of it. As you can see above, the salad was chock full of eggs, cucumbers, carrots and other vegetables. It had a simple olive oil + vinegar dressing and balanced out all the other food we were eating.
The Apfelwein pictured is the Frankfurt locality famed apple cider. It doesn't taste super sweet like our ciders here, you could taste it was raw, unpasteurized and fermented traditionally. It was actually tart - but very refreshing, especially after walking around in the sun all day exploring!
The other two photos are meat, potatoes and SAUERKRAUT, and the most delicious mustard. Pork, beef and poultry are the most consumed meats in Germany with the average German consuming about 134 lbs of meat per year. That is still less than the Americans at 185 lbs per year.
A long tradition of sausage-making exists in Germany, with hundreds of regional variations. More than 1500 different types of sausage (wurst!) are madein Germany. There the ingredients and dishes vary from region to region, and we were in this city for the majority of this leg of the trip.
Currywurst was a delicious treat, which is a steamed pork sausage sliced and served with curried ketchup. The Germans have french fries just as good as the Parisians, as haute cuisine is popular there. Nice and crisp with no grease.
Vegetables were found - fried onions, broccoli and many types of cabbage are very common. Asparagus, especially white asparagus (we had some in Paris too!) is known in German as Spargel, a very common side dish, but one of the Hauses we ate at had an entire Asparagus menu, with the local vegetable being prepared as a main dish. Spargel season (Spargelsaison) traditionally begins in mid-May and ends on St. John's Day (24 June).
(They've got it down to a day.)
When I told my colleague Lisa Kilgour that I was so excited to be eating in Germany she said, "Really? Because I've never heard anyone say "Wow, that's one helluva schnitzel!"
So... here it is....
Pictured above, ONE helluva schnitzel!
(It really was - I love schnitzel and look at all that yummy sauerkraut!!! Nutritionists' can enjoy a good schnitzel, too!)
The schnitzel, however, was so big that it lasted three meals. Dinner, and breakfast for 2 the next morning.
Breakfast (Frühstück) commonly consists of bread with cold cuts, cheese or jam in Germany. As in Paris, the food here in Europe is clean and we had no problems with the wheat or cheese as so many of us back home struggle with. Bonus.
They also love strong coffee or tea (Kaffee und Tee). Deli meats, such as ham, salted meats and salami, are also commonly eaten on bread in the morning, as are various cheeses. Sometimes meat-based spreads, such as Leberwurst (liver sausage), are eaten during breakfast as well. (See what I mean about them loving meat!)
The main meal of the day is lunch (Mittagessen), eaten around noon. Dinner (Abendessen) was always a smaller meal, consisting only of a variety of breads, meat or sausages, cheese and some kind of vegetables, similar to breakfast, or possibly sandwiches. Simple snacky foods rules here, like a cheese, vegetable and meat platter is the perfect way to feed yourself for breakfast and dinner.
Mom & Pop shops lined with great stoneware beer steins - huge and small, as well as bembels (the jugs at the bottom shelf) for serving the famous local apfelwein.
So, can you really visit Germany and not have a beer?
Frankfurt is one place in Germany that I was not expecting - fermented liquids-wise - that something other than beer is heavily promoted. Beer is still a big deal, but the apple cider is truly #1 around there. The famed apfelwein brings many celebrations and fairs to the area.
Of course, that didn't stop us from finding a cold "Weizenbier" upon arrival.
.... When in Rome.
In conclusion, I certainly enjoyed the atmosphere, taste and friendliness of Germany. I definitely want to go back!
Welcome to Frankfurt, Germany!