Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mission: All Things Wurst

Guadalajara, Mexico

We are just settling back in after two perfect weeks visiting Sniff and family in Germany. Sadly, my mission to eat all things wurst has come to an end. Reintroducing fruits and vegetables into my diet hasn’t been easy, or I should say, the blunt and jarring deletion of artery clogging patés, stinky French cheeses, gut cleansing dense dark breads, ohhhhh and the chocolate, has been more than devastating. Yes, there is always chorizo, and I am sure in a few days I will become desperate enough to turn to the spicy pork sausage that is well-loved in these parts. I too love it, but not as a substitute for black truffle wurst, creamy spreadable duck liverwurst, chunky country paté-wurst

The most delightful part of being surrounded by all these toe-curling, mouthwatering, eyes-rolling-to-the-back-of-the-head treats is the way in which they are consumed: family style. A typical dinner preparation involves carefully removing the parchment paper from a number of cheeses and meats, slicing bread, washing a few cherry tomatoes, pulling a plethora of mustards and spreads from the fridge and setting it all out in the middle of a table for a long meal of building the perfect bite. Bite after bite after bite. Germans are so confident they have hit on a brilliant equation that with the addition of some yogurt, coffee and pickled herring (if you are near the North Sea) they repeat the meal for breakfast. No complaints here.

It goes without saying that the German’s are equally as serious about their pastries. This was to be expected; what I did not expect was the magnificent tradition of consuming cake in the afternoon. It is called kaffee und kuchen, and as far as I could tell, at 4pm the whole country tucks into a cup of coffee and cake. And not just one piece of cake, but on average, I would say, three pieces from different cakes: raspberry cream fraise cake, chocolate marzipan layered cake, lemon crumb cake. Apparently, if you are asked to bring a dessert to a friend’s for dinner, you would never bring cake, because cake is not dessert, it is your late afternoon tasty cake snack.

Settling back into life after whiling away two perfect weeks eating and drinking, building many perfect bites is not easy, but it will not be long before my jet-lagged woozy belly is back in action and I am forging for home-made tortillas and crispy pork skin. I will miss the wurst, but worst of all I will miss the magnificent company and conversation shared over long drawn out meals of soul satisfying food. Thank you Sniff and family for a splen-delicious vacation.

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