Yes, wurst, potatoes, schnitzel, and spaetzle are common dishes, but the unsung German emphasis on fresh unadulterated ingredients, and the willingness to place those ingredients front and center of a meal are exactly what the entire slow food movement is based on.
Germans view strawberry fields the way Americans view cupcake shops - the place is full of them. We were thankful to end a hot dehydrating run next to a strawberry field. If you can't make it to a strawberry field, then you can buy your strawberries from one of the popup strawberry stands in the shape of a strawberry that appear every couple of miles all over the country in season.
This time around, we missed white asparagus season, but people go crazy for it. My first experience was many years ago when a cousin got a tip on a farmer who was about to harvest his white asparagus. He took orders from all the aunts, uncles, and cousins in the family, drove to the farm before sunrise -- if it is not harvested before sunrise, the asparagus turns green and chewy rather than pristine white. He spent the rest of the day on family deliveries. I was told that pretty much every stalk of white asparagus in the country is coveted in this way. (Illustration from a previous trip in season by Mae.)
Munich, the Viktualienmarkt
|Chanterelle mushrooms: Pfifferlinge.|
|Spices and other good things in a shop window.|
|Olives at the market.|
|Prepared food counter at the market.|
|Cheaper than water.|
- Tips are 10%, so overall the price will be less inflated by water cost than in the US and
- Most restaurants have an exclusive contract with a local brewery, implying that beer is literally cheaper than water.
|Munich brew pub.|
|Home-made cake in Augsburg.|
My personal favorite cake is a prune plum cake called Zwetschgendatschi. It is a local specialty only available in this particular region and only in the prune plum season. Every local person seems to have their own special recipe.
Zwetschgendatschi is of sufficient importance that it features prominently in the children's story Der Räuber Hotzenplotz, in which two children must go on a quest to retrieve a grandmother's stolen coffee mill. If they are unsuccessful, the grandmother threatens that she will never make another Zwetschgendatschi.
|Dining outdoors with cousins.|