While I may have just returned from enjoying the company of family in Hong Kong, that doesn’t stop me from wondering whether the year ahead will hold any promises of travel and also has me reminiscing about the final week of our European holiday mid-last year. Of course as with any holiday, local or overseas, there are always must-see sights as well as must-try eats. So how could we make it all the way to Germany without sampling at least some of the following delights?
A schweineschnitzel – pork schnitzel – proved to be much better made but in actual fact I chose this dish due to its inclusion of the in-season and oft-revered European white asparagus. Compared to its green cousin, I found the asparagus to be a little soft (overcooked?) and bland for my liking. The large potato was left mostly untouched, as was the giant knödel alongside the husband’s sizeable schweinehaxen (pork knuckle) which we failed to finish. Tip: Germans take their meat very seriously so when the waitress assures you that the knuckle is “not too large”, don’t trust her!
Of course after two and a half weeks of European – mostly German – food, these two little Asians were left craving for something more Eastern. Luckily there was a small Thai takeaway located near the husband’s office which did a decent pad Thai and red duck curry. Interestingly the rice served appeared to be of the broken variety. And totally unrelated a peacock strode across the hotel carpark one morning!
The husband’s work relocated us to a different hotel during the final week of our stay, which provided a change of surroundings as well as food choices. Being in the town’s centre made for a far greater selection of bars and pubs, which featured mainly German and Italian fare on their menus. We were pleasantly impressed by the crispy anchovy pizza, chicken schnitzel (crumbing intact) and spaghetti. Baskets of selected German breads were provided complimentary to the table.
Gebacken camembert were a must-order once spotted on a menu as I had seen so many prepared frozen packs of these crumbed cheese rounds in local supermarkets. Two small rounds with oozy centres were served with cranberry jam whilst slices of toasted sandwich bread were politely left behind.
As far as sweets go, a friend in Sydney recommended that I should try kaiserschmarrn should I come across it. What I was presented with were little gnocchi-shaped dumplings which tasted of apple and almond, served with apple purée and a selection of fresh fruit – my first taste of a fresh gooseberry! Also, I finally got a chance to try local apfelstrudel with fine slices of apple instead of the apple pie-type chunks found in some.
Our final morning in Germany was a scorcher where we picked up a bowl of coffee and croissant with housemade marmalade from a local bakery. While you would expect to find excellent croissants in France, we were most surprised by the quality of those we tasted in Munich.
At the airport I made a last ditch attempt to have something German, which resulted only in a sausage, before boarding an A380 which took me to more Häagen-Dazs in Dubai.
And returning home to Sydney saw me greeted by this awesome haul of European chocolates, some of which I’m still getting through!