Tuesday, January 16

Eating in Germany

I came to Germany for the first time in 1998. Though still many years from becoming a vegetarian, the eating was already a major challenge. Something about deep-fried, tough, fatty pork product smothered in unidentifiable sauce was just never appealing to me. Tonight, at a county hotel somewhere between Schleiden and Aachen, I ordered some things off the menu; the first, I understood to be some kind of artichoke bruschetta. What arrived was a bowl filled with some artichoke hearts from a jar, topped with something resembling sauerkraut, and it was COVERED in Thousand Island dressing (or maybe French dressing, who knows, both awful!) On the side were several pieces of bread, which is where they somehow concluded they had all the ingredients for bruschetta, I suppose.

Oh, but wait, the crucial ingredient to any salad-type appetizer—BUTTER, a nice slab of it. Because that’s what I want with my Thousand Island monstrosity right? Butter seems to be a condiment to lots of peculiar things in Germany, today at breakfast I’m pretty sure I had a butter and cheese sandwich. Not to worry, I added some raspberry jam to it!

Tonight, the artichoke disaster was the first real (?) meal of the day so I actually ate much of it. But I did manage to stockpile some muesli bars and Riesen candy at a drug store, and I’ve decided that beer definitely counts as “food” in Germany.

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