Food loves kindled or rekindled on our Germany trip:
1.) Ostfriesentee (East Frisian tea)
Ostfriesentee is a very dark Assam blend, strong enough to keep its flavor when using cream and sugar in it like the East Frisians do. This is a real kick-in-the-pants blend that can hold its own against strong coffee when it comes to getting the synapses kick-started in the morning. (East Frisia has a strong tea culture–they consume about fifteen times the German annual average, and East Frisians consume the most tea per capita in the world.)
2.) Hefeweizen (wheat beer)
I’ve not been a huge fan of hefeweizen before, but on our trip, my brother liberally plied me with Erdinger, and I’ll be damned if my tastebuds didn’t get used to it. Hefeweizen is the least hoppy of all the beers I know. All of a sudden, I find it exceedingly drinkable. The closest thing I can find to Erdinger locally is Harpoon’s UFO Weissbier (UnFiltered Offering). It’s not quite the same–it has a sort of citrus-y note that Erdinger lacks–but it’s close enough.
Broetchen are the breakfast rolls you can get just about everywhere in Germany. Bakeries have them. Grocery store bread counters have them. Gas stations have them. They’re crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and they’re the primary staple of a proper German breakfast. You slice them in half and spread jam or Nutella or cream cheese on them, or slap a few slices of Schinken (prosciutto) or other cold cuts on there. Simple as they look, they’re really hard to replicate in a home baking setting. Even the Germans don’t bother–Broetchen are so widely available everywhere that nobody goes through the effort of trying to make them from scratch, which is why it’s hard to even find a recipe for plain Broetchen.
Frikadellen are a cross between a burger patty and a meatball. They’re the perfect “hand food” for snacks on the go, and there isn’t a pub in Germany that doesn’t offer them as beer food. Unlike Broetchen, Frikadellen are easy enough to make at home, though, and recipes are ubiquitous.
If that list gives the impression that we spent our time in Germany mostly with eating and drinking, you would be absolutely correct. Yet despite all the excess, I only carried an extra 3/4 pound home with me, and I’m already back down to where I was before the trip. I’m guessing that all that running around had something to do with the fact that I didn’t gain ten pounds while we were there, because I put away a lot of calories.