Almost done here- last post on Europe!!!
In my previous posts about Munich and Vienna, I’ve avoided talking about the food. Of course, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have great food. With that said, Here’s the scoop:
German/Austrian food is very hearty and slightly salty. It features……….. potatoes and……….. meat. Basically the food is pretty much in line with the stereotype. We had lots of sausages, hams, roasts, schnitzels…. Beef, chicken and ox is pretty wide spread, but pork is king. Surprisingly pizza and kebabs are also abundant and so are Japanese restaurants (a majority are Chinese- owned). Now to what WE(I) ate:
Lots and lots of sausage. I think I had at least 3 meals that looked like this:
It also comes grilled, fried and bacon wrapped. At first, I was a bit underwhelmed by the appearance of the sausages as they looked exactly like American hot dogs. I was in for a surprise.The overall taste is similar;however, the meat is a lot finer and tasted more natural. The casing also has pleasant pop when you bite into it. They are pretty salty so I suggest eating them with mustard.
I also tried some streetfood.In Vienna, there were wurstelstands (sausage stands) every few blocks. We stopped by one just to try it out.
On the 3rd night, we stopped by the film festival to grab a quick dinner from one of the street stands. My dad and I had potato grösti (hash) with blood sausage, sauerkraut and horseradish. DELICIOUS!!!!!!
Of course we couldn’t exactly live on street food. On the 2nd night we went to Plachutta Wollziele for tafelspitz
Tafelspitz is essentially boiled veal and root vegetables in broth. It’s not limited to veal either; we had the traditional tafelspitz and a sheep head ox tongue one. At Plachutta, each tafelspitz also comes with two segments of marrow bone (in the soup), house bread, potato rosti and apple horseradish. It was nothing short of amazing. The meat was tender and well seasoned, the broth was rich and finally- a western restaurant that has marrow. My favorite was probably the sheep head meat
We were pretty busy being tourist here, so most meals were at random cafes. The food was still great though. Here are some of my favorites
Wiesswurst is sausage made of veal and pork back bacon seasoned with parsley, salt and maybe lemon. It’s white because there are no nitrates to preserve the color. Essentially, it’s a more natural version of the classic sausage. I was told most foreigners have a hard time getting used to it, but I thought I tasted great. A bit too much parsley though. The casing is quite thick so some people like to remove it. It’s also commonly eaten with sauerkraut and sweet mustard (mustard, except made with sugar and applesauce); however, I prefer it with regular mustard.
I hate mayonnaise, so I generally stay away from salads not made of raw leafy greens ex egg salad, tuna salad, potato salad. Thus, when my dad ordered this German potato salad, I was pretty hesitant to try it. Luckily, I did (after confirming there was no mayonnaise). It was DELICIOUS. The potato salad was tangy, slightly sweet and also naturally creamy (no mayo or sour cream). There were also hints of mustard. Anyways, TRY IT
Leberkäse (Bavarian meatloaf)
This was the 1st thing I had when I arrived in Munich. I thought it was baked ham, but when I tasted it, it was juicier- as in literally dripping when I cut into it. The taste resembles that of sausage- except …. juicier. The best part, it’s pure meat, no breading, no flour- just meat (and maybe a bit of lard for extra juiciness.
Middle Eastern food
There is a pretty strong Turkish community in Munich so there is an abundance of middle eastern “restaurants”. Most are pretty hole in the wall, but delicious. There were at least 4-5 within a block from our hotel, but since my family doesn’t really like middle eastern cuisine, we only went once. I got chicken skewers (sorry no pics, we were extra hungry). They were charred amazingness. The guy pretty much just threw them onto the coals. I highly suggest trying the middle eastern food
Finally my favorite… Haxe (pork knuckle)
Here in China, there’s some pretty epic Chinese style marinated pork knuckle. Well, in Germany, it has met its match. Meet Schweinshaxe- crispy roasted pork knuckle:
The knuckles also come pickled and boiled
Both are HUGE (2-3lbs) and AMAZING. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Things I didn’t like:
Of course I didn’t like everything I tried. Here’s a list:
“Dumplings”- essentially crushed bread mixed with some type of filling and binder. The potato ones are better than the liver ones, just saying
Apple Horseradish sauce- It tastes like spicy apple sauce. Not a good combination
Beer- Okay, I didn’t actually drink beer. My mom got it while I was using the restroom and I thought it was ice tea (after all, the food stall was American). I had a sip and it tasted worse than tonic water. Of course, if you are at drinking age (16 in Germany) and like beer, by all means drink it. Germany has the best beer- according to my mom, and most of the world for that matter.
Schnitzel- Another famous dish I didn’t like. It was nothing more than a breaded and fried cutlet and I dislike fried foods
Well, that’s it for Europe! Have you been to Vienna or Munich? How was your experience?