although i am back in the united states, i thought i should update a few more times about my german experience. here is an update about food!
1. "mexican food"
although Germany has a pretty diverse cultural community, don't expect to find any mexican restaurants. heck, don't even except to find a taco bell scattered amongst the thousands of burger kings and mcdonalds. when alexander and i went shopping and the region's largest shopping mall (the centr.o in oberhausen), their footcourt has a place called "tacos and more." because i usually eat Los Portales once a week, i was itching for a little "óle!" i shouldn't have been surprised with what i got....
besides the big chain fast food joints, germans mostly go for döner kebabs. its turkish food, but is really the turkish equivalent of tex-mex. a döner is meat shaved of a large revolving spit, and put into a section of turkish bread and topped with onions, red cabbage, tomatoes, and different sauces. so basically what i got was a döner kebab...in a tortilla. at least they added nacho cheese? needless to say, can't wait for Los Portales.
2. meat and spread culture
although i used to be vegetarian, i have grown back a love for meat. but my love for meat is pitiful compared to the german's integration of obsure meat products.
my favorite meal of the day would have to be breakfast, because almost every morning we would bring out a basket of hearty rolls, and pile them up with veggies, cheese, and so many different kinds of meat, and most of them include pork. liverwurst, salami, bologne, ham...and so much more. the germans really know how to utilize all parts of the animal, and make it pretty tasty!
although i am pretty open minded and taste-budded when it comes to food, there were two different animal products that i couldn't (or didn't want to) swallow.
> Mett < Mett is pure raw ground pork that is served on a roll, sometimes mixed with salt, pepper, onion and garlic. Alexander goes crazy for this stuff, and promises me that it's 100% safe to eat. "People have been eating it for centuries!" The taste is almost tolerable with enough onions on top, it's difficult to get past the texture.
When my parents, grandparents and I took a trip to Cologne, we had a little snack at a restaurant near the beautiful Cologne Cathedral. The menu didn't specify that the seasoned pork was raw, so my dad and grandpa were a little less than thrilled when they received pork sushi on a roll.
Schmalz is every artery's worst nightmare. "Party Schmalz" is about 99% rendered pig fat, and the other 1% is herbs, spices, and onion. Alexander and his mother tell me that this is good on really grainy, dense bread with a lot of salt. I was open-minded and took a bite. It was initally okay, and had the texture of cream cheese. But then the taste really set in, and I could hardly swallow it. Luckily the greasiness of it covered my mouth in a thin film, so it slid down pretty easily. I kept a straight face, and said, "Hmm, doesn't taste too bad!" but declined the offer to have a whole helping for myself. The herbs couldn't cover up the bitter and blandness of pure fat. In my opinion, there is really no way to make pure pig fat tasty, even if you put it in a funky retro container.
3. the bakery!
besides alexander, the one thing in germany i will really miss are the bakeries. especially when the weather is so crummy outside, the warmth and atmosphere of a bakery is extremely inviting. over the last month, i probably ate half my body weight in cheese rolls (Käsebrötchen). the germans really know how to make bread the right way!
even german donuts know how to celebrate new years eve in style...
mkay, that's it for now. i will update later about my adventures in a haunted castle, bodyworld, the odysseum science center, and the netherlands.
love you all!