Checkpoint Deutschland Pt 1
Now it’s been a while since I last wrote something, but the past few weeks have been a bit hectic as I have been on holiday . It is sad to think the holiday is over. No more excuses of getting ice cream because it was too ‘hot’, no more endless glasses of prosecco due to reunions and long lasting friendships. Now with the holiday at it’s end there is going to be a heavy restriction on eating and drinking everything under the sun, and back to a strict diet.
Although there is no harm in reminiscing on all the spectacular things you ate, because in hindsight it was a learning curve for me to experiment on future recipes. During my holiday I stayed in Germany for two weeks, and it was amazing. Hadn’t been back in two years and everything was just the same. I have been going to Germany, specifically Amberg [small town in Bavaria] for the summer holidays as long as I can remember as my father’s family lives there. Every time I go there I struggle, one because I don’t speak the language, and two I can’t eat the majority of food which is a German delicacy: pork. I grew up not eating pork due to reasons of my own and I haven’t had the need too, there is plenty of delicious meat out there. When I was younger it was bit difficult to try to find something to eat but recently going back there are so many options. One can now have pizza, salads, cakes, a beef Bratwürste (its normally pork) and lots of cheese and pretzels (which was the majority of what I ate in Germany) although during my time in Amberg and my few days in Berlin I ate some dishes and food that were delectable and worth sharing! Being that I was there for a long time and ate quite a bit going to split this post in two, I’ll start off in Bavaria.
There are several other German staple dishes which one can have if they don’t eat pork, one being schnitzel. Schnitzel is tender, boneless meat (either veal or chicken) that is dipped in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and then it’s fried. In some ways it’s like a chicken nugget but the meat is flattened. The first night I arrived I ate at a restaurant called Scheil, it’s a quaint place with an abundance of personality due to it’s interior and it’s array of customers. Would definitely recommend Scheil if you are keen for traditional German cuisine. When I was there I ordered a chicken schnitzel infused with lemon and some potatoes, a classic and equally simple dish. With the lemon infused in the schnitzel it enhanced the flavour of the meat and the way they made the potatoes were creamy yet delicate, it melted in your mouth.
One thing that I noticed in German restaurants was that the price of their food was reasonable considering the portion of food that they served. It is HUGE. Now initially when I ordered at Scheil’s I thought I would get a big piece of chicken as that is what one normally gets in restaurants, but I got 3 BIG PIECES. For a person who loves food it was a struggle trying to finish everything on my plate but in the end I succeeded.
Another staple food is the Doner Kebab. Well, it’s not necessarily a staple food in Germany per say but due to fond memories I consider it to be because as a kid I had it quite frequently during my time there. Now I can guarantee the only reason why the doner is so good, is down to the meat. I remember during my time in uni ordered a kebab after one night out and I was mortified, the meat was chewy, in strips and blue. The meat in a Doner kebab should be shredded, brown and melt in your mouth. The yoghurt and vegetables (mainly tomatoes, onions, & gherkins) give a nice compliment to the meat. It’s always a treat to have a Doner when I’m back in Amberg.
Now going to a place constantly, you gain some fond memories. One that I will always cherish is going to get some ice cream with my grandfather. In Amberg you have several ice cream Italian cafes, which have an array of ice creams flavours, however there is one called Eis Café Firenze, which is the best, and the one that Opa and I used to venture too! The specialty with Firenze is that besides getting one or two scoops you can get these unique, and elaborate sundae creations that are out of this world. My favourite is Spaghetti Eis, it’s a simple creation with an artistic, technical finish. Its essentially vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce, cream and white chocolate shavings, but they put the vanilla ice cream in a machine similar to a potato masher which makes the ice cream into noodles (like spaghetti, creative right) and then the strawberry sauce is like the “pasta sauce” and the white chocolate shavings is the “parmigiano”. I find it’s always the simple dishes that taste the best. If you ever venture to the small town of Amberg, I highly recommend you visit it as it gives the charm of Italy.
Another little gem that sits in the Markplatz in Amberg is Café Zentral. For those who enjoy people watching and good food this is the spot. As a family we always come to Zentral for lunch and I always order either the Salat Zentral (Zentral Salad) or Salat Milano (Milano Salad). Both salads are very filling as they give, again, such HUGE portions. The Zentral Salad is a meaty salad; it has mixture of tomatoes, cucumber, horseradish, lettuce, carrots, oranges and lastly curry powder infused turkey. The sweetness of the oranges and the vinaigrette magnify the flavours of each vegetable it makes it quite fresh. The Milano Salad is vegetarian with a mixture of grilled eggplant & zucchini with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce with mustard dressing. Now surprisingly I found the Milano salad quite heavy but that could be due to the cheese, but its nothing but delicious. Salads are your best bet in Germany if you don’t want to eat pork, or you want to be healthy. There will always have a range of salads on the menu in each restaurant you go to. Even heading to Nurnberg for the day (which is roughly an hour from Amberg) had an amazing Cesear salad at Das Paul where the chicken was grilled to perfection.
Amberg has its own unique places where one can eat. The majority of restaurants you may find there will be German, Italian or Greek but there is no doubt that you will get "to little" portion of food. Although I was uncertain if the same serving of food was given up in the capital, luckily I was able to decipher that for myself this summer. It was my first time in Berlin, and what a food adventure it was!
Will explain more of my Berlin adventures in the next post!