One of my favorite things to do while traveling is trying weird local foods, especially the kind of stuff I can’t get in Moscow or New York or London. I might not always love what I’m eating, but I always have fun experimenting. Here’s what German exploration (which apparantly was so fun that I forgot to take photos of the foods, thus Instragrams!) has brought:
Hand Cheese with Music
Handkäs mit Musik is an extremely pungent cheese, made by hand from sour milk, and usually served marinated with some raw white onions. It’s as good as it sounds. The German totally lied to be about the whole “with music” business of its name. He kept saying that because the taste is so strong (not in the best way), that it forces people to sing? Yeah, it didn’t make any sense to me either. And now I know why – because the real explanation is a lot less polite, and refers to the sounds produced with other body parts after eating this very, um, special dish.
Would I ever say no to strange foreign booze? That was a rhetorical question, obviously. In Germany, I didn’t just broaden my schnapps experience, but actually learned what schnapps is, and how it’s made (it’s like vodka but made from fruit instead of grain or potatoes). It’s a little sweet for my taste, but I think it’d be great in a cocktail with soda water and some lemon. Is that a thing, or should I patent it right now?
Frankfurter Grüne Soße is made of sour cream (yum!), pureed hard-boiled eggs (surprisingly not gross), and of course, herbs. Seven specific herbs, to be precise: borage, sorrel, garden cress, chervil, chives, parsley, and salad burnet (I only know three from this list). The whole mixture (plus some spices, olive oil etc) is served chilled on top of potatoes, eggs — what have you. It wasn’t as fragrant as I’d expect this kind of mix to be, but it was a really nice, refreshing addition to the more simple foundational foods. I liked it as a dressing on a salad AND on sliced-up sausage.
I’m not one for sweets or pastries (that melon pan only snuck through because it was more bread than cake), but Schneebälle seemed to be THE defining food specialty of Rothenburg, so I had to have it. It’s pretty delicious, very rich, and very, VERY messy. If you’re getting any kind of flavor involving chocolate, make sure to eat it sitting down and with a pile of napkins. I actually took a fork to mine and STILL had to lick my fingers clean.
Ham & Pineapple Breakfast Quesadilla
Perhaps my biggest food adventure in Germany happened when The German abandoned me to my own devices one morning (work errands, meh) and dropped me off at a local cafe for a few hours. A local cafe in a non-touristy suburb of Frankfurt, where nobody spoke English and there was no English-language menu in sight. Thank God for WiFi! First it was Google Translate to the rescue, but because German dishes exist only in the very special German universe, I had to stop trying to translate menu items and rely on image search. Let me tell you, Frankfurt folk have some very interesting ideas about breakfast food. Which is how I ended up starting my day with a ham and pineapple quesadilla with a lettuce-cucumber salad under yogurt sauce. Totally into it!
25 thoughts on “STRANGE NEW FOODS I TRIED IN GERMANY”
Never actually had a snowball before… I’ve seen them… what are they like? Dry and crumbly?
It’s hard to explain, actually… I don’t even know how you’re supposed to eat it, bc it falls apart so easily when you bite into it, but into those separate strips rather than crumbs. The strips are buttery and crunchy, not too dense, not too light… the best word for the whole thing is “interesting” 🙂
Did you eat that guy’s hand as well? That cheese looks indescribably horrible! And a quesadilla doesn’t sound very German either 😉 But sounds like you enjoyed it all – I would have just had the Schnapps 🙂
HA, no hand, gee, thanks for letting me know what you REALLY think about me 😛
That quesadilla wasnt really a quesadilla, it has some weird German name and could only be identified by photos. But it was pretty ok!
Ha ha! I’ve seen you eat remember 😉
Wow! How very unique and interesting things you tried. I’ve heard of that green sauce. And the cheese caused musik thing made me laugh.
The sauce was actually pretty good. The cheese… I dont understand how anyone could eat that!
That cheese sounds like a punishment.
It is. I dont understand how anyone could have more than one bite – and only that out of morbid curiosity.
I love snowballs!! Had them in Heidelberg 🙂
How do you even hold them??? They fall apart and the topping gets ALL over you! (well… me!)
Ha! Ha! ‘Love it! I haven’t heard of half of those things and I live in Germany LOL! I like the look of the green sauce. Without the potato pancake of course! I’d go for the ham & pineapple breakfast quesadilla. But without the pineapple! And don’t get me started on the chocolate balls. Yuk!
‘Just leave me alone with the schnapps and everything will be alright. Homemade or otherwise LOL! 🙂 🙂
Schnapps is a bit too sweet/flavorful for me (nothing compares to my good old Russian vodka) but I love pineapple! I wouldnt have minded more refreshing pineapple during that insanely hot trip.
HAHAHAHA! I’ve tried the snowball one before. I somehow expected it to be soft and gooey for some reason. Imagine my disappointment! I’m not sure I’m going near any of the others.
(P.S. For some reason, your posts are not appearing in my feed? 😦 )
Weird about the posts… I think ‘manage subscriptions’ might have to be checked?
Green sauce is totally benign, the rest I wouldnt vouch for 🙂
That’s quite a list. You made me curious about the snowballs. Christmas is near so of course the Christmas markets are calling me. I’ll go next month to Germany. I have to remember to try the snowballs too.
I just got back from Christmas markets in Berlin, and they had Rothenburg Snowballs!
I’m off to Germany next week. It’s gonna be interesting to try out their local food! 🙂
The best thing I ate in Germany was the Doner Kebab in Berlin 2 weeks ago. Worthy of its own post!
Nice compilation of some unique food options available in Germany which many people are unaware off. I tried the snowball pastry as I was really tempted by the way it looked. Taste was nice; not as per my expectations. I will definitely try the green sauce in my next visit.
I think if you venture off the proverbial beaten path, every town probably has a quirky little specialty.
Check out me Blog of you like 🙂
Omg I love this post it inspires me!
So glad! I love food adventures
I guess Met would be one of the more unusual things for most people visiting Berlin…raw meat on a little piece of bread.