Going to Munich? No matter what season, your number one place to go is the Hofbrauhaus! It’s the most German thing you can do, and boy is it fun! We’ve done lots of hands-on research to let you in all the secrets. From Hofbrauhaus beer and beer steins to oompah music, this needs to be on your itinerary.
Traveling for food is such an important aspect for learning about a culture. Not only do we try to find the best local food to try, we look into the history, and we bring home a recipe or two.
Before we go, our research includes a list of not-to-miss foods. Most websites and guide books will have information on a country’s national dishes.
If you look up Germany, you are going to find a nice list of sausages and maybe some sauerkraut to go along with them. I am here to tell you there is so much more to German cuisine than sausages. So much more!
Luckily, most places you go nowadays you can sign up for market and cooking tours. This always is a great insight to that culture and the way the look at and prepare food. We love to go to the market, both the outdoor type and a supermarket.
It’s amazing what you can learn there, and even if you only buy a packet of cookies, you are trying something new. Looking for restaurants, Jim and I try to avoid the ones that market to tourists. Yes, they might have clean, crisp white linens on the table, but their food may or may not be a good example of what is the tastiest option.
We try to collect some key recipes of foods we’ve tried and loved. I’m not that ambitious of a cook, and since I’m often traveling with limited kitchen facilities, I try to keep the recipes as simple as possible.
Of course, what really makes their food delicious is the local ingredients, and there are some things you just can’t buy, even in our global economy.
I always try to tweak a recipe to use items that are readily available to me in the U.S. or if possible anywhere in the world.
We had been traveling around Eastern Europe by train on a Eurail pass for about 15 or 16 days when we arrived in Ljubljana Slovenia. Now this train trip had been a crazy mix of ups and downs; the weather was beautiful or torturous; the trains were air-conditioned and comfortable or torturous. The hotels had been a mixed bag. The food had been almost all delicious, though, everywhere we went in Eastern Europe. Maybe that’s why I fixated on this one particular day and was convinced that I would get exactly what I was expecting during my visit to Ljubljana. The perfect glass of milk Have you ever had a craving for something you knew you just could’t get? Or …
Our spring trip to the Caucasus’ wasn’t over, we had plenty of things to do in Georgia and Armenia, and one of them is always learning more about the food. If you read our recent post on making Georgian dumplings, called Khinkali, then you know that we had to negotiate our way into a restaurant kitchen. The negotiations, made mostly in Georgian by our hotel host, also somehow included making a Georgian snack or dessert, called churchkhela. We couldn’t believe our luck, we considered making the churchkhela bonus and what a good one it was. The problem with negotiations is that sometimes the person doing all the talking doesn’t have any idea what this will mean to his workers. The …
I stayed with a an amazing host family while I was in Kaunas, Lithuania and Nijole was a fantastic cook. One of her favorite things was the little garden plot the family owned a little outside of the city. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it, but it sounded lovely. While we were there, Nijole served us all manner of apple products that she had made from the apples in her garden. In fact, she had at least three apple trees, planted and named after her three children. The apples that we were enjoying came from her first daughter, Victoria’s tree. They were delicious as cider, cake, jam, cheese, baked, and especially in this apple cake. Delicious! Nijole’s (Lithuanian) Apple …
So yeah, we’re living in Germany, and it is a Christmasy kind of place. For over a month, we’ve been inundated with Christmas markets, mulled wine, gorgeous wooden ornaments, and the like. Now all we needed was some snow. It has been raining off and on for two weeks here, so we decided to drive south to Mont Blanc in France. As I’ve said before, with the kids all grown up, we have new traditions to keep alive. One of them is to do something really fun on Christmas day, and who won’t agree that skiing Mont Blanc is totally fun?!! We actually skiied Les Houches since we are a bit rusty, and the slopes of Chamonix looked frightening! We …