Aug 262012
 
Mountain Devil and 7 Thaler Hex- Variations on a local theme
(see below)

The People
Tonight we were lucky enough to spend some time with a few of David’s work crew, BBQing and chatting and playing silly X-Box 360 games.  It was lovely.  English was spoken, cultural stories were exchanged and we got to know folks a little better.


Johan and Jacomi and David Sallmann just moved into this house in Offenburg, so they were our hosts and hostess.  Johan and Jacomi are originally from South Africa and David has lived all over the world, including Malaysia and Togo.


Johan and David cutting veggies

Jacomi and Johan grilling

Jacomi

Johan
David

The guests included Rolf, Sarah, Manuel (all Germans with excellent English skills) and our little band.

Rolf
His shirt is American and has Bart Simpson all over it :-)
Sarah and Manuel

DD wore her Sonic shirt for the first time in honor of
the occasion.

DS kicking back playing Viva Pinata
I think he handed it to his sister shortly after he reached the
Romancing Minigame and had to breed whirms

Me, with our cupcake offerings (more on that later)
DH holding up the wall

 The Foods

Ok, so what do they eat at a German BBQ?  Our hosts were generous indeed and made sure there was plenty of food.  So, we got to see a smattering of all sorts of things!

2 kinds of Brats, of course

Both main varieties of marinated steaks that are locally available- Paprika (mild pepper) and Kräuter (herb).  Both were mild but salty.

There were also spare-ribs, but I don’t seem to have a photo of them before cooking.  This sort of packaging is typical.  It is hard to find unmarinated beef this time of year, actually.  They have some- like this pack I found recently at Edeka:

Who could resist Mrs. Rump Steak?

But they tend to be small and expensive.  I still get them every few months when I am craving beef, though.

And, then, there were the things I don’t typically think of when I think BBQ in the states.  For instance, Cheese.  Yes, BBQ’d Cheese is a thing.  We had 3 varieties.  It is sort of like baked brie or cheese sticks, only, BBQier.

And, there was also this local specialty.  They have several types of this at the stores, but they bought the vegetarian kind for David Sallmann.  He is not a vegetarian, but he likes veggies.  I am told it is sort of like a cross between ravioli and, well, something you grill….

Definitely new to me!
Not all that appetizing in the pack….

Here is how everything cooked up:

The golden things up in the left side are a different kind of cheese.

You can see the cooked Maultaschen here.  I just couldn’t bring myself
to try it.  Maybe I will get a non-veggie kind and give it a shot.
They refer to them as the Green and Red steaks.

In honor of the geeky event, I made some bizarre American-style cupcakes.  I started off trying to make Giana’s hair, but eventually just went ahead and had a Frosting Fun Free-for-all.

Fun with Frosting
All about the texture…

They don’t really have cake, or cupcakes here.  There was a discussion about what the difference between cake and muffins is, and the fact that what the Germans call cake, is not cake at all, and the closest thing they have to our style of cake is something they have a different word for entirely (I didn’t catch the word, unfortunately, will need to ask again later).

There was also a rather wonderfully geeky conversation about the relative toxicity of various food dyes.  Blue is the one to avoid, I am told.  Dang.  Always my favorite!

We also had some fun strange chocolate bars that they had found locally.  These had bits of unusual things mixed in like licorice, jalepeno, lime or wildberries.  There were also some that had curry pineapples and ‘banana split’ but we didn’t have those.

The licorice bits were crunchy-
it was actually way better than it had any business being

I forgot to bring…
This week at the market we noticed a section of liquor that we hadn’t seen before.  I am sure it has been there all along, but I hadn’t been looking for things in that area so I hadn’t spotted it.  It is the kräuterlikör section.   Kräuterlikör is apparently a German Thing- liquor flavored with herbs and sugar, an offshoot of ancient medicinal droughts.  Jägermeister is the best known, but there are apparently many many of them.  And, of course, our area has a full set of local ones- mostly named after components of the Fastnacht celebrations.  So we get things like:

Berg Teufel (Mountain Devil),
7 Täler Hex (a Täler was an old silver coin, called a thaler in english)

Offenburger Teufel (Offenburg’s Devil), and
Offenburger Hexe (Offenburg’s witch)

I bought some of the Offenburg Hexe thinking I might share it.  But, as I forgot to bring it with us, I sampled it just now so I can report to you: They aren’t kidding about the 32% alcohol.  I think I could breath fire, now.  It isn’t as thick as Jägermeister, I think.  Tastes a little like brandy.  Might be good over ice cream? Or with fruit….  Not really as medicinal or herby-tasting as I was afraid.  So, there you have it!

Oh, last week for the Kickstarter.  Getting down to the wire, and close on the goals (knock wood!).  Wish us luck!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/project-giana/project-giana

Go! Go! Giana!

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