This week lacked a little bit of adventure. I returned from Berlin on Monday morning (gotta love 7 a.m. flights–and sleeping on the airport floor). Classes recommenced Tuesday and we were loaded down with prep work for the coming month. May will be a three-week, non-stop adventure for yours truly. There are plenty of plans up my sleeves; I hope you all are excited to see them.
With that being said, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the things I've been tasting and enjoying. I have plenty of food photographs, but I figured I would stick to the cuisine of two cities: Brussels and Berlin. If you know me, you might be surprised by all the sausage I have tried from Germany. What can I say? I believe in adapting diets to try new things, and blood sausage just happened to be one of them. Also, I threw my healthy eating habits out the window in these two places. Woops.
Don't drool too much - don't want to ruin your computer.
Gui, the couch surfing host, supplied a fantastic breakfast the first morning. Croissants, waffles and these delicious pain au chocolats. Thin layers like a typical croissant, but a pleasant contrast of dark chocolate tucked into the middle. Great start to a day (but perhaps not the healthiest).
Gui insisted we venture to this little cafe for dinner. Curious about the durum, I ordered it. Instead of durum meat, they stuff the wrap with delicious fries. The black pepper sauce added a good little kick of spice.
In my quest to find the perfect waffle, I sampled this one in Brussels. A warm waffle topped with fruit syrup and powdered sugar will satisfy any sweet tooth. The syrup's tangy raspberry flavor sat well on the waffle.
Croques are the French version of grilled cheese, and this one was stuffed with a variety. They were toasted a bit too much, but drinking the wine after each bite washed it down well. Oh, and the wine was warm. I didn't even know that was possible, but here it is. It's served with a slice of lemon and cloves.
After a two hour hike, bellies start grumbling, so we got some take-out and sat in a park. Henni's dish, top, was a mixture of different Asian mushrooms, carrots, peppers, seaweed and bamboo. The mushrooms were more pungent than any I had ever tasted, and by the time you were finished chewing, you weren't keen on swallowing. The bottom dish, however, was delicious. Fresh shrimp and vegetables in a spicy soy marinade.
The crowded beer garden at Mauer Park offered cheap, greasy food. You can't leave Germany without trying the currywurst, so I snagged that. They top a sausage with ketchup and curry powder before stabbing a tiny fork in it. Pretty simple, can be made at home, but should be enjoyed on German soil.
The Mister Miller sign deceives a lot of customers. Don't walk into the building, walk up the window located right under the sign. And order the classic "Mister Miller Dog." If you're picky, ask for no pickles, and get laughed at (probably just because the word pickle sounds funny to the German-speaking employee). This hot dog has ketchup, mustard, fried onions and obviously, pickles on top. Not bad for only €1.50.
This picture is more about the man wearing a grill than the hot dog. Do you see that!? It's a backpack power source maintaining a grill! Oh Berlin, the ways you impressed me vary so greatly. The wiener itself was mediocre, but the bun appeased me.
I needed a break from the overload of meat I had somehow consumed in three days, so I made my way to a vegan/vegetarian restaurant. Ironically, they offered only hamburger-style sandwiches. I knew I liked seitan, so I picked that without trying to translate the rest of the menu. Do you know what seitan is? It's another of the many beef substitutes currently on the market. If you ask me, it outshines tofu and this burger was no exception. I'm not quite sure how to describe the flavor of "fake meat," but the cook crisped the outside of the patty without overcooking the seitan. Fries, with an accidental overload of pepper, were perfect on the side.
What you see here fantastically represents German cuisine. Sauerkraut sits in the foreground, while whipped potatoes support the two sausages and a sprig of parsley. Oh, and the beer sitting behind the plate completes the meal. The lighter colored sausage was of liverwurst. Can you tell what the darker sausage is? It's black pudding. My curiosity got the best of me, so I asked for the bloodiest sausage possible. The flavors were intensely meaty, but in a satisfying, not repulsive way.
After I returned from Berlin, I bought an abundance of fruits and vegetables and swore off carbohydrates, dairy and other junk food. My body needed a break from the unhealthy (but oh-so delicious) foreign foods, and it's since forgiven me.
Hannah Cather is a senior in journalism and electronic media. She is spending the semester in Utrecht, Netherlands studying European culture and journalism at Hogeschool University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.