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Wednesday, January 22

Regional Food

As you’ve noticed around here, there aren’t many any posts about German food. That’s because there are very few things that we love eating out at German restaurants. There’s the drei im weggla (three Nürnbergers in a bun/roll), schnitzel and finally Schäufele.

Nürnbergers are sausages named after the city because they were invented here; in the land of bier, sausages are appropriate. Schnitzel in Austria is veal filet breaded and fried while here in Bavaria it is pork filet also breaded and fried. Schäufele is pork shoulder braised for hours and then the skin is scored and crisped under the broiler. Normally Schäufele is served with Knödel, a dumpling made from potatoes and a little flour. Generally they are very starchy (gummy) because waxy potatoes are used.

Thankfully when we had it this past weekend, not only was the Schäufele cooked perfectly, moist and tender but the Knödel was also very good (not gummy). We rented a car this weekend and drove to a small town 45 minutes from here for a lunch of Schäufele and Knödel at Gasthaus Schiller in Wernsdorf.

Normally Schäufele is served with sauerkraut (one of the foods Germans are known for). However at Gasthaus Schiller we did not get Schäufele with sauerkraut; it might be regional.

While we are on the topic let’s talk about regional differences. Even within the state of Bavaria and the Franken (see map here) area, there are specialties that don’t cross certain lines. The said lines are tricky to decipher.

Language follows suit the same way. Servus for instance is a form of greeting (hello and goodbye) in Munich and its surrounding towns while servus (I personally learned from my farm stand lady) is only used to say goodbye in the Nürnberg region. Say what?

Moral of this story? Germans, Bavarians are protective of their culture, language and especially food so you may not have the same dish in two restaurants some kilometers from each other.

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