Blue Rhine, Black Forest (1930) (German cuisine; 1 of 2)
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Sun Jun 6 02:57:31 UTC 2004
I was looking for "Black Forest cake," but instead found much more. There's an appendix on German food terms.
If you're not interested, please just browse or delete...Gerald Cohen takes trips to Germany and there are some food people here, but I don't want to burden others.
A HAND- AN DAY-BOOK
by Louis Untermeyer
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company
Pg. 7: It may be equally true that all one needs in German is _Ein Glas Bier, Danke schon, Wo ist das Abort?_
Pg. 15: It was the tact of the _portier_ at the Hotel Metropol that taught me how to eat _Asperges a la Flamande_. As an asparagus lover, I had opened my eyes at the mamoth (Pg. 16--ed.) white stalks, accompanied by a butter-sauce _and_ a severely simple hard-boiled egg. Most of my compatriots, the _portier_ confided with a shudder, either sent the egg back, saying it had not been ordered, or, worse still, ate their asparagus _au naturel_--and then attacked the egg. As an traveled person knew, he continued, the egg must be gently sliced, cross-cut and, when its portions were sufficiently reduced, pressed and prodded with a fork. Next, the melted butter was poured over the result, mixed with it and heaped in a low mound. The asparagus was now ready to be annointed, and then--The _portier's_ gesture was graphic.
Pg. 24: Trays of beer, pretzels, _Schinkenbrotchen_ appear at the further end.
Pg. 30: ...an establishment where, for twenty cents, one may acclimate one's self to the _Burgerliches Mittagessen_ (popular lunch) of _Bratwurst_ and beer; hardware store, cabaret, _Conditorei_ (a super-bakery),...
Pg. 41 ("Wines of the Rhine"): The _Johannisberg Klaus_ and the familiar _Johannisberger_, like their more aristocratic relation, are distinguished by bouquet an affability rather than by power. One can taste cool shadows and slow sunlight in even a low-priced _Johannisberger_. The neighboring _Rudesheimer_ is a more deceptive wine; so light as to seem harmless, its innocence is a sham and the partaker should be aware of its sublety.
Pg. 42: Other wines celebrated in the Rheingau ( a section fifteen miles long) are the full-bodied _Grafenberger_, the beryl-colored _Grisenheimer_, the delicate _Marcobrunner_ (an ideal "ladies' wine"), the less elegant but satisfactory _Hallgartener_, and the always superior _Hochheimer_, shortened in England to "Hock"--by which the Englishman means any white wine of Germany.
Pg. 55: But the red wine which the region honors is still called _Drachenblut_--"Dragon's Blood."
Pg. 87: Here is Assmannshausen, the home of the "famed and furious" red wine and a dozen tales, purporting to show how it got its potency.
Pg. 92: THE "WINE-MOUNTAINS"
Pg. 94: ...up they go to the _Weinberge_ (literally "wine-mountains"),...
Pg. 104: THE CONDITOREI
The _Conditorei_ (_habitat_ Germany and Austria) deserves a chapter to itself. More, it deserves a laureate. It is a glorified sweetshop, a bakery lifted to the _n_th, a cake-and-coffee shop in Heaven. No one can appreciate tarts, has ever understood pastry, until confronted with the pastrymaker's sould as it is revealed on the lyrical counters of the _Conditorei_. Merely as designs, the _Kuchen_ (high German for _patisserie_) are as ingenious as they are infite. Here are chocolate squares precariously balanced on an edifice of _Blatterteig_ (tissue-paper dough); here are towers of cherries leaning Pisa-like above a foundation of _blanc mange_; here vanilla triangles are set back from futuristic flanks of plums, spun sugar and candied rhubarb. What Ely (Pg. 105--ed.) Jacques Kahn has done for the recessional skyscrapers, and P. T. Frankl for step-back furniture, some anonymous German has accomplished for the hitherto conventional pastry. So much for the design. Luckily for the clumsy artificer in words, the tastes are indescribable. All the known and at least twelve unknown sweetmeats and spices have been insinuated into these _Strudels_, _Barpfoten_, _Indianer_, _Lebkuchen_, _Linxertorten_, ten-layered, chocolate-wafered _Pischinger Torten_, rum-flavored _Punschtorten_, _Anana Creme_, _Cremeschnitten_, _Krapfen_, _Scheiterhaufen_. . . .
And, like an ever-recurrent theme, more persistent than a Wagnerian motif, occurs the _Schlagsahne_ (_Schlagobers_), that favorite substratum which is nothing more nor less than whipped cream. To the German, whipped cream is anything but a culinary flourish; it is no mere twirl to drop in one's cocoa or add as a decorative scallop to a wedge of fruit. To the German, it is a sweet _per se_, a complete dish, a teatime _raison d'etre_. Every traveler has gasped to see dainty Frauleins and Teutons who are almost Titans consuming plates, piles and pyramids of whipped cream _au naturel_. Rare is the American who can suppress a shudder. He may become used to Rhine wine for breakfast, acclimated to beer and _Wurstel_ at eleven A.M.; he may even develop a passion for those lumps of boiled dough called _Spatzle_. But the idea of sitting down to saucers of _Schlagsahne_ will always curdle his patriotic blood.
Pg. 112: At each end are fragrant, open-air kitchens where one can buy--and decided does buy--_Waffeln_, which are waffles without a taint of sogginess, without a suspicion of dough or, for that matter, of this heavy-hearted world; waffles idealized, etherealized, spiritualized, to which our waffles are as Caliban to Prospero; waffles upon which the powdered sugar lies like rhyme upon a poem; affles compounded of hope, faith and midsummer moonlight; waffles that life a man (and sometimes a woman) above himself; waffles...
(I gotta tell the NY TIMES that this is the food critic to replace William Grimes--ed.)
Pg. 119: No one thinks of retiring immediately after the theater in Heidelberg. There are a dozen restaurants, _Bierstube_, coffee-houses, _Weinkeller_. Andthere is, first of all, The Perkeo. To the eye, The Perkeo is an overcrowded and rather dingy Ratskeller on the Hauptstrasse a little to the west of the Ludwigsplatz. To the ear, it is a jumble of all the barbarous dialects south of Hamburg. But to the palate, it is Paradise enow. The loaf of bread has turned into a variety of salt pretzel and _Stangel_, placed before you cunningly designed to increase your thirst; the book of verse is translated into the poetry of _Leberknodel_, _Knackwurst_, _Sauerbraten_; the jug of wine foams into the sweeter mead of _Marzenbier_, _Maibock_, _Hackerbrau_, _Spatenbrau_, _Lowenbrau_, _Leopoldbrau_...
Pg. 120: Next morning, without the slightest trace of _Katzenjammer_ ("cat's yammering" i.e., a hangover), you are fitter than ever.
Pg. 122: If you are wise, you will let the _Fuhrer_ (official guide) take you through.
(OED has nothing before 1934 and the Nazis--ed.)
Pg. 127 ("THE STADT-GARTEN"): But for the untutored and merely thirsty, there is the Pilsener type (generally known as _helles_ or light beer) and the heavier, sweeter Munchener (_dunkles_ or dark beer). One may, of course, insist on the genuine Pilsener (now the product of Czecho-Slovakia) at double the price, but an order of "_Ein Glas helles_" will usually bring a light and satisfactory potation, while "_Ein Glas dunkles_" will result in something not unworthy of Munich.
Pg. 151: The standard of life is still governed by the three K's: "_Kuche_, _Kirche_, _Kinder_"--which may be high-handedly translated "Kitchen, Kirk, Kiddies."
Pg. 155: Examples may be collected at every Wirtschaft, inn and cross-roads, Scarcely a dining-room is without this subtle invitation and apology:
_Hunger is der beste Koch_
_Der je war oder wirdet noch._
Which may be translated roughly:
Away with recipes in books,
Hunger is the best of cooks!
Pg. 184 ("LUNCHING IN FREIBURG"): The ordinary three mark table d'hote offers the always dependable noodle soup, a _Vorspeise_ of eggs or fish, young roast chicken or saddle of venison, a _Torte_ or _Ananas Erdbeeren_, "pineapple strawberries," so called because of their size and fragrance. Venison in Germany is no patrician dish; even the name has no lordly implications: _Rehrucken_ or _Rehragout_ is mere "deer stew" or peasant "roe-steak."
Pg. 199 ("WOLFACH"): This is the country of streams where the trout leap into the fish-basket and the _Schwarzbrod Torte_ is glorified. Do not let the plebian name deceive you; the _Schwazbrod (sic) Torte_, in order to justify its name, may be black bread among its constitutents, but the finished product is like it in nothing but color. Here, masquerading under the domestic misnomer, are more spices than the East would recognize, a hugger-mugger of fat raisins, golden sultanas, syrupy currants, citron, orange-peel, chocolate--and a generous dash of that colorless but commanding essence known as _Kirchwasser_. The novice is advised that it is well to stop after the fourth portion.
Pg. 204 ("RIPPOLDSAU"): An average menu in the Saal for those not suffering from anything worse than sore heels consists of cream of chicken, blue brook trout uncontaminated by plebian bread crumbs, young gosling with chipolata, a fennel salad, a _bombe_ of variegated ices and assorted marzipan cakes. A Kurhaus!
Pg. 208: At the Tannenhof we weighed the claims of a _Kappelrodecker_, a peach-colored wine, against a pale-gold _Markgrafler_ without coming to a decision.
Pg. 227: "FAREWELL TROUT"
There is still the matter of the _Abschiedsforelle_--literally "Farewell Trout." If the departing guest has not offended the entire community, his last supper is signalized by the entry of a large silver pot, the handles of which are covered with elaborately twisted napkins. The (Pg. 228--ed.) chef himself appears, the waitresses stand back, the pot in which the fish was cooked is reverently placed on your table which has blossomed with ferns and rose petals, the lid is lifted, the guests murmur "_Abschiedsforellen_" and the prepared rainbow trout is put on your plate. It is the brightly speckled trout _au naturel_--just as he glistened in his ciy waters. No self-respecting cook would commit the sacrilege of subtracting the head or adding a bread crumb; fresh butter and small potatoes are the only permitted accompaniment. You slit your piscatorial Godspeed, remove the backbone, raise your glass of half-sweet Rulander (a Hundseck specialty), invoke Herr Maushart and the gods. Ten minutes of delicatesilence. Then the chef departs, the silver pot is taken away, the customary roast appears. The ritual is over.
Pg. 231 ("BADEN-BADEN ENVIRONS"): ...Ausfluge_ (picnics)...
...to the Alte Schloss (or Hohenbaden) and its conveniently situated restaurant which serves the finest _Zwetschgentorte_ (plum-cake) in all Europe.
Pg. 237: APPENDIX A A CONDENSED GLOSSARY
Pg. 239: FOOD
Abendbrot (Abendessen): supper
Bauernbrot: coarse bread
Bier (helles), (dunkles): beer (light), (dark)
Eier weich gekochte; Eier hart gekochte: soft-boiled eggs; hard-boiled eggs
Gabel fruhstuck (Mittagessen): lunch
Gebratene (s): fried or roasted
Gedampfte (s): steamed, stewed
Gedunste (s): stewed
Gerostete (s): roasted, grilled
Obst (Frucht): fruit
Rotwein: red wine
Ruhreier: scrambled eggs
Schnitte: cut, sliced
Spatzle: small dumplings
Speisenfolge: menu, bill of fare
Spiegeleier: fried eggs
Sprudel: mineral water
Verlorene Eier: poached eggs
Vorspeise: Hors d'oeuvre
Wacholder branntwein: gin
Weisswein: white wine
(TO BE CONTINUED)
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