During our "trip of a lifetime" 35th anniversary vacation in Europe, our friends and overseas hosts, Gabe and Jeanie, introduced us to many fabulous epicurean delights.
The french fries in Germany cannot be topped anywhere. Germans prefer eating them with mayonnaise, but they do offer ketchup as well. AND they give you tiny little plastic skewers so you can delicately eat each one. (That's how you can spot the Americans over there. They dig in with their fingers!) Gabe and Jeanie are now back in Houston and have searched high and low for a french fry that might compare, but to no avail.
The pastry in France is divine! I bought a simple chocolate covered donut in the Paris train station. It was so light, so fresh and delicious that it became my standard by which I will measure any future donut. Oh, and the popular crepes.Yummy! The favorite crepe topping seemed to be Nutella, which I discovered to be a staple over there.
We have memories of eating bratwurst served in restaurants, open-air village markets and even in outdoor cafes on the grounds of beautiful castles. But my best bratwurst memory took place atop the famous Mt. Zugspitze in the Bavarian Alps.
Those steaming hot sausages tasted unbelievably good while perched atop that freezing cold mountain. Um-mm...I can smell them now!
We think back fondly of the "weiner schnitzel with the mushroom gravy" meal. The authentic old-world cooking in an old Bavarian restaurant in Garmish, complete with the ambiance of background "oom-pa-pa" music with Bavarian-costumed dancers, also made an extraordinary culinary memory.
However, by far, our favorite eatables memory is one which Maria from The Sound of Music sang about in her song, "My Favorite Things." And that is "crisp apple strudels."
Our first taste of this famous German dessert was at the end of our time on Mt. Zugspitze at an indoor restaurant overlooking that breathtaking mountain view.
Isn't the presentation lovely? And the taste...sublime!
Our next strudel experience was of the "strudel-to-top-all-others" kind. The pastor and his wife in the Bavarian Alps city of Garmish took the four of us out to eat for lunch. For dessert, we walked over to yet another restaurant for their renowned specialty. It is made from a secret recipe which is estimated to be anywhere from 300 to 450 years old. Chefs come here from all over the world to train ...and to learn the "secret of the strudel."
The picture simply does not do it justice. All those ultra thin pastry layers filled with apples and nuts and spices...whoa boy! The hot butter sauce pooled on the plate was the finest I've ever tasted, hard to describe, but oh my, the taste was to die for!
Seldom do we get together with Gabe and Jeanie that the "apple strudel" subject does not come up. What do you want for your birthday? Apple strudel! How did you like your dessert? Well, it was not apple strudel! What's everybody hungry for tonight? APPLE STRUDEL!
Writing this post has me salivating! I already stopped to add Nutella to my grocery list. Let's see, would it taste better on a slice of whole wheat toast or on a breakfast waffle? And I keep thinking that my husband just might take me to La Madeleine's tonight after church. I think I'll ask Gabe and Jeanie to come too. We won't have apple strudel, but we can make new epicurean memories. Bon appetit!