While clearing out an overstuffed inbox, I came across an email from last autumn titled “German eating habits.” Since food seems to be one of the true universal languages (and one of this blog’s favorite topics), I asked permission to share it more widely. The following photos and text are from reader Brigitte, of southwest Germany.
Approximately 31 percent of the total area of Germany is forested.
The view from my balcony. This year we have a nice Altweibersommer (Old Wives’ Summer or Indian Summer).
Autumn means hunting season, which means one can find a lot venison, wild pig, muscovy duck, etc. on restaurant menus.
Venison is usually eaten with Spätzle (fresh German egg noodles), deep-fried apples, cranberry jam, and red cabbage.
Zwiebelkuchen (onion cake/pie)
In the southwest of Germany where I live, Zwiebelkuchen (onion cake) is a typical early fall specialty. It is made with a pile of sautéed onions, to which are added cream, egg and bacon, and the mixture is baked on a pie crust. It is usually served with Neuer Wein (new wine), also known as Federweißer. We eat Zwiebelkuchen cold or warm, as a snack or as part of a lunch with salad. It is cheap, easy to make, and you can buy it everywhere in butcher shops, bakeries, restaurants, sandwich bars, on the markets, at street festivals…and you also can smell it everywhere.
It is warm here (20°C) and most people do not close the windows, so you can always tell when someone nearby is making Zwiebelkuchen. I wouldn’t know, myself, but last Saturday I had a guest from northern Germany and he was a little bemused about the “unpleasant” odor in some streets.
(OEx: This sounds not unlike sardine season in Portugal — we always know when someone is grilling sardines, too! And now I want to try Zwiebelkuchen.)