I am both proud and ever so slightly appalled at myself. In a span of four hours I ate breakfast at a relative’s house, went on a pastry crawl, drank a life-changing hot chocolate, and ate an entire ice scream sundae (almost).
I have no shame.
When faced with the departure from a country, I become overwhelmed with all the foods I absolutely must eat but have not eaten yet. Take this instance for example. With a mere 24 hours left in Germany, I simply refused to leave without eating kuchen, eis (ice cream), and generally stuffing myself with everything that looks delicious. Hence, I grew an extra two stomachs.
It went something like this. We awoke to a late breakfast of assorted breads, cheeses, cold cuts, and coffee. After a round of goodbyes, we left my relative’s house and made our way to the city center to test the limits of our stomachs.
I began what I like to call a pastry crawl with a berry and custard filled, streusel topped roll. It continued with a couple of bites of berliner bretzle (sweet pastry dough pretzel) filled with vanilla pudding. Next was a slice of zuckerkuchen – basically sweet bread baked like a cake and topped with sugar and toasted almonds. And finally, half a nut filled, sugar glazed, chocolate dipped puff pastry roll. I felt like the guy who has tons of money and just throws it all in the air and makes it rain. Except I imagined myself doing so with german pastries. Needless to say, I was incredibly content. And astoundingly, I was prepared to eat more.
Ha, who am I kidding. I wasn’t even astounded. This was normal glutton behavior.
We continued to galavant about the city, seeking nourishment to satisfy the black hole that had appeared inside my stomach. That black hole was quickly quenched with a large mug of hot chocolate.
Now, listen up kids. I’ve had a lot of hot chocolate throughout my 18 years of life. Based on my extensive experience with hot chocolate, I like to thoroughly judge each hot chocolate I drink. For example, swiss miss is dirty water. The marshmallow variety seems to include some sort of white styrofoam pieces that were somehow mistakenly called marshmallows (if it wasn’t evident, I have a bit of a grudge against powders that are mistakenly marketed as “hot chocolate”). Anyhow, this german hot chocolate – I’ll call it german for a lack of any other way to differentiate it from the other hot chocolate’s I’ve had – it was unlike any hot chocolate I’ve had before. When I drink hot chocolate, I like to asses the drinkability. For example, italian style hot chocolate has the drinkability of pudding. Thus it’s easier to “drink” it with a spoon. French hot chocolate is somewhere in the middle on the thickness scale. It’s thick enough that a small sip will suffice, but not so thick that you begin to doubt your ability to finish off an entire cup. Now, this german hot chocolate was on the opposite end of the scale, closer to the drinkability of chocolate milk. And yet… it had this deceptive richness that I’d compare to that of french hot chocolate. It’s as if there were tiny particles of chocolate suspended in what seemed to be regular hot chocolate made with steamed milk that melted on the tongue and created the allusion of extreme chocolaty-ness. This was a very satisfactory cup of hot chocolate. I could even call it life changing.
At that point I was slightly surprised that the immense amount of sugar I had eaten hadn’t knocked me out. However, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I was still conscious and we continued our afternoon of gluttony with some ice cream.
Firstly I would like to make the general statement that all dairy products in Europe, and particularly Germany, taste better than those of their counterparts in America. I have no desire to divulge in this topic but suffice it to say that some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had was in Germany. I ordered some sort of sundae type object with vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, yogurt and a medley of fresh fruits in an attempt to bring some sort of balance to my diet (HA). It came with some sort of magical berry coulis that gave me the impression that I was frolicking through a beautiful meadow perfumed with the sweet scent of happiness. But the ice cream itself, the vanilla, was something entirely different. It was some sort vanilla bean speckled, lovely lemony and ever so slightly fruity concoction that I would have very much liked to bathe in if it were possible.
And so, with an obscene amount of sugar coursing through my veins I was content to leave Germany having eaten nearly everything I had been set on consuming (except for that elusive/non-existent speatzle, which we wandered about for a good two hours looking for). Thanks Germany, it was delicious. Until next time.