Beyond the Currywurst: German Culinary Adventures

When you think of German cuisine, are the first things that come to mind boiled sausages, souerkraut and beer? Or perhaps the unidentifiable sausage with ketchup and curry powder, better known as currywurst? Well, my recent trip to Allemagne proved to be much more gastronomically exciting. I did try the famous currywurst, and of course the “traditional” doners and shwarmas (I say traditional, but this ‘tradition’ is only about 40ish years old, that I would say started with mass Turkish immigration to Germany starting in early 1970s). However, I was also lucky to have delicious home meals prepared for me as well. This post highlights some of my culinary “adventures” in Njemačka 🙂

Being an avid cappuccino drinker, I’ve found it interesting to document different ways this espresso-based treat is made and presented in different establishments…you may say I even went a little crazy with the number of photos depicting this 🙂
On Sunday, a typical Berliner will go out for brunch, and in  Quartier Friedrichshain, there are plenty of brunch places to choose from. Since we were visiting Belgium next and needed to prep our taste buds for all the waffles to come, we chose Tempo-Box, for their brunch, as they offered make-your-own waffles as the dessert part of brunch.

Appropriately named, Carpe Diem brunch had plenty of choices, from cold cuts, gourmet cheeses, croissants and granola to heartier dishes like different types of pasta, pesto gnocchi, sausages, etc. For dessert, of course, waffles and plenty other goodies 🙂

Carpe the croissant! The last one left (we got there late :))

The terrace of Tempo-Box is colourful, summery and a perfect place to people watch 🙂

As you can see, plenty of things to choose from – although my favorite was the pesto gnocchi, featured in the front of this photo – so creamy and perfectly al dente! 🙂

Table decoration at Tempo-Box – flirty and summery 🙂

Pièce de Resistance!  The waffles!  So many different topings to chose from.  The top photo shows them immersed in cream, chocolate and bananas.  For me, I like to try a bit of everything, so some chocolate and raspberry jam were also delicious options.  And, as true Berliners, after brunch, a visit to the flea market is a must 🙂  The near-by flea market in the Quartier Friendrichshain proved to be excellent for old cameras and antique keys.  My collection is expanding! yay!

In the south of Germany, in Keiserslautern, one morning we opted to have a quick and easy breakfast…and of course, you start with dessert first! 🙂  Chocolate pastries are one of my favorite (I wish they weren’t), and this one was looking way too delicious to be left behind 🙂

Is there anything better than fresh bread?  I think if  I could choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be bread 🙂  Choosing a loaf of bread in Germany is so much fun, because there are always so many to choose from.

Keiserslautern is home to many beautiful parks that are home to beautiful flowers such as this one 🙂

Sometimes when you’re on vacation, not having a plan is the best plan of all.  On this particular day, the only ‘plan’ was to walk around Berlin, stop at things that looked interesting, lounge in cafes, people watch and take lots of photos.  While walking around in Quarter Mitte, I sat down at a cafe to have yet another cappuccino 🙂

It’s already gone! 🙂 🙂

Through a small walkway in Hofgarten, you can find this little gem, the famous – Café Cinema,

A familiar scene: domestic and foreign press.  There’s something so charming about newstands.

Very simple presentation for this cappuccino, but it was gone quickly nevertheless.  I really like the spoon that it came with.  Yes, I’m weird 🙂

I love visiting friends, and I felt very priviledged to have a home cooked meal prepared for me.  One of my dear friends, an avid photographer and constructive critic of this ‘publication’, Mirabelle invited us to share a meal and exciting board games!  We arrived a bit early, so I had lots of time to distract her with my constant picture taking while she cooked (but she was a perfectly good host and didn’t show her annoyance 🙂 :)).

We started the meal with a melon apperitif.  The preparation is super simple, it was ready in minutes, and having beautiful glasses to serve it in, makes for a very elegant yet quick presentation. Boysenberries add a punch of colour, and are delicious to boot.  Preparation includes blending frozen melon/honeydew/cantaloupe, then adding  honey or maple syrup and water until desired thickness and sweetness is achieved.  Less water for a granizado to be eaten with a spoon, more water for a drink.  If don’t have frozen melon, then regular melon and ice instead of water works as well!  So easy!

Being early to a dinner party has its advantages 🙂 At least from my perspective. Mirabelle didn’t quite agree 🙂 I find that the preparation process is many times as fun as eating itself. And what better way to capture it than to showcase the ingredients?

These beautiful and wonderful smelling flowers came from Mirabelle’s white garden.  The delicate stems complemented her antique apartment perfectly.

And when all the ingredients were masterfully prepared, we got to enjoy the following!

Roasted vegetables ready to be plated.  Again, Mirabelle is a master of delicious yet simple dishes – variety of peppers, zuchhini, onion and eggplant roasted in oven until golden and slightly charred.

The finished creation!  Vegetables were coupled with tortellini pasta in tomato sauce and a beautifully presented multi-coloured tomato and cashew salad (I think I may have to steal this presetnation technique for the future :))  The pasta is put in the oven when the vegetables are almost done (past only needs under 10 min to cook), with some olive oil and a touch of maple syrup, and melted mozzarella on top…. yummm!!

And while Mira was putting the finishing touches on dessert, we were able to climb on top of her building (which is not far since she’s on the top floor), and enjoy this spectacular sunset 🙂  It’s a bird! It’s a plane!  It’s Berlin at sunset!

Mirabelle’s top-floor apartment and white garden.

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying dessert and learning how to play Settlers of Catan 🙂 And then running for the train…


2 responses to “Beyond the Currywurst: German Culinary Adventures

  1. Hi there!
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    • Hello Julia,

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