Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I'm in Berlin this week and it's arguably the best time to be here. On Sunday the Turkish won in the European Football Cup - Berlin has a huge Turkish community and they were VERY happy and VERY vocal about it.

And then on Monday the Germans themselves won the Austrians. And they too were very pleased. On top of a lot of flag-waving, I've also had some more and less nice things to eat. Here are the more traditional highlights (accompanied by appropriate pictures of the soccer festivities).

On Sunday night we had the official opening dinner in a Bavarian restaurant called Gugelhof, which is famous for some reason (not their food for sure). Apparently when Clinton was visiting they went there with Schröder. Our menu consisted of Spargelkremesuppe mit Bärlauchpesto (asparagus soup with some odd pesto and either Balsamico or the pumpkin-seed oil).

It was quickly covered by a milk-soup skin, that then meandered around the plate in a gross way - reminding me of one of my childhood poems about milk-soup:
Piimasupp see piidleb last,
mine saa nüüd aru tast,
soe ja valge, vahib sealt -
fuih, tal nahk on ka veel peal.

(Loose translation: Milk-soup is staring at the kid, go figure - why, warm and white it's looking up, Yuck, it's even covered with a skin). You can tell that I was never a fan of the milk-products. Especially when heated.

For the second course we had Rindertafelspitz aus dem Kessel mit frischem Meerrettich und Bouillonkartoffeln - which was basically again a kinder-garden staple - the 'one-pot stew' of some chewy beef and chunks of root vegetables.

For dessert we got some ice-cream, which was fabulous :)

My sister has been living in Germany for two years now, and one of her first and deepest culinary impressions was a dessert called milchreis(basically a rice-pudding, usually with plums, cherries or apples). So for Monday lunch I had a very nice pea-mint soup

and a milchreis with plums in a Delikatessen called Splendid near Friedrichstrasse.

Monday night some friends took me to a huge beer-garten to see how a soccer-match really needs to be watched.
The experience was comprised of nearly no way of being able to see the big screen, but seeing a lot of German flags, fake-hair and face-paint in the flag colors and a mandatory 'steak sandwich'.

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