Monday, April 13, 2009

A possible start of themed posts about spring break.

Instead of talking about everything one day at a time, I might talk about themes instead. Like churches and castles and mountains. Maybe. I don't think that'd be very thorough though. But, there is one topic I would like to talk about now, and that is the delicious foods that were discovered.

For starters: Pretzels
Germany (Rhine Valley in particular) is crazy about pretzels. You can hardly go a block without running into a bakery. And at these bakeries they sell pretzels in like a million different shapes. There are your typical pretzel shaped pretzels, there are broetchens which are basically little rolls made out of pretzel bread, there are braids, there are sticks, there are knots.... and when you get into other countries they do different things. Switzerland had rings of pretzels made from six broetchens stuck together. Munich only really had pretzels cut in half with butter in the middle; I didn't try one of those however. One tiny problem too, is that every where uses a different recipie. I think the best pretzels came from the Rhine Valley, but the ones in Switzerland were much softer. So if you are ever in Germany, i definately reccommend that you stop by a baeckerei and get some sort of pretzel. Broetchens have more soft inside than the rest, with the one exception of the giant braids you can get in Freiburg at this one place about two blocks from the train station.

Next: Lasagna
I know you can get this in the US, and I know that you can get it at any Itallian restaurant you go to anywhere in the world. But that doesn't change the fact that it is still very very tasty. What's weird is that I had the worst lasagna ever at this place in Rome a couple blocks fom the Vatican. You'd think that in Italy they'd know how to make it. But I'm sure you've all had it before. It's tasty.

Alcohol: Limoncello / Limoncino / Limonce
Oh. My. God. Know how I had thought I found my alcohol? And that that alcohol was whisky? I was so, so wrong. I am definately one for the fruity stuff. I had heard of Limoncello before, and knew that they had it in Italy, but I didn't really actively search it out for the first couple days in Italy. Then Jake decided he wanted to try it, and I had a sip. It is TASTY. It's basically really good lemonade, but with that nice warming feeling at the end. Also, I just spent the last hour looking up how to make it, and soon as it's legal, I'm going to try. So we got a bottle and went through it while we were in Switzerland. So, so, tasty. And for those of you concerned about alcohol consumption, it's typically served as a doubleshot after dinner. Along with expresso, but I'm not huge on coffee, and alcohol at restaurants is expensive, so I only got it once at a restaurant.

Also, while we were in Innsbruck, there was a liquor store (looking at the golden roof, turn right, halfway down that block on the left) that would let you sample as many of their liquors as you wanted, they had probably 100 flavors in these funky glass.... bottle/keg things. I tried some peach stuff there and it was pretty tasty too. But the tasting of it and Lemoncello was too far apart for me to know which one I like best, and I haven't gotten into the bottle I bought of it yet to know. But it was tasty too. :)

Dessert: Gelato
Yeah, gelato is in the US and the rest of the world too, but it's tasty. And cheap. And tasty. Favorite was by far Peach Brandy at a place in Pisa. Stracciatella was good too, so were the chocolates and creams and caramel and mint and whatever other flavors I tried that I don't really remember right now.

And now you know what the best foods I had were. Also, since I'm probably not going to be talking about food when I do my huge writeup, I'll go on and let y'all know about some weird European food things.

For example, they will not give you tap water. Anywhere. Exept for one Itallian restaurant in Luzern. And that not-tap-water costs anywhere from 3 to 5 euros for anywhere from .5 liters to 1.5 liters. You also have to pay like 4-5 euros for a half liter of soda, and beer... well I don't like it so I never ordered it, but it was only a bit more expensive than soda. Also, most meals are in the range of 7-10 euros at the cheaper restaurants. If you're in Germany and if you are one of the three of us, then go to empty restaurants and they will be tasty. If you are one of the three of us and in Italy, don't go to the empty restaurants no matter how tired your feet are. They will not be tasty.

Also, Munich has fun dumpling type things. The potato ones are fun to play with. Hehe. Kartoffelknoedel. The word is even fun to play with.

And the Swiss are kinda sick. They sell horse meat in their grocery stores. No, we didn't try any.

I think that's about it for food generalizations. Might write more occasionally when I do the detailed writeups.

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