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Everything posted by Behemoth

  1. Late spring is asparagus season, but late fall is better weather. This is a very tough choice.
  2. Completely different animals. Pomegranate molasses is more sour than sweet -- closer to balsamic vinegar, if anything. Would be interesting in a cocktail, but not as a grenadine substitute. edit: non-alcoholic arak? I can't imagine how that would work.
  3. A German city with great art museums and excellent beer. Hmmm... Nope, sorry. Nothing comes to mind.
  4. Berlin is simply a must-see city. I get there about once a year and I always find it has changed noticeably since the last time I was there. Go there without any preconceptions, and keep in mind that it will be hard to grasp the full extent of the city's cultural fabric as a short-term tourist. There have been large turkish and arab areas for years, but also a considerable southeast asian population, as well as a rapidly growing jewish population, and a bunch of central and south european immigrants added in the mix. As far as I can tell Berlin residents function in sort of a bored coexistence, as they do in any big city. Some of these areas will be close to where you will probably be walking around, but others will be farther from the absolute center of town -- Berlin is very spread out, so you have to get to most places intentionally, and will need to use the subway more than in most cities. I have to admit I find it ever harder to see the difference between the parts of town that used to be east, or west. Half the time I can't tell for sure until I look at the pedestrian signal. Architecturally it is not the most beautiful place in Germany, nor necessarily the most modern, but historically I find it fascinating. Of course what makes it fascinating is precisely what makes it difficult to use as a point of extrapolation about the rest of Germany, or Eastern europe, or anything else. in the same sense as you wouldn't generalize about the US by looking at New York City. You will find that almost everyone under 30 speaks some English. But being able to speak German is definitely a much appreciated gesture.
  5. No, I had to be back in the US! How sad is that? My husband seems to have taken full advantage of it though. Will definitely be there next year -- I have been advised to start shopping for my dirndl. I won't be in Munich again until December, but I am "starting to see land" as you say -- I am hoping to be there full time starting in June.
  6. Dear Heinz. Must you give away all our secrets? Granted there is the expected pork and potatoes, but when the pork is in the form of thinly sliced tiroler speck and the potatoes are tiny, buttery yellow and taste like they were dug out of the ground 5 minutes ago... And then there is the venison, wild boar, ducks, geese, quails, squab, the chanterelles, the rye breads, the black breads, the cheeses, the white asparagus, the baerenlauch, the meltingly sweet/sour braised red cabbage, the summer berries and autumn apples, the feldsalat & arugula, the various forms of hearty or delicate wurst and yes, saurkraut that is fresh and cooked with small cubes of bacon and coriander pods, big yeasty crunchy/chewy pretzles...not to mention the smoked fish and herring and north sea krabben and fish chowders...did I mention the pastry? And the amazing Schneider wheat beers, Augustiner helles, those beautiful rieslings, scheurebe, and the gruener veltliners from across the border that can be had for a fraction of what they cost in the US... Yeah, I hate German food. Mainly because I have to walk a lot to keep my jeans from getting too tight.
  7. I basically assume there is a long line of gross stuff that happens before the food ever gets to the supermarket. (This was the case with the spinach, as well as the sworfish parasites, yes?) If it is going to be cleaned and cooked at home, I don't worry about it. If I am buying cooked food, (e.g., a sandwich) I am more careful.
  8. Behemoth

    Weiss vs. Wiess

    There is some regional variation in naming. If you want a wheat beer in northern Germany, ask for a Weizen. If you are in the south, you have to ask for a Weissbier or you will get a blank confused look. (I learned this the hard way...)
  9. Well, don't be fooled, because this doesn't tell you *anything*... In fact, germany has more michelin-2*&3*-restaurants than any other european country besides france...not that the michelin is the "holy grail", but, well, you get the picture... The distribution of forums on egullet can be taken as an indication of the interests of a mostly english speaking audience, as well as the forum's resources in terms of managers and moderators. It cannot be taken as an indication of the quality of the cuisine in this region. I got the impression Ed meant Berlin has some catching up to do in terms of fine dining; I doubt he was speaking about Germany as a whole. There are a lot of very fine places to eat in Munich or Hamburg, for example, but Hamburg is not a huge tourist destination and when Americans/Brits come to Munich on vacation they are more interested in biergartens than Michelin-level restaurants. Which is fine...but I wouldn't read into it any more than that.
  10. Sundays at 22:20. But in three weeks it will probably be a different subject. I can't find any information on when they plan to rerun this one.
  11. I learned to BBQ ribs on a Weber kettle. For basic instructions I used Steve Reichul's (sp?) book, in which the recipes almost seems to have the weber grill in mind. Ronnie Suburban's suggestion of using a cork to hold the thermometer in place was really genius.
  12. Um...anyway. No, I'm afraid I've just lost the ability to express myself in English. Gordon Ramsay is not in this one. Mentor #1 is the chef from Retaurant Mark's, and Hans Haas of Tantris kind of (but of course not really) takes on the role of Gordon Ramsey. I don't get the sense Haas is a big football player, which is too bad really... Still, interesting getting a behind the scenes look at some local star joints.
  13. Did anyone catch the first half tonight? Remake of the British show. Gordon Ramsey was more entertaining in the original but there were some interesting back-of-house scenes at Tantris and Mandarin Oriental Hotel. On WDR TV. link
  14. Has anyone tried making David Thompson's raat nar muu /Rice noodles and pork with thickened "gravy", or knows what the dish is supposed to taste like? I found it almost unbearably salty, and was wondering if a) yellow bean sauce is called something else over there b) there's something wrong with the recipe c) it's supposed to be that way. Everything else I've made out of the book so far has been just outstanding, so this is such a curious exception.
  15. I guess that means I couldn't bring my dog with me to Germany. ← Aw.
  16. Yep, they're all over Germany too. Garbage disposals are illegal here though.
  17. Nasturtium flowers are great in sandwiches. (They basically taste a lot like watercress.) I don't think that is particularly uncommon though. Or poncy for that matter.
  18. It's quite accurate for Malays -- certainly was in the 70s and I believe it still is. My father is lefthanded and made sure to use only his right hand to eat during his stay in the Malay village we used to live in. But I'll note that you typically eat with your hand, not with utensils (except for a spoon for soup) in rural Malaysia, and especially if you're invited to someone's house. You are permitted to use your left hand to tear roti canai and such-like, but you must put the food into your mouth with your right hand. ← Yeah but it's not because they were incapable of washing their left hand after going to the bathroom, which is what this quiz is implying. Muslim culture favors right handedness for everything, for example, you are supposed to enter a mosque right foot first, and so on.
  19. Interestingly, I was invited to a German colleague's place for Christmas dinner, and the topic of cutting potatoes with a fork was brought up (not by me in response to this quiz). Only two people present had even heard of this, and one of those two had come across it only in the last week. The one who had known of it longer claimed it was about 100 years out of date, and only a died-in-the-wool pedant would observe it. He's a university professor - not sure if that makes him more or less likely to observe culinary niceties . Yep, that was the only one I got wrong. It was also the only one I answered from experience and not from having read it somewhere. The right-hand eating in Iran (or any other muslim country for that matter) thing is BS, by the way. I mean, its better to be right handed but the reason they give is vaguely...offensive.
  20. Cheapest would of course be to self-cater. You can find some great bread, cheese and charcuterie all over town. Try basements of big department stores, I've found them to be cheaper than viktualienmarkt and with a nice selection. Some supermarkets are better than others, but its rare to get truly bad bread. Viktualienmarkt is a lot of fun for a splurge here or there. Beirgartens are good and cheap for food. Even cheaper, you can buy the beer there and bring your own food with. Generally there are a lot of cheap asian, turkish and middle eastern imbiss spots. You are quite centrally located: if you head towards the hauptbanhof there's especially many around. It may not be earth shattering but it will be pretty decent. Bakeries are great for cheap food -- they usually sell some form of broetchen with stuff in it. Some bakeries are better than others, but you will be able to figure that out pretty quickly. Be sure to try leberkase: Bavaria's answer to spam! (It's good. Really.) There is just lots all over the place, kind of hard to know where to start. Here is a good link: Toytown Munich There are a lot of restaurant reviews there and the audience seems to take price into consideration so it might be useful. Good luck & viel Spass!
  21. My German in-laws do this. But given that they tend to go for the completely disgusting options like bright orange sweet and sour I consider it kind of a blessing.
  22. Wow, Millenium closed? I really have been away for far too long. Will be back in August to visit the 'rents though, maybe a Jamaican Jerk Hut meetup is in order. Nice to see that a second Fresh Grocer opened in West Philly. For most of the time I lived in West Philly I ended up schlepping groceries from RTM on the green line. Hitched occasional rides to psychopathmart with friends for canned goods & detergent... It's been fun to looking at the photos but it really is making me feel homesick. ahem. I think you mean wooder ice. Great job with the blog.
  23. Duh, another difference is that the Lebanese version wouldn't have rice. This is a totally different animal. Nevermind...
  24. Smithy -- I would probably prefer the green onion version as I am not a huge fan of green pepper. This is pretty close to the fatta I am familiar with, the only things that come to mind are 1) The fattahs that I am familiar with are done with flat bread, fried crisp. I think that might improve the balance. (Mexican chilaquiles remind me a lot of fatta, actually -- maybe that is a guideline?) 2) My family always served it in a big shallow or flat platter, so that some of the bread remained crispy, while other pieces were softened by the sauce. The yogurt was drizzled over the top but didn't cover everything. Now that I think of it, again it's less like tortilla pie, more like chilaquiles. Of course, the egyptian version could be totally different -- do they usually serve it in a deep-ish bowl? Will give this a shot next time I am near a working kitchen. I am really jealous of your clay pot though.
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