I'll show you my culture, if you show me yours.
After our foray into the world of Ai Weiwei, we headed to our friends' house to try some local German-made german food.
These guys live fairly far east... it's pretty much in Poland.
Andy doing this... but possibly with slightly less success? I'll let you decide.
And of course, he decided to bring the Party Keg- 5 L of premium beer for 7 or 8 euros.
We arrived at their house, and I went straight for the cats.
Friends who are funny? tick.
Friends who are funny and make great food? double tick.
Friends who are funny, make great food and have cats? Winners!
Obviously, germans normally only have pigs for pets (you'll hear more on that later), but the theme of the dinner was 'NO PORK' so J and D thoughtfully replaced their piglets with kittlets just for one night.
Let's get on with the food shall we?
First course- home-made frischkaese with garden grown herbs on pumpernickel.
Very delicious- and extremely reminiscent of my sister's experimentation with labneh (this is made in the same way).
We scoffed it all down pretty fast.
Interestingly, while the appetisers reminded me of home and family, the soup course- a lentil stew-like monstrosity with smoky sausage and vegies, took Pau back to Chile. Every second bite was matched with little 'mms' of excitement.
The soup traditionally comes with pork sausage (of course), but our hosts went above and beyond to find a beef replacement fitting to the theme of the night.
It also sees the addition of vinegar prior to eating. On hearing this I thought 'mm, I like vinegar' and proceeded to drown my bowl in the stuff, then spent the rest of the course quietly spooning what was pretty much 100 % acid into my mouth. I can definitely appreciate the way the smokey flavour plays against the vinegar- but will try to be a bit less liberal next time..
The 'men' retreated to the kitchen to crack open the Party Keg. Turns out it's not so much of a smooth pull...
The next course was my favourite- Kartoffelpuffer, which came in a neutral/sweet variety, served with apple puree, or a savoury variety- filled with rosemary and topped with frischkaese.
Obviously, the mixing of sweet with savoury is a sin and should be punished, but the puffers are delightfully neutral- more in the 'crepe with cheese' family than the 'chicken with apricot', so I was able to forgive them.
Although of course, my heart truely belonged to the rich oily roasted flavour from the puffer and rosemary matched with the more sour and creamy texture of the cream cheese.
I ate about five.
After the Puffer Course, we had a breif 'playing with cats' interlude. Which should be introduced at every dinner party.
I am definitely more happy to see Lilu than she is to see me- but at least I have a secret weapon to keep her attention...
Half-time also saw the arrival of Alix- who kindly pulled this 'please don't photograph me while I'm catching up on the eating' face.
And then we moved on to Rindrouladen with Kartoffel kloese. Beef roles (like my people's brajioli), with giant potato gnocchi like things.
Joram was not ecstatic about the consistency of his kloese, but I think they turned out pretty ok.
And finally, when it seemed like we could stuff our faces no more- Dessert!
Dampfnudeln (big dough balls) with poppyseed, strawberries and vanilla custard.
Man loves his cats...
All in all, a very successful, tasty and enjoyable evening all 'round.
Now we just need to work out what to do for the Aussie themed dinner party!