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Sporkful is in Germany! Share Your Food/Drink Tips

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Aug 08, 2011

Hello Eaters, Sporkful is going Transatlantic for a few weeks. I'm in Germany on a Burns Fellowship to do journalism here and improve my German. But fear not, Dan and I being on different continents won't slow down The Sporkful. I've got recording equipment, so we'll continue recording new episodes via tape sync. And we shot some videos together before I left, so that pipeline continues to flow (the latest is just out now).

I've been to Germany many times, but this will be my longest visit yet. People in the States often ask if I like German food and drink. The short answer is yes. But in the longer answer, I try to explain that German food isn't a singular cuisine. It's a big country with distinct regions, and there are local differences that people outside Germany aren't always aware of. Often when people think of German food, they're actually thinking of Bavarian food: weisswurst and schweinshaxe, washed down with liters of Munich-style lager. Don't get me wrong, I love Bavarian food and beer, but there's plenty more to German food and drink culture.

That's where you come in. I know we have a fair amount of listeners in Germany, so I'd love to hear from recommendations from Sporkful Eaters in the comments. What are the foods and drinks a visitor to Germany cannot miss? I'd love as many ideas as you can give me from every region in the country. So get to work in the comments, please. Your fellow Eaters in Japan and Hawaii gave me some great tips for another work trip, so add lots of comments to make sure Germany is represented.

And what offaliciousness is in the photo above? (If you like grainy iPod pictures, you're going to love my blogging from Germany, as I don't have a real camera.) Find out after the jump:

The other day I was in Bonn. My guide that night was the wise Cyrus Farivar, science and technology editor at Deutsche Welle. The first dish is Himmel un Äd, or "heaven and earth" in the local dialect. The earth is blood sausage and liver sausage. The heaven is technically the pillowy potato mash the sausages sit in, ringed by a battalion of tasty onions. But the sausage was by far the most heavenly thing I experienced. The second dish is Hackbratenpfanne, a kind of meat loaf under melted cheese, served with potatoes and tomatoes. It was also quite good, with more nuance than one might expect.

This was my first visit to the Rhineland region, and I'm definitely impressed. By the way, we drank Boennsch, a beer which tastes an awful lot like Koelsch, but can't be called such for reasons that would require another post to explain. In any case, so far, so good. Give me your thoughts about German food and drink, especially if you've got some great recommendations. /mark

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