Filed under Disgusting Meat

Red Meat Packed In Fat, Sliced Thin

I enjoy pretending that Germans eat disgusting meat. Partly because I enjoy making fun of Germans, and partly because the meat often looks disgusting. But we’ve lived here long enough to have learned two important things:

  1. Anything you buy at the Metzgerei (butcher shop) is delicious.
  2. That disgusting thing lying there without refrigeration is phenomenal.
Thin-sliced Meat

I’m not even sure what animal this is from.

We stopped by a local Metzgerei to order a turkey (yes, you have to order them here), and in the process I fell in love with some cured sliced meat lying behind the counter. Deep red, sprinkled with fat, and surrounded with a thick edge of fat.

Since we’ve moved to Germany, I’ve made an effort to not be impulsive. Otherwise, I’d come back with two slices of every cured meat behind the counter. In the past, I was able to resist buying random meats for two reasons:

  1. My German was awful, and “ten slices of that meat-block, two from the left, with the black speckles; no, not THAT one, the one behind it” was just beyond my abilities.
  2. There were so many other great things to experience!

Now, of course, the novelty of tiny cars and cobblestone streets is wearing off. Standing there in line, surrounded by amazing meats, and with enough German under my belt to order whatever the heck I please, the temptation was too much. And then Alissa kept saying “do you want anything? I’m about to order. Anything at all? Some meat maybe? Just a few slices?” I cracked.

YES! YES, I’LL TAKE ALL THE MEAT IN THAT PRESENTATION STILL LIFE SITTING ON THE PROP WOODEN CUTTING BOARD!

The guy behind the counter literally slid everything off the cutting board onto a piece of butcher paper. I started hyperventilating in anticipation.

Now I’m sitting in my underpants, eating slices of greasy meat with my fingers, and sipping Makers Mark.

Sometimes impulses really pay off.

Bag Of Meat

Bag of Meat

It was very tempting to buy this and mail it to one of you. “Dear Steve, Here’s a bag of meat. Sincerely, James”

But I had a 3 hour train ride coming up. It was a judgement call.

Five Weeks of Travel

I’ve jumped straight from Hausfrau into Crazed Traveler. I was content to visit areas outside of Stuttgart once a month, and we had done a pretty good job exploring other areas on the weekends. But after I started my new job, the next five weeks were dedicated to getting to know the company across four different cities. I met engineers. I met non-engineers. I hacked out awful sentences in German.

I thought living in a hotel for a week would be glorious, but I was wrong. I thought I’d have plenty of time in the evenings for exploring and blogging, but the villages were tiny and internet was scarce. I thought the office coffee would be respectable. It was not. On the plus side, the mountains of Germany are gorgeous.

Eichenzel, Germany

I have about 100 photos of this scene, because I walked by every day for two weeks. Every day it looked different; sometimes I got there just as the sun was coming up, and the entire landscape would be blazing with oranges and reds and yellows. The field in the foreground started as dirt, and by the end of my time, sprung small green plants.

The second hotel was in Eiterfeld. This is a town of perhaps 7 people. The first morning there, I heard loud squawking as I left for work, and curiosity got the better of me.

Flamingos

Do… do they taste good?

And then I started noticing flamingos everywhere. There was a flamingo painting on the wall of the hotel. Flamingo trinkets for decoration. I never asked the 80-year old man about them, because he didn’t speak much English. But I went out and visited the flamingos every day. They liked me. You could tell because they screamed a lot.

Eiterfeld was also the region where I saw the most solar cells on rooftops, and wind farms in the distance. It seemed so high-tech and sophisticated.

The hotel was located on top of a Flescherei (butcher shop) and the old man managed both the hotel and shop. Breakfast included a lot of meats from the butcher shop. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t recognize the significance of this until the second day, so I missed out on a whole plate full of fantastic meats. A typical German breakfast has so many breads and cheeses and jams, that it’s easy to avoid the meat. But from then on, I ate every meat on the table.

Hotel Meats

They were the best sliced meats I’ve ever had in Germany. That olive loaf on the right made me consider buying a pack of it for later. Even the slices that made me instinctively recoil in horror (the chunks of meat in meat goo slice under the fork), were really, really good. Which is why, at the third hotel in Dermbach, I stated out eating all the meats. Catastrophe. Bologna on a plate. The hotel in Dermbach was clearly not run by an old man who runs his own butcher shop.

But the hotel in Dermbach had it’s own charms. For example, internet was easily attainable by taking your laptop into the hallway, and then holding it up in the air to try to snag WiFi.

Dermbach Church

One morning, fog rolled in like a dam burst to the east. It was really beautiful to watch from my office on the second floor. And the town was quaint. Lots of really old, decrepit buildings tucked away behind well-kept homes.

That’s finished now. Despite all the adventures and exploring, it’s hard to express how nice it is to be back sleeping in my own bed at night. Stuttgart isn’t quite a beautiful as the mountains up north, but it’s home.

 

Cat Food

It took six months, but I think we’ve finally found a German meat product that, as Alissa puts it, “It’s not bad, it’s just…”.

Lutz Bierwurst

The package shows it cut into round slices. It’s a serving suggestion. So we did that.

Bierwurst Slices

Then we tried a little.

Then left it in the fridge to dehydrate for a couple days, before we threw it away.

But I’m not sure if I can consider this one a bad “German” meat product. Sure, they need some points deducted for including the word “bier” in something that is clearly unrelated. And they should probably be required to include a “This Is Cat Food” label on the front, perhaps with a picture of a cat, so nobody gets confused.

I’m going to chalk this up to a mix-up.

Wedge Of Delight And Good Fortune

I’ve decided that all strange aspic-related dishes are bringers of good fortune. Why? Because they are. That’s why. Which is why I picked this bad boy up from the expensive grocery store.

Delightful Wedge

A cold, delightful slice of goo pie.

It came vacuum-sealed in a plastic bag, and I ate it for breakfast.

Wedge Enlarged to Show Texture

Enlarged to Show Texture

It was delicious.

The next day, I won the lottery and I gave all my winnings to charity. When you live in a country that sells goo pie slices in the local grocery store, you can always win again tomorrow.

 

Bratensülze Delight

Okay, I’d like start this post by asking everyone to close your eyes. Just take some deep breaths, and let the air out slowly. Ahhhhhhh. Let’s think about something that will make us happy. We all like roast turkey, right? Delicious roasted turkey, sliced thin? My mouth is watering already. Let’s put a few slices of roasted turkey on this oval-shaped styrofoam plate. This turkey is going to be delicious, but I think we’re missing something. Maybe some vegetables? Okay, let’s throw on a pickle. That’s enough vegetables, right? No? Okay, okay. How about a slice of carrot? There we go! Beautiful. And since we’re in Germany, we may as well add some more protein. Let’s add a slice of egg.

Excellent job, everyone! This is looking really, really great. We’ve got a few pieces of sliced roasted turkey, with a thin slice of egg to the left, a single pickle slice in the center, and a fancy-cut slice of carrot on the right! It really does look amazing, but I think we can make it even better. Can anyone think of what we might add? This plate still has a lot of room.

Ah! I know! Let’s fill it with goo! Yes! We’ll just pour some goo all over the plate, filling in all the gaps between the slices of meat and vegetables. And you know what? I’ll be damned if we’re going to skimp on this! This is our fantasy! We’re going to add as much goo as we can fit into this plate! There we go! Wow!

Okay okay, everybody wake up! Open your eyes. Open your eyes and behold.

Bratensülze Goo Plate (with vegetables!)

It’s like a dream come true.

Naturally, the first thing we’ll want to do is poke our finger in it.

Poke the Bratensülze

There’s a solid chunk of goo on the top. This is quality stuff.

Readers with sharp eyes will notice there is another pickle under the packaging. I’m not sure if that’s a happy accident, or if everyone gets two pickles. But anyway, the quality of the goo can not be denied. Nice and solid, yet gives way with some insistent pushing. This is going to taste fantastic. But first, let’s not be greedy. After all, Alissa is still at work, and we don’t want to hog the entire goo plate before she gets home.

Bratensülze Plate

Five stars. Bravo.

I just kinda “came up” with the whole serving suggestion here. I sliced off some thick chunks of good bread and added them to the plate.

Bratensülze on a Fork

For the first bite, make sure we get some pickle.

It was really quite good. Seriously. The meat was delicious, the pickle was delicious, and the egg was probably just there for show. The goo was a bit sour. If I had one complaint, it would be that the goo was a bit too sour. It had a nice texture, but I think there was simply too much of it. As I ate, I found myself leaving the larger chunks of aspic on the plate. On any other day, I would have eaten it with the bread.

My quest to find a disgusting German meat product continues. You will not find it here.

Sausage Salad! Mmmmmmm.

Bayerischer Wurstsalat

No thanks.

Thin-sliced, floppy sausage thing with onions and celery pieces scattered around.

I guess it wasn’t disgusting. But something about the weird flavor, combined with the gross texture (and possibly the idea of eating a big sausage salad), just made this unappetizing once we got it home. The photo on the cover looks remarkably like what’s inside, so I’ll give them points for that.

Worst. Lasagna. Ever.

Gross Lasagna

But it’s only three Euro!

The cheese melted as if it was made entirely of soft plastic. And the meat inside was not good. Just not good. I was going to post a photo of the cooked result, but the picture is poor enough to make it look like it might be delicious.

It would be irresponsible of me to deceive you.

The American Way of Life

When you think of “America”, what do you think of? Here’s a list the top 11 things, off the top of my head.

  1. Apple pie
  2. Popcorn
  3. Stars and stripes
  4. Super-sized bag of chips
  5. Cheese cake
  6. Milkshakes
  7. Buffalo wings and dip
  8. Statue of Liberty
  9. Sour cream
  10. No. 7 Cola
  11. Hot dogs in a jar
American Life

Nailed it.

We picked up some chicken nuggets. They were low quality, but extra delicious. We also got some chicken wings, which were just awful. And we spoke in English while we ate them. It was just like being back in New York.

Meat Goo In A Sleeve


Pommersche Schnittlauch Meat Goo

Pommersche Schnittlauch Meat Goo

I feel like we have these in the US, but is one of those things I associate with nobody. Nobody wants to eat this stuff in the States, right? Anyway, it caught my eye because there was a chance that it was something you slice. But then I saw the meat goo oozing out of the lower part of the package, between the sheets of plastic. Grooooooss!

But as it turns out, this stuff was pretty darn good. I almost ate the whole thing, spread on a brötchen. It was just a sort of savory, spiced meat paste.

Oh, and I feel I should take a few minutes to discuss the “brötchen”. A brötchen is just a mid-sized roll. Brot means bread and the -chen at the end means little or small. They are somehow absolutely delicious. The second time we visited Germany, I looked forward to having a brötchen with butter. That’s all. Oh, and a coffee. I can’t quite put my finger on why they’re better. They’re just a little sweet, a little more moist, and a little chewy. Not that a typical NY roll isn’t similar (although NY rolls can be a bit sour, which is good in it’s own right), but I wouldn’t want to eat a NY roll after it sat around for a day.

So this turned out well. While I was shopping, I saw a black sausage that I haven’t had the guts to purchase. It looked like a big chunk of poo. Maybe I’ll be able to trick Alissa into taking the first bite.