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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Himmel und erde

106_0623 Koln

Also known as "she ate blood sausage?!?"

Mmmm....doesn't this look appetising? This was my meal one Sunday afternoon in Cologne, Germany back in September. In each city I visited with my vocal group I wanted to eat something uniquely local; in Odense, Denmark I had a plate of raw herring with curried potato salad and salty capers, washed down by a Danish wine. In fairly remote Bavaria I had a plate of venison and boar, with the local weissbier. And here in Cologne, I had a plate of blutwurst with mashed potato mixed with cooked apple, and a hefty dollop of fiery German mustard. I believe the himmel (heaven) in the name refers to the white mash, and the erde is the earthiness of the blood sausage - quite evocative!
The blood sausage was quite enjoyable though extremely rich. What is shown in the plate is what I couldn't finish, and for me not to finish something on my plate is a rare occurance indeed. It was a very fully flavoured sausage, with lots of spices, a smooth interior and a wonderfully crispy crust. The mashed potato was quite heavy, but the apple added to it lightened it quite a lot; I enjoyed it. The mustard was certainly needed to cut through the richness of the sausage. I actually thought a big plate of sauerkraut would have been perfect with this.
When the waiter, who expressed some mild doubt that a non-German young woman would enjoy such a erm....'unique' meal returned for our plates, he looked at my few remains sadly and said "Ja, it is very....special, no?". I had to quickly clarify that I really enjoyed the meal, but found there to be just a little too much for the middle of the day!
This meal was washed down with a very local beer from Cologne, a Dom Kolsch, which is served in quite small glasses, but has a very high alcohol content. We ate this meal, sitting outside in a pedestrian-only street just opposite the Cologne opera house; a great memory!


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