Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Condiment Blasphemy

Just back from a weekend trip to Rostock on the Baltic Sea -- a bit late for the anti-G8 protests, I know....but we did drive over to Heiligendamm so we saw the fence (now open) and the big resort-hotel (very impressive). Despite the fact that it's officially summer now, the water was too cold for swimming. For me at least -- the old East German men in baggy Speedos didn't seem to agree. It was fun to be so far north this time of year -- the sun didn't set until almost 11 (or 23 as they say in these parts)!

Anyway, I'll use this opportunity to discuss something that's been on my mind for a while now. Growing up, I was taught that it was wrong, wrong, wrong to put ketchup on bratwurst. My uber-tolerant mother even let it be known (ever so subtly) that she was not amused when I put ketchup on hotdogs. Now, bratwurst mostly came to the US with German immigrants, so I expected this rule to be in full force here. Come to find out that I am wrong, wrong, wrong again. It's not just that they put ketchup on their brats; I have discovered that Germans LOVE all condiments. It really doesn't matter what it is, any kind of sauce or spread is consumed in shocking quantities. (Note the "Mexican Sauce" and "Exotic Sauce" in the photo.) I guess traditional German food is on the bland side, but.... good brats are well, if mildly seasoned and eating them in ketchup soup....well, I didn't inherit the uber-tolerant gene so I guess it's good that my German abilities make me think twice about speaking at all.

Oh! I should also report that on the way there, we passed lots of cornfields.....I can't say for sure whether it's sweet corn (for eating on the cob), but I did remember the saying about how the corn should be knee-high by the fourth of July and it was about there, so maybe in a month or two my corn cravings will be satisfied....I'll keep you posted.


Diana Pittet said...

The more I cook and read about other folks' food habits, the more I learn that there are no absolutes when it comes to cooking and eating (e.g., *never* put condiments on a bratwurst; *never* mix cheese and seafood in an Italian dish; *always* use chilled butter when making a pastry, etc.).

The Saveur April 2007 issue had a whole piece on the origins and deliciousness of currywurst and their Web site has a recipe for the sauce: http://www.saveur.com/food/new-recipes/currywurst-sauce-50979.html

Keep us posted on the corn situation and what you end up doing with the gooseberries and red currants.

Do you ever stay still for a second?

Salley said...

i heart condiments! that's my kind of crowd...