Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Land of Müsli

In response to the last comment....I have made granola here, a bunch of times. Actually, before I relocated to the Vaterland, I made granola in the Motherland (with dried cranberries and pecans for that American touch) and sent it to mein Freund for his birthday (making it fairly expenive granola). It's true that Deutschland is awash in granola. It's also true that they call it Müsli here (I think the difference is that Müsli isn't usually toasted, but don't quote me on that one). Müsli is generally better and cheaper here than at home, but I just like mine better ... it's crunchier and doesn't have any added wierdness. Mein Freund's brother came over once when I was making a batch of Müsli and thought it was about the strangest thing he had ever seen (though I'm not sure if reveals more about me or him?). Anway, I'm certainly not above the ocassional bowl of purchased Müsli with bits of dark chocolate...when you mix this stuff with hazelnut yogurt....yum; it's dessert. I wish I could share my granola/Müsli recipe with you (as requested), but I don't have one. I just buy oats (though lately, I'm into this mix of grains), throw in some coconut (the frozen kind is best, but I can't find that here, so I just use regular shredded. I think Goya sells it in the US?) and chopped nuts or seeds and then drizzle honey over it. I usually wait until I'm using the oven for something else to toast it, but it seems happier if it's a hotter oven. I try to remember to stir it. Occasionally I add dried fruit after it's cool, but usually not. Very frequently I get distracted and burn it (all my previous and current roommates can attest to this charming tendency) and then have to pick off the top layer. Anyway, the making is a very flexible process in my book and it never turns out quite the same. I made a stellar batch earlier this year when my grandfather's neighbor passed through town, took me out to a very nice lunch, and gave me some Arizona pistachios, which I used along with Turkish apricots.... memorable Müsli. While I'm not picky or pingelig as some might say, about the making, I am about the eating (though only my own eating; in this unusual case, I really won't judge you for how you eat yours). I have a very strong preference for yogurt over milk with my Musli and I don't like a lot of yogurt -- I strive for just moister than a pastey consistency. I'm also fond (now) of Quark and fresh ricotta...I sometimes add it to ice cream (especially here as Germany seems to be a 100% smooth ice cream nation (except for the imported Ben & Jerry's). And there you have it: my thoughts on Musli (aka granola).

1 comment:

anne said...

To shamelessly plug, Chocolate Epiphany has a great chocolate granola recipe! It's weird (for no reason really) to see you use musli as synonym to granola though, because of the baking/non-baking issue. For me, musli is definitely something that is not baked and has a very different color and texture than granola. But I think you're right in the sense that it's changing, and the basic mix is the same for both, it's just a matter of finish. In Switzerland at least, baked musli (granola) is definitely available in many varieties, which wasn't the case when I was a kid. And musli is kind of gross, since it gets all mushy. Granola doesn't! I'm also with you on the yogurt.