Visiting our friends H&G for almost a week just south of Leipzig, we have eaten out in a Biergarten or two which is rather more than we would normally have done. That’s because our friends’ habit is to eat more at lunchtime with a cold, lighter set of fare in the evening. Our habit is to cook in the evening as a form of entertainment.
Our first lunch out was in Erfurt, which is the main town of Thuringen, one of the regions of the former GDR, East Germany. I’m always interested to try local specialities and so was immediately attracted to Klöβe which, it was explained, was a form of dumpling. Normally they are not stuffed but this particular restaurant’s little twist was to serve them stuffed. I chose a stuffing composed of a mixture of two sausage types. Having placed my order, I was surprised to see a plate laden with not one but two huge Klöβe being delivered to another lady’s table. Yikes, look at all that food! They were pallid-looking with no hint of colour whatsoever. Frankly, they resembled a couple of breasts.
My groaning plateful duly arrived and I had to find out exactly what they are. Potato is the answer. It seems that you boil some potatoes, presumably mash/rice them, then you mix in some more raw potato. Que? Yes, add raw potato to the already cooked potato and form the mixture into a ball which is them gently simmered for a second time. Thus it is no surprise to find that the dumplings taste of potato. It was pleasant enough though a helping of two was way too much for lunch – I left some and could still hardly move. What is less clear to me is why one would go to so much intricacy to complicate something that is still simply boiled potato. It was good to try, though, and the accompanying sauerkraut was excellent.
My next culinary experiment was on a cycle ride with H&G after a dragonfly hunt. We stopped at an intriguing little Biergarten in the village of Regis-Breitingen. Sipping a dark Weizen bier whilst reading the menu, I was now attracted to Tiegelwurst. We all know how popular wurst [sausage] is in Germany and this one, according to G’s explanation, sounded like a blood sausage so I was expecting something like a black pudding or a Spanish morcilla. Wrong. What I got was a wet mound that looked the right colour for blood sausage but that was nothing like any sausage in consistency. Using the fork like a spoon was necessary. It tasted fine but was not the most attractive meal on the planet. The sauerkraut was excellent, again.
A Tiegel is some kind of pan which this curious mixture is made in. G seemed a little embarrassed to tell us that its nickname translates as “dead grandmother”. Fair enough. Enjoy your meal. 😀 I did like it but then, with the exception of tofu, I enjoy most things.