|up close and personal with the best chicken I have ever eaten, Oktoberfest 2012|
If you’re a food-loving person in the year 2012, I know what you’re thinking when you’re scanning this blog. You’re looking for an artisanal grain salad shot in impeccable lighting, a bamboo platter laden with kimchi and other trendy pickled vegetables, perhaps an artfully arranged bundle of kale tied with twine. You are looking for food you can look at and proclaim, delicious! I will pin this to my Pinboard on Pinterest and attempt to cook it in my postage stamp-sized kitchen! I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you’ve come to the wrong place. This is a blog about German food, which, if you know anything about it at all, you know is not the most attractive of cuisines. You will see boiled potatoes. You will see an unapologetically oversized Bratwurst sitting unadorned on a plate. You may even see a duo of dumplings swimming in an amorphous pool of pale, mysterious sauce. But if my writings do these dishes justice, you will eventually learn that what German food lacks in visual appeal, it makes up for in heartiness, comfort, and spirit. Though German food has struggled to find a place in our health-conscious modern world, what’s hard to deny is that German food has soul.
The purpose of this blog is not just to make fun of German food and its profound ugliness. The purpose is to find the roots of German food in Berlin, to figure out where it came from, who it came from, and where it went. By attempting to eat a German lunch (a Ber-lunch) each day, I want to uncover how Germans ate in the past and how they eat now, and eventually apply these ideas to better understand how Germany views and defines itself through its food and eating rituals. A country’s cuisine is inextricably and crucially tied to its national identity, and I will try to use observation, interview, critical writing, and first-hand eating, to get at the complex and often painful story of Berlin. I will then move onto what they're calling "neue deutsche küche"-- new German cuisine, and research this trend. I will try to understand how and why this renaissance of German cooking came about, and interpret what it means for Germany today. As they (don’t) say, the quickest way to a country’s heart is through its stomach. And please note, all this is coming from someone who’d much rather be eating an artisanal grain salad than a glorified hot dog with curried ketchup.