Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A German Summer Picnic

German food plays an important part of the American cookout and picnic.Most of what is served has Teutonic origins and came over with the many German immigrants who made this country. The food is still great and even better are the summer foods you find now in the Swabian Alps , near the soothing forests and sparkling waters of Lake Constance.

Hot dogs or frankfurters originated in Frankfurt, Germany and have been around for seven hundred (!) years. The original was a pork sausage known as Frankfurter wurstchen and were given out to the townspeople during royal coronations.In the 19th century, Johann Georg Lahner brought them to Vienna where they took the city's name - wiener - and beef was added to the pork filling They came to the US in 1870 and were made - where else- Coney Island. T hey were first served with gloves to stop consumers from burning themselves. Because of this the hot dog bun was created at the St. Louis World Fair in 1893 by Antoioine Feuchtwanger, thanks to his wife's suggestion. Now they're a part of every barbecue and picnic, even coming in such diverse meats as turkey, chicken and even caribou. What goes with hot dogs? Another German classic - potato salad. There are many different versions of it. Southern Germans make it with vinegar, mustard and even beef or chicken broth .Northern Germans make it with mayonnaise and this is what was brought to America.Here it went through some tweaks such as the addition of bacon , capers and even chili powder.

What do modern day Germans eat during the summer? Potato salad but not what most people expect. First the potatoes are different. Waxy potatoes are preferred and they cooked and peeled while still hot, Then they're sliced and mixed with chopped onions.A warm mix of vinegar , beef or chicken broth and oil is then pour over the spuds. Chives or schnittlau along with sliced pickles or mustard is added. The salad is then allowed to rest for a few hours before serving.It can be served with a crusty bread as a main dish or as a side dish.Usually a summer dinner would be a wurstsalat, a tart sausage salad prepared with distilled white vinegar,oil and onions. Sliced gherkins are sometimes added for some sweetness.It's an easy to make salad. The sausage is cut thin as are the onions. Both are then marinaded in the vinaigrette before serving.. Some Swabians add sliced baloney along with parsley to mix it up or to add color, the red and white stadtwurst.Zweibelkuchen, or onion pie is another summer favorite, usually eaten in August and September. It's similar to quiche and is loaded with steamed onions along with crumbled bacon , cream and caraway seeds. It has a simple pie crust shell and an egg base.

Enjoy the summer German style. Have hot dogs  and potato salads or go fully Swabian wtih wurstsalat and zweibekuchen. It's a tasty way to enjoy the warm days and nights ahead.

No comments: