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Saturday, 17 September 2011

Travelogue: Some Leberkäse or liver-cheese anyone?

South German-style Champion's breakfast

A pair of Weisswurst (traditional Bavarian sausage made from very finely minced veal and fresh pork bacon) with sweet mustard, a pretzel and Weissbier (wheat beer) is southern Germany's champion way to start the day. As a teetotaller, vegetarian Indian, new world traveller I was all at once shocked but taken over by adventurous to strip my fears. This trip introduced me to art and life like never before. It took me years to understand how!

It was a cruise in the summer of 2008 that took us through the Rhineland. A group of us from Dubai traveled south through the heart of Germany taking the Romantic Road to Bavaria and a few destinations popular here.

***Willkommen in Deutschland or ‘welcome to Germany’****

If you love beer and beautiful cars, there is little doubt that you would have had your taste of Bavarian culture, but if you are a global citizen inundated by slick marketing and has missed the point, then here’s a hint – BMW and Oktoberfest. BMW stands for Bavarian Motor Works vehicles and Oktoberfest just happens to be the world’s largest beer festival that has found its way into every noisy, rambunctious pub across the planet.

Our day started at the much heard-about Bavarian buffet table in Munich, I was going wild to pronounce the names on the placards (while others had two plates full of whatever amused them). Got hold of one of the restaurant staff hoping to get some help, it was a wasted effort because she spoke English in German and then the morning rush for breakfast pulled her on and off my sight. I soon gathered that perhaps they believe in self service policy. So I sat down to enjoy my German breakfast.

Weisswurst is served in a big bowl together with the cooking liquid used for preparation (so it does not cool down too much), then eaten without the skin. I enjoyed the Leberkaese (liver loaf), and a fresh warm pretzel together with Obatzda. Obatzda is a cheese spread made with camembert, cream cheese, butter, paprika and chives. Leberkaese is a specialty similar to meat loaf. The name Leberkäse literally translates to ‘liver-cheese’ even though in Bavaria the dish traditionally contains neither liver nor cheese - it consists of beef, bacon and onion and is made by grinding the ingredients very fine and then baking it as a loaf in a bread pan until it has a crunchy brown crust. We held the morning cuppa up in the air saying cheers or prost! as German’s say it.

Exploring the cobbled stoned pavements by foot after a heavy and fulfilling Bavarian breakfast was just the thing that doctor ordered.

Once you are at a town or a city centre, everything you need is within strolling distance.

Next we took a Rhine Valley cruise to see Bavaria's old charm, castles and vineyards closely. Read more about this cruise here.

Bavaria is located in southeast Germany, and borders Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. The southern border of Bavaria, adjacent to Austria, is delineated by the Bavarian Alps. The capital city of Bavaria is Munich, where Oktoberfest takes place every year. Other important Bavarian cities include Augsberg, Nuremburg, and Regensburg. The Danube and Main rivers flow through Bavaria, as well as many other minor rivers.

Many hotels in the UAE offer you a sneak peak to German cuisine during Oktoberfest celebration. One could easily find many staples from Bavarian cuisine including Bavarian Beef Goulash and German noodles in beef consommé. Make sure you have room for Bavarian cream with strawberry sauce; Plum-quark cake; Raspberry tart and Black forest cake.

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