Eating is far more than a biological necessity. Sure, we need the nutrients and calories to fuel our bodies and keep them functioning but just think of the other aspects of food that impact our lives. When the day hasn’t gone exactly as you had planned, where do you turn? Do you find solace in doughy dumplings, creamy macaroni and cheese, or a warm, filling bowl of beef stew? When you smell the aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting from a hot apple pie baking in the oven, don’t you just feel better inside? Personally, my mind naturally links the foods I grew up with to memories of my life as it used to be. Making my Grandma Wentling’s homemade candy Easter eggs (cherry/walnut fondant sloppily covered in semi-sweet chocolate) instantly takes me back to her small kitchen, watching her quietly working away—the end result packaged for me in a salvaged bread bag. Food also unites us to those memorable events over our lifetime. From baby showers and wedding receptions to dinner parties with friends and wakes, sharing food with others is a vital part of experiencing the joys and sorrows of life.
With that frame of reference in mind, we give you German Life’s annual focus on food, wine, and beer. Late spring in Germany means one simple thing…Spargel! (page 30). Maggie Kielpinski fills us in on what it takes to bring those plump, ivory spears of asparagus to the dinner table. Leah Larkin visits Baiersbronn (page 50), home of the highest concentration of Michelin stars in the world…”foodies” beware! Robert Selig turns his attention to the history of the German Beer Purity Law—Reinheitsgebot— (page 20) which set the foundation for the German beer we all know and love. Don Heimburger investigates another favorite libation as he explores the wines of Schaffhausen, Switzerland (page 42). If you have an urge to imbibe in some of that wonderful wine, Marlene Fanta-Shyer might suggest sampling it from wine glasses from Riedel (page 12). Our resident “foodie,” Sharon Hudgins, ventures to northern Germany for a taste of the “Lemon of the North” —Sanddorn (page 28). Along travel lines, Alevtina Altenhof explores Germany’s beautiful Half-Timbered Houses Route (page 33) and Phyllis Meras looks at the history of the former German city of Breslau, now Wroclaw, Poland (page 36).
So grab your favorite cookbook, enjoy a hearty dinner with your family, and enjoy this issue of German Life!