Beers and swine – ‘carnivore crimes’
“Guten Tag meine Leser”. It’s the ‘Bukit
Bear Bär’ calling from Germania, after twenty hours journeying from the Bali to Europe and smelling like a Denpasar taxicab. The Munich air is sharp and crisp, the atmosphere feels controlled. This city still remains more sedate than Berlin, except during Oktoberfest when drunken debauchery is mandatory. After a nerve-racking 190 km/p/hr along the autobahn – not my speed of preference – it was all about getting de-briefed, settling in and making dinner plans.
Now when contemplating German food, I usually consider meat. And if I had to pick a favorite dish, it would most definitely be the one and only -‘schweinshaxe’ (aka ‘roast pork knuckle’). This nasty little beast is the ‘mother’ of all German meat dishes. We’re talking about a complete culinary fantasy of flesh, a carnivore’s wet dream, a primal orgy of unfettered consumption, all simply designed to capture one’s stomach and turn you into a prisoner of addiction. This kind of food is as medieval as it gets – short of gorging on raw wild boar in a Bavarian forest.
Here’s the basic ‘scweinshaxe’ breakdown: You take a ham shank and marinate it in a mix of garlic brine and caraway seeds. Then after boiling shortly, you roast it slowly on a spit, until the skin is glazed and crispy. The Bavarian version usually comes with gravy, potato dumplings and sauerkraut – condiments: mustard & horseradish. Now what’s also worth understanding here are the different layers of meat. They are as follows:
1. The ‘crackling’ (that golden crispy hard skin)
2. The fatty meat (that I refuse to discard)
3. The premium cut off the bone; so tender it melts on your tongue
4. And finally the dark, hard-roasted flesh around the edges – a personal ‘evil’ favorite.
Now when any of these four textures combine with some soft potato dumpling, all swept through a rich savory gravy, it’s hard to express the emotion felt – the unbridled sense of joy. You’re basically reduced to a drone-like groveling state of being, accented only by intermittent grunts & groans, reminiscent of a dog in heat.
Ticking this number off the culinary list – day one – was a solid way to open the European account. And if I could offer any further advice to others visiting this place – don’t bother if you’re trying to lose weight – there’s nothing good for you here…