One of my favourite things to do overseas is to go supermarket shopping. Deciphering the dish powder from the laundry powder; checking out the unusual fruit and veg; trying to suss out what is important to the locals depending on where and how much of it is in the store. Today’s Mission Impossible : working out which type of sausages to buy for lunch from SIX different aisles of them!
I honestly thought the stereotype of Germans eating sausages und saurkraut und drinking bier was a myth. But today I realised it is very real.
Fat ones, skinny ones, long and short (the sausages, not the Germans). Ones you had to cook, others you could just gnaw on as is. Sausages that were curled up like snail shells, and others shaped like fist-sized cannon balls. Smokey, or cheesy, or spicey. Or in a jar! We wandered around totally clueless.
One item Cam DID have a few clues on however was the beer. It is SO cheap. And every man, woman and child seemed to be filling their trolleys with it. Cam’s favourite beer is Oettinger, a German pilsner. At home it’s pretty cheap anyway at around $42/carton. Here? 4.40 euro. That’s $6.40 A CARTON!!! Cheaper than water!
In fact, nearly all of our groceries were cheaper. I thought it’d be bread-and-jam-a-gogo for most meals, but nearly every grocery item we saw was cheaper than at home. I’m planning on cooking at least one meal a day while we’re away (today it was two), so this is VERY good news!
One of the “carrots” (kiddy stuff to keep the girls interested) we had for Rothenburg was to try their local pastry specialty “schneeballen” or snowballs. They fill the windows of shops here, and since we arrived the girls have been begging to try one. We’ve managed to drag them through 2 churches, 6 shops and many a cobbled street with the “tow the line or it’s no shneeballen” threat.
So, when they got to actually try one (they chose to share a caramel one…not the original, or the marzipan, or the choc, or the Tia Maria, or the coconut…it went on and on), they were terribly disappointed to discover that schneeballen are in fact schnee-gross-en. It’s basically shortcrust pastry in a strip shoved into a ball shape, deep fried, and dipped in something or other to attempt to give it some flavour. Yuck!
Hopefully tomorrow’s carrot, Playmobil Funpark (and we’ve heard about nothing BUT that for the last 12 months) isn’t as disappointing.