Friday, September 30, 2011
FRANKEN- A Land of wine and food!
Located in the heart of Germany Franconia in the Northern Part of Bavaria offers a variety of dining and wining experiences and the best way to explore the region is by bicycle as it is a cyclist’s paradise too!
OLDEST WINE GROWING REGION IN EUROPE
Blessed with a mild climate, fertile soils and sunny hill sides, wine has been cultivated in Franconia for more than 1200 years. The famous German poet Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once wrote: “Too bad that you can’t pet this wine”. One is amazed at the variety of appellations in this region making all wines taste remarkably different. To get an insight into the history and stories a great idea is to experience it first-hand while taking a sunset stroll through the many vineyards. Interestingly the Bocksbeutel – the traditional, Franconian fat bellied bottle has been the symbol for over 250 years and represents guaranteed quality.
Down to earth, traditional fare is on Franconia’s menu, most restaurants offer seasonal, authentic and good quality meals paired with the right wine. The Franconian menu is meat heavy and typical dishes include ‘Schauferla’ aka slow roasted pork shoulder; Sauerbraten, roasted meat in a slightly sour gravy; ‘Zweibel’ which is ground meat roasted with an onion; and various sausages, which are served with side dishes like potato dumplings, Sauerkraut or slow cooked buttery potatoes and broth. They love their seasonal Mushrooms, ‘chanterelles’ are the favourite. A culinary highlight of a special kind is the ‘Schweinfurt Schlachtschuessel’ which is roasted suckling pig; generally ‘from the fatty to the lean meat’, are served on wooden boards, accompanied by farmhouse bread, sauerkraut, fresh horseradish, salt and pepper. Interestingly Germany’s fascinating cuisine makes it no exception to travellers led by curious taste buds. Guten Appetit!
You can’t come to Germany and only drink wine; Franconia too delights in beer and boasts many fantastic breweries. One of the evenings we took our dinner in a ‘traditional’ Franconian restaurant during which I sampled the famed Nuremberg Bratwurst which is indeed yummy and some beer that was described to me as “dark, strong and old Franconian” so I went with that… Also amazing!! Another popular drink here is beer mixed with lemonade, called ‘Radler’ , which literally translates into bicyclist and is for those who are thirty but do not want to wobble for the remainder of their cycling trip.
DID YOU KNOW?
Having over 1,500 types of sausages, each city is sure to have at least one specialty.
SOME IMPORTANT WINE VARIETIES
• Silvaner- Stands out for its elegant and refined flavour.
• Riesling- High in mineral content, it is amazingly fresh tasting, spirited and has a great aroma.
• Muller- Thurgau- Known as ‘Rivaner’, it is light, expressively fruity, elegant and delicious.
• Pinot Blanc- With a touch of nuttiness and a refined fruity flavour, it is aged in wooden barrels.
• Pinot Noir- Perfect match for any meal, the fragrance of berries enhances the taste.
• Domina- owing to its mild cherry flavour, it pairs well with Mediterranean flavours.
• Rotling- An interesting blend of red and white grapes, it is tangy, light, fruity and very summery.
Published in HT city