I have discovered that I do not like German food.
Not one bit.
And that includes the food served not only in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland and every German restaurant anywhere in the world I have ever visited.
Nope. I just plain do not like it.
This actually came as a huge surprise to me. Prior to moving to Switzerland, I thought I loved German food.
See, my mother is Austrian-American. Growing up we had Germanic food all the time. I love my mother's pork roast, potato dumplings, spätzle, bratwurst and just about anything else associated with Germanic culinary arts.
We would occasionally go to German restaurants in the United States, but I never liked them. I just figured it wasn't "authentic" German food.
A few years ago I made my first trip to Munich. I didn't like the food in any of the restaurants we visited. But I just figured they were tourist traps and not very good.
We now live in Switzerland. I have eaten at countless restaurants in Switzerland, Germany and Austria that all serve Germanic food.
Guess what? I didn't like any of them.
So I started to analyze it. What exactly do I not like about German food?
It's the excess fat and grease. After a typical German meal, I feel sick and have a terrible stomach ache. Even if I have eaten very little of the meal.
And then something occurred to me. In the United States we always bought the leanest cuts of meat. Even our hamburger contained only 3% fat, something which is easily found at any grocery store in the United States.
I have found it impossible to find meat that lean at the grocery stores in Switzerland. The closest I can find is the Weight Watchers brand of hamburger, which contains only about 10% fat. When buying beef, chicken or pork, I am constantly having to trim the excess fat off before cooking.
I also looked at German cookbooks. Not only do they call for use of fatty meat, but extra fat is added. And the fabulous potato dumplings? My mother makes them using only mashed potatoes and flour. That's it. But in the three German cookbooks I checked, lard was added to the recipe.
Lard? People still cook with LARD???
I had a revelation.
See, my mother also does not like fatty, greasy food.
Hmm. Do you think perhaps she was cooking traditional German food in a non-traditional way? Is it possible she was altering the recipes to include less fat? Do you think, just maybe, that I was trained to like German food cooked in a slightly healthier way?
I must call my mother and ask!
Note: I still like the desserts. Especially in Austria. Because you cannot add too much sugar to a dessert, now can you?
And yes, my mother has a sweet tooth that she passed on to all of her children.