Every time I travel to Asia I make myself a promise; I will eat only local food for the duration of my trip. Usually about a week and a half in I falter and find myself ordering something familiar and comforting. In the SA town of Hahndorf I make a similar promise; to only eat German food while within the confides of this town. Can a girl survive on a diet of pork, potato and cabbage?
Day 1 Meal 1 – Lunch at The German Arms
We opt for a light option for our first meal in Hahndorf. The German grazing platter at the German Arms Hotel was a perfect meal to share on a hot afternoon. This platter is a testament to Germany’s love of pickling. While mini pickle cucumbers and onions are a given the pickled eggs were a pleasant surprise. The pate served in an old-fashioned jam jar was excellent and there was plenty of locally made grainy mustard and chutney. The only real let down on the platter was the bread which was nothing more than toasted rye.
But where the German Arms really excels is its range of beers on tap. I ask what is the most popular and I’m told that it is the Erdinger Weissbrau. The description on the menu states that it’s finish has a ‘hint of banana’. While beer and banana might not be one of the classic culinary pairings it was a surprisingly refreshing beverage.
I think to myself, ‘I can keep eating like this. No problems’.
Day 1 Meal 2 – Dinner at The German Arms
The day just keeps getting hotter and come dinnertime it’s a still humid night in the Adelaide Hills. I choose my meal according to the sides it comes with. I can’t eat sauerkraut and hot potatoes in this weather. The Cheese Kransky comes with coleslaw, potato salad and a pretzel. To be honest I don’t understand the appeal of pretzels. They are dry and they don’t even seem to soften up when used to soak up the dressing from the salads. However the rest of the meal is a winner. Sausage and potato, what’s not to like?
|Presentation isn’t a strong point in German cuisine|
Ben orders twice cooked pork meatloaf with potato salad and a spinach frittata that looks more like a spinach Yorkshire pudding. He loves it.
|At least with this dish they tried to pretty it up by sprinkling parsley over it.|
Day 2 Meal 3 – Breakfast in the cabin
I eat muesli. That’s German. I’m still sticking to the rules.
Day 2 Meal 4 – Late lunch / early dinner at The Hahndorf Inn
We skip lunch, grab a table out on the street at The Hahndorf Inn and order the Taste of Germany Plate for an early dinner. We are starving so when it arrives we were confident of being able to polish off the whole meal that included 4 types of sausages, a pork knuckle, a huge pork chop with a glistening layer of fat, sauerkraut, Rhine potatoes and 2 pretzels.
I was curious about the Rhine potatoes which turn out to be like a warm potato salad, smothered in sour cream and of course more mustard. Why have I never thought to make this at home?
The meal is so enormous that people strolling along the street stop at our table to inquire as to what it is and then grin as they wish us luck finishing it off.
We stop eating leaving only big chunks of fat, two half sausages and two half pretzels still on the plate. It was a marathon of a meal.
After letting our meal settle we decide to go for a walk through town only to end up in a German cake shop buying pieces of apple and apricot crumble.
When we get back to the cabin I almost immediately fall asleep. I’m in a meat coma. I only awake to go to the fridge, cut off a small piece of apple crumble and top it with double cream. I eat this and then fall straight back to sleep until morning. My body is shutting down so that it can focus on digestion.
Day 3 Meal 5 – Breakfast at The White House
I can’t do it. We have vouchers for breakfast at The German Arms but just reading the word ‘bacon’ makes my stomach seize. The thought of pork in any of its delicious forms makes me shutter.
We eat breakfast at a café called The White House. It’s a bit Frenchy, France is next to German so I haven’t done too badly. I eat a croissant with smoked salmon, labnee and rocket dressed in lemon juice with capers. I love the salad. I need more salad.
Ben eats bacon and eggs. I don’t know how his stomach does it.