The bakery at our local Real had hot Berliners and Quarkinis today...
This morning, I had ambitious plans to find a new restaurant. I've been cooped up all week and thought I'd enjoy a nice lunch out somewhere. But then I looked outside, noticed the depressing weather, and decided today would be better spent in my nightie drinking wine. Bill did manage to talk me into going to the Real for a few necessary items. I tagged along while he dumped many bottles and traded in our plastic water bottles. My nose caught a whiff of something divine. The Sehne bakery at the Real was selling hot Berliners (Pfannkuchen) and Quarkinis. Plenty of people queued up to get theirs.
The Real was a bit of a madhouse today. Bill could tell I didn't want to linger. They older I get, the less patience I have for crowds. So we hastily picked up what we needed and headed for the checkout. After we finished our shopping, I thought maybe the smell might entice Bill, but he walked right past the doughnuts. To make matters worse, while we were crossing the parking lot in the rain, the local chicken man's stand was putting out tantalizing aromas of fresh rotisserie chicken. We didn't get any chicken, either.
Having loaded up the car, Bill took a look at my face and asked what I wanted. I told him I wanted a Berliner. What can I say? When it comes to fresh pastries, I'm weak. He resolved to stop at the Sehne on the way home. We picked up a couple of Berliners and a few Quarkinis (which I had not tried before today). We also got a piece of cherry dream cake for the next time I get a sweet craving.
Although I'd never be able to say German doughnuts are "healthy", I will say that they are not as sweet as what we're used to in the States. The Quarkini, for example, is basically a fried dough ball made with quark cheese in the batter. But only the sugar it's dipped in is sweet; the dough itself is not very sweet at all. Ditto for the Berliner, which today was filled with plum jam. Quark cheese is another food I've discovered since we've experienced Germany. I don't generally like cheese that much, but I will admit quark is nice and mild, which is the way I like my cheeses when I do indulge.
Today's treats! Unfortunately, these were not hot when we bought them, but they were very fresh.
As you can see, the inside of the Quarkini is not filled, but the quark cheese is in the batter itself. That was my first Quarkini and it was a hit! Just what I need... another treat to crave.
While we were shopping, I noticed several interesting German wines. I ended up picking up half a dozen new bottles, most of which were dirt cheap. German wines are a relatively new discovery for me. I have to admit that the last time we lived here, we hardly ever indulged in the local wines. That was a mistake. The Stuttgart area is German wine country and there are some great grapes here. The trick is knowing what to look for and having an open mind as well as open tastebuds.
Today, I discovered Schwarzriesling, something I never would have tried during our first German tour.
Last time we lived here, we were overly focused on German beer. While German beer is excellent, it mostly tastes the same, varying only by style rather than brewery. The wines, on the other hand, are more individually styled. And while we did have a few German wines we didn't care for last time we were here, we have found quite a few this time that we love. For instance, we have become very fond of the Lemberger grape, which is a local favorite. We've gotten into Rieslings, too. I used to think they were too sweet, but I've found that German Rieslings typically aren't as cloying as ones I've had from California.
Today, we even found a new grape to love. The wine pictured above is a Lauffener Schwarzriesling (12% ABV) and I am trying it today for the first time. It's very fruity, but not very sweet. I love the taste of strawberries and cherries in this wine, but it also reminds me a little of cranberries. It went beautifully with my German doughnuts, and I bet it would also make a great accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey. This wine is from Lauffen am Neckar, which is a town near Heilbronn here in Baden-Württemberg.
I was admittedly a little hesitant to get the Schwarzriesling because I don't really like sweet wines, but at about 4 euros a bottle, I figured we could take the risk. As it turns out, this is not a sweet wine. We also found another Schwarzriesling that is labeled as dry (trocken). I'll be interested to see how that one tastes. At the rate I'm going today, I'll probably try it in a couple of hours. I don't see myself going out in the weather today, especially since we're going on vacation Friday.
Anyway... this little treat brightened my day considerably. May your day be similarly blessed with something yummy.