Hello from San Francisco, readers! I am back from this portion of my European travels, but there was still a few more Germany blog posts. Here’s one.
In Germany, I was willing to try anything twice, and usually, twice was enough. That included the flattened, breaded, and fried ecstasy known as schnitzel. Even one of my favorite dishes of all time, blood sausage, only made it to my plate twice.
The one exception was laugenbrötchen and laugenbrezel, or traditional pretzels. There’s something magical about that lye coating, which creates the characteristic deep walnut-colored surface and light sheen. The airy, slightly chewy dough inside is the perfect complement to that slightly crackly crust. Laugenbrezel lightly dotted with large grains of salt are ubiquitous in Germany. You can find them on street corners, in subway stations, and even at the opera during intermissions. Everyone—from tousle-haired students sitting on grimy sidewalks to businessmen swathed in Jil Sander suits—loves them. The twisted arms of the laugenbrezel bring people of all walks of life together in one giant, salty, pillowy, doughy embrace.
The laugenbrötchen very quickly turned into my S-bahn ritual. There was one maker near my local S-bahn station I loved, so whenever I had to hop across Berlin, I built in an extra 5 minutes into my trip to get that my dose. It was always worth it.