The passions we pick up along the way…
As many of you know, I spent a good portion of my adult life in the beautiful European country of Germany. The summer of 1998, at the brazen age of 18, I moved to Stuttgart for the first time and ended up nestled in this magical emerald valley for over 10 years. After moving back to the States in the fall of 2010, I’ve had time to reflect on those things I fell most in love with during my time there (besides a few unlucky European men). I’d like to share with you my top 3 LOVES of Deutschland.
1. FUSSBALL (“Soccer”)
Oh, boy. I friggin’ LOVE this game. The sweat, the determination, the Spartan muscles that grace the field of green… there really is nothing like it. Turns out I’m quite the anomaly when it comes to loving this sport. Most ladies roll their eyes in disgust and frustration when the word Fussball is even whispered. I, on the other hand, perk my ears, jump out of my seat, and head towards the nearest big screen TV.
The relief and satisfaction I get at witnessing a well deserved goal finally hit the back of the net – SWOOSH! – I get all flush just thinking about it. As a matter of fact, I get so excited whenever ANY team makes a goal, that I often get myself into trouble. Jumping and screaming like a mad woman who just had an veinal shot of testosterone and 5-Hour Energy juice – it’s quite the sight to see. And quite the incredible rush.
2. KAFFEE & SEKT (“Coffee & Sparkling Wine”)
Oh, joy. The nectar of the Gods. Morning Sundae, as my boyfriend calls it, gets me going at the crack of dawn, and Prosecco gets me back down at the twilight hour. One thing I do miss about living in good ol’ Germany, is the caliber of cappuccinos that met me at every corner cafe, and the beautifully formed fluted bubbles that greeted me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I used to think these wonderful beverages were bitter and unpalatable, but I learned. Thank goodness I did, too. My very first coffee experience was a Latte Macchiato. I slowly but surely became bolder and balanced less milk with more espresso. What I experienced with fantastic vino is that white in the summer can be just as refreshing as a cool drink of water, and red from Spain or Italy can make your taste buds twitch and dance.
As a good circle of friends would chime as they graciously toast one another… “Prost!”
3. BROT (“Bread”)
Oh, yeah! German bread is IN.CRE.DI.BLE. Rich grains, plump seeds, voluminous flavor… *sigh* Miss it. If you ever go to Germany, the first thing to do is grab a brezel with a thick layer of butter smeared inside of it and HAU REIN! (“DIG IN!”) My mouth is already watering just thinking about it.
Naturally, with Germany being so close to France, the croissants are also remarkable. But it’s often hit or miss with these golden crescent nom-noms. They really should be eaten fresh out of the oven, piping hot, and almost stringy from being so overladen with butter.
Regardless of whatever bread product you pick up in Germany, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, I’m such a breadhead, I even considered opening my own bakery when I moved back to the States. Well, it could still happen… the best dreams often die the hardest, right?
So, there we are – my 3 TOP LOVES of Germany. Most Americans choose to skip this diamond in the rough whenever they make the trek across the Atlantic. But I highly encourage my fellow world travelers to make Deutschland a hot-listed priority. You’ll be surprised by how much you fall in love with this land of sausage and dirndls.