Saturday, August 31, 2013

Exploring Alsacian cuisine

DSC09750 (1300x951)

May I make a dinner reservation?

I’m sorry, monsieur, but we do not make reservations.

However, we open at 6:30. If you come before 7, I will hold you a table. But only until then.

Bien, merci; do you need a name to hold it?DSC09738

Non, monsieur.  You, I will remember.

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The food in the Alsace is a blend, as with all things in the region.  The ingredients are unmistakably German: sauerkraut, grilled or dried sausages, potatoes or spaezles,  marbled pork slices, Muenster cheeses.  No fish; no red wine.  But the preparations are French (as is the attitude), peppered with unique regional specialties.

DSC09744The Tarte flambée, a thin-crust crepe baked over an open fire and topped with cheese and bacon, is probably the most recognizable dish.   But, a bit beyond, the cheese and potatoes is delightful, and foie gras is always worth a sample.  I generally have at least one plate of choucroute aux viandes DSC09749(mild sauerkraut with varied sausages and meat slices) and a Backeoffa, a slow-cooked meat and potato casserole.  Desserts are almost always ice creams with a coulis (a strained fresh-fruit glaze).

 

DSC09633And in the mornings, the  inn had wonderful breakfasts, croissants, fresh preserves, and mirabelle plums, strong coffee and fresh juice.

 

 

DSC09777The shops have a variety of local dried meats, honeys, and cheeses: I usually pick up a couple of sausages.  There was a great deal on truffle variants this time through, a nutty, smoky flavor that nicely offsets the smoked meats.

 

DSC09775And then there are the local beers: watery and only interesting for the bottles….

And, yes, the owner did remember me, and had a lovely table set up in the garden, where there were only a half dozen other patrons all evening.  We both laughed about how businesses build demand as I paid to leave.

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