Guilty Pleasures: Food in Berlin

Alli Green
November 19, 2013

I’ve wanted to write an entry about food all semester, but I knew doing so would mean admitting my slightly sheepish relationship with food. I have no taste at all for fine dining and could never be described as a “foodie.” Instead I have the pallet of the average 10 year old boy; the over-excited reactions of pre-teen boys on commercials where their mom makes bagel bites matches my reaction when I see bagel bites in the frozen food isle of the grocery store.
Berlin obliges my love of all foods lowbrow. When I’m out running errands, if I have a few spare euros I love stopping for food in train stations. The Crobag, Blue Bakery, and all the other chains provide excellent baked goods with exciting additional ingredients that I’ve never seen in the US, such as ham and melted cheese or sausage inside a croissant, or else buttered baguette with salami and provolone cheese. Wherever you go on foot you always have the option to stop for Doner—a Turkish inspired Berlin specialty filled with veggies and falafel (although I personally always go for their French fries which have some yet unidentified delicious seasonings)—or currywurst, the signature Berlin snack (or meal) of sliced sausage and French fries drenched in catsup, mayonnaise and curry powder. In cafes I enjoy grilled flatbread sandwiches with feta, arugula and sundried tomatoes or else the rich dark coffees with way too much sugar. That’s about as sophisticated as my taste in food gets.
While I’m constantly pulling crumpled bakery bags from my purse—balled surreptitiously small so no one knows how often I eat wurst-croissants—and while my grocery purchasing is essentially limited to creative sandwich ingredients and, to make my mom proud, produce, I do occasionally venture into the more decadent cuisine Berlin has to offer. And by occasionally I mean once, last night.
My friends Emily and Alex (both from my homeschool) went to the Prater Biergarten for a fancier dinner last night and I’ve never enjoyed a meal more. Set back in its own small courtyard, the restaurant serves authentic German cuisine. I ordered meatballs and potatoes in a thick caper sauce; everything tasted perfectly from the buttery, just soft enough potatoes to the consistently juicy meat to the warm tart sauce. I also sampled some of Alex’s steak with horseradish and some of Emily’s bread dumplings and beer all of which I can only describe as perfect. That dinner instilled in me a little confidence in my usual eating habits. It’s like appreciating having lived rurally for so long that the city becomes an exciting new world; by spending most of my appetite on anything with bread, butter and melted cheese, I get to be overwhelmingly enraptured by the other world of fine hot meals.

Alli Green

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Having grown up in rural Vermont, Alli Green now studies art history and studio art at Skidmore College. She stays active on campus by working as admissions ambassador, a tutor in Skidmore&rsquo;s writing center, and looks forward to assistant costume designing the theater department&rsquo;s main stage production in the spring of 2014. Her ambitions include pursuing a master&rsquo;s degree in either art history, museum studies, or library sciences, exploring opportunities to work as a field archeologist, illustrating children&rsquo;s books, and contributing to the making of movie magic as a costume designer or special effects makeup artist. In the meantime, she is content to get excited about books, movies, art, history, and learning everything she can both while she is a student and after.</span></p>

Destination:
Term:
2013 Fall
Home university:
Skidmore College
Major:
Art History
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