Thursday, April 23, 2015

Beilagensalat and Blechweckerl

More than a month ago, I spent a day in Freiburg, a town that during my childhood, we visited quite regularly. 

I had not been there in more than ten years so I felt it was time to go there again. 
The market on the Münster-Platz makes you think that time has stood still.

It is a farmer's market in the true sense. The old women selling the produce from indivual farms already looked 90 years old when I was a child... Their hair is neatly tucked away in headscarves and their hands bear the traces of lifelong hard labor in the fields. The neat handwriting on the signs indicate that they must have gone to elementary school at a time when calligraphy was still a graded subject in Germany. 

Naturally, January, February and March do not offer a lot of locally grown fresh produce. But the flowers on sale were impeccable. Those easter roses??? Me want!


What was also sold in abundance was winter salads, real mâche and purslane, my all time favorite salad! This made me think of the word Beilagensalat which refers to a plate of salad eaten on the side. I have been trying to come up with a more German word ever since, but I can't think of one. It contains so much of the orderlyness typical for Germans: the salad doesn't get to be mixed with other food on the plate, no it is properly eaten on the side. 
Other food related words that say much more about a specific culture:

Blechweckerl: A term from Vienna, refering to a can of beer that might as well substitute a meal. It perfectly fits the rough, melancholic, yet pasionate Viennese soul.

le goûter or quatre heures: a snack, mostly sweet, prepared for French children in the afternoon when they come home from school. Only a country in which food is considered world heritage would have such a lovely word full of parental care for a snack.

Znüni: a snack eaten in Switzerland at nine o'clock in the morning. If you ever observed the tedious hard work that goes into taking care of animals in shieling, you know how Swiss farmers deserve their Znüni.

Stulle: a slice of bread, mostly with butter as a spread. No word sounds more Berlin than Stulle. Ick mach mir jeze ne Stulle, wa? Willste ooch eene?

and of course: Schlachtplatte...

Do you know any other food related words that stand for so much more? Let me know!

copyright of all photos j.