Sunday, December 27, 2009

Almost vegan in Heidelberg

From Strasbourg, we crossed the border back into Germany to visit Heidelberg, another college town. The scenery was picture-perfect; waterside homes and rolling hills gazed at us from across the river.

A medieval castle kept watch over the cozy little town.

It was such a delight to stroll and shop in Heidelberg. The prettily paved streets were spotlessly clean, and numerous unique stores called my name.

After buying some authentic German absinthe (ohh yes), I happened upon an adorable little food shop offering samples of nearly all their products—sauces, seasonings, dips, spreads, jams, jellies, dried fruit, cakes, cookies, crackers, bread, and more! I was in there for a good ten minutes before realizing that, as the labels quietly but proudly boasted, every single item in the store was both vegan and organic.

They were even selling a book (in English, French, and Italian, though strangely I found no German copy) entitled "The Animal-Friendly Cookbook."

After buying a jar of garlicky pesto and two little jars of sunflower seed paté (one roasted-red-pepper-flavored, one curry-flavored), I visited an internet café, then met the rest of the group for dinner. I neglected to take a picture of the restaurant sign, unfortunately, but I believe it was called (in German) The Red Ox. The interior was very rustic-German-farmhouse-y (with some décor that might have offended or disturbed "real" vegans, but you know me; I didn’t mind).

The first course was a soup which they assured me contained no cheese, despite the look of it. I tasted it and could tell it was thickened with potato and cauliflower, but nonetheless, something about it was suspect (i.e. cheesy) to me.

While the others ate pork, I was served a mushroom stroganoff with egg noodles. I think I am officially no longer a mushroom-hater. It was a little creamy for me, but earthy and hearty in all the right ways. It was so tasty, in fact, that I forgot to take a picture of it till it was mostly gone. My favorite part would have to be those huge, moist dumplings that reminded me of my grandma Nanny’s eierbrot (our family’s Thanksgiving stuffing).

Dessert was a light chocolate pudding, a simple but stylish ending to the meal.

Next, we make one last stop in Germany, in Cologne, on our way into the Netherlands.

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  1. The medieval castle looks neat sitting atop the hill. What beautiful scenery. The brick paved street looks typically German to me.

    The soup and stroganoff look splendid to me.

  2. What a quaint little shop. What a picturesque view across the river. Beautiful.