Monday, November 10, 2008

Electra Visits the Viktualienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt Stand

Thomas and I have gotten into the habit or taking our bikes into town on Saturday morning for a Milch Kaffee and a fresh pastry or pretzel. Usually we just go into the thriving metropolis of BFMF and combine our caffeine kick with a few other errands - post office, bank, green grocer.

Last Saturday we decided to take our bikes into Munich proper for our weekend ritual. We wanted to see how long it would take to bike into the city center and we needed to pick up a few things in some of the shops. Forty-five minutes later we were locking up our bikes and assessing our cafe options.

I've been into the city center about twice a week since I've been here. It's a short 15 minute ride on the S-bahn so it's easy to meet friends or just go in to pick up some hard to find grocery items. Thomas, because he clings to the questionable belief that at least one of us should be working (thank god), has been exactly twice. So it was nice to be there together for once and have the chance to stroll around before the crowds descended.

One of my favorite "must sees" in Munich is the Viktualienmarkt. This open air market has been around for over 200 years offering fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, oils, soaps, specialty foods and of course sausage and cheese. It's not unusual to see someone enjoying a weisswurst and beer at 9:30 in the morning. Not a taste I've acquired yet. I'll save that food adventure for when my father visits. Which brings me to...

The Tale of the Rollmop
Most girls try to win their father's affection with fairly standard fare - good grades, sweet Polly Purebread impersonations, chastity belts. I try to win my father's affection with food. And yes, I realize this should probably be discussed in therapy but that costs money and blogging is free. When I was young it was liver and onions. "Good iron," my father said. "Good God NO!" my stomach said. But I ate it because nobody else in the family would and I thought all that iron would surely morph into a halo around my head. Come to find out years later that the butter and bacon it was drenched in were more likely to clog my arteries. But I ate it. And I seem to recall actually almost sorta kinda liking it. Today the mere thought of eating liver makes me want to subsist on carrots for the rest of my days. I mean really this is an animal's LIVER! Livers are things which you donate. You don't eat them.

But no foul food experience (and there is a horse meat stew incident in the archives) compared to the rollmop incident. One day, while my brother and I were visiting my parents, my father pulled from the refrigerator something we just "had to try." He'd stopped at a small German deli for some sandwich fixings and made the happy chance epicurean discovery of rollmops.
From Wikipedia: A rollmop is a pickled herring fillet rolled (hence the name) into a cylindrical shape around a piece of pickled gherkin. Rollmops grew popular throughout Germany during the early 19th century. The fish was pickled to preserve it and transported in wooden barrels. In pubs in Old Berlin, it was common to have high-rising glass display cases (Hungerturm, meaning "hunger tower") on the bar to present ready-to-eat dishes like lard bread, salt eggs, meatballs, mettwurst (bacon sausage) and of course rollmops. At the present time, rollmops are commonly served as part of the German Katerfrühstück (hangover breakfast) which is believed to restore some electrolytes and makes breasts larger.
Anybody hungry?
My brother said no dice right away. I hedged - my internal dialogue probably being something along the lines of, "If I eat this Dad will love me more than he loves Neal. I'll never be able to usurp "the baby" from Mom's pedestal but I still have a shot at Dad." Dare I mention I was in my mid-thirties at the time? Right, going to arrange appointment with therapist...

It's quite possible that my father taunted me. "Come on, don't be such a wuss. Try it." So I did. How shall I describe? Vile? Vicious? No, the clear winner was Vomitous. No sooner than it was down it came back up to reintroduce itself in all its smelly, slimy disgustingness. And it continued to make guest appearances for the next two days. When I hear the word "rollmop" now my stomach immediately clenches and I start to gag. Pavlov in one easy step.

I'm not sure how a posting about the Viktualienmarkt ended up being a soul-baring Electra complex expose... oh, right that was it... They sell rollmops at the Viktualienmarkt. I for one will not be eating them even if they give me Pamela Anderson (a vegan by the way who does not eat LIVER) breasts. The weisswurst I'll consider if Daddy dares me.

1 comment:

Sabra said...

So, although my stomach may be inside out from your most recent blog... I did begin at the beginning (after all, the beginning is usually the best place to start). And after following you on your great adventures -- reading your captivating words and tearing up at your postcard-esque photos -- my heart is nearly bursting at the seams for you and TK and all your adventures. I'm actually feeling inspired myself to take off to a quaint little foreign country and start my own blog. But I think I'll need a quaint little foreign man first...

Miss you much, and those dear and distant Lifestyle days...

All my love "Wex"

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