Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Get you taste buds ready - Yummy Munich

Having been presented with a day off in Munich, I seized the opportunity to explore the food scene, outside of the café’s, restaurants, and imbisstube. My first stop was Dallmayr, just off Marienplatz. This is the Harrod’s Food Hall equivalent in Munich. The shop is well laid out with separated sections for tea, coffee, chocolates, cakes, bread, fruit and vegetables, cheese, fish, and meat. There is even a cigar room, although well sealed to prevent tainting the food, and a wine, Champagne, and schnapps department.
I found the emporium, for that is what it really is, absolutely crammed with people – a mixture of tourists and locals. Bavarians buying their bread and meat; tourists admiring the exquisite display of petit four and hors d’ouevre, handmade chocolates and marzipan creations and breathing deeply the aroma of the freshly ground coffee being packaged behind the counter. With all these people the store had a cluttered feel, although not at all stuffy or overcrowded. The staff are friendly and the prices reasonable, given that Munich lies in the most expensive part of Bavaria and probably the whole of Germany.
In the centre of the main grocery thoroughfare sits a fountain and a pool where fresh lobsters live. The sound of trickling water has the welcome effect of relaxing the shoppers somewhat. After dragging myself away from the delights of Dallmayr and, surprisingly, with some cash left in my wallet, I set out to find a tiny shop I had come across one Sunday. Of course, it had been closed then, but the window display was so tempting that I had to visit again during opening hours. My memory served me well and I found the little shop just as I had remembered it, and thankfully with it’s door open. The window of Spanisches Fruchthaus was crammed with every kind of dried and candied fruit imaginable, various sorts of nuts, Greek Lokuum and fresh fruit arranged in baskets, boxes and jars providing a fantastic array of colour. Here you could feast your eyes on the brilliant pinks and yellow of dried papaya and mango, the deep gold of dates in oblong white boxes or filled with marzipan and stored in large jars, baskets of shining, glazed apricots, cherries, and plums.
Inside the tiny, little shop at Rindermarkt 16 was a high glass counter on one side, within which were stored dried apple rings dipped in white chocolate, whole black cherries in bitter plain chocolate, real fruit jellies in tiny paper cases, orange and lemon slices caramelized or half-coated in chocolate. Behind the counter on ceiling-high white shelves stood more jars filled with an assortment of nougat, lokkum and jellies. The opposing wall held pre-wrapped boxes of chocolates, pralines, nougat, candied fruit and baskets of Spanish wine and liquors along with a small selection of fresh fruit. While this shop is of the type where you’d love to browse for hours, its size just doesn’t allow. A few moments to gaze in wonder before deciding on a purchase is all that the space constraints and busy staff will permit. On the positive side, on each visit there’s always something new to discover.
For purposes of lengthy browsing, the Viktualienmarkt on Saturdays is the place to be. Here you can happily wander around the market stalls for as long as you please before settling on what purchases to make, be it for immediate consumption or to take home for later. The stalls sell the market usuals like fruit and vegetables, as well as olives and olive oil and wines. Adjacent to the trading area are numerous stehcafes (standing cafes) where Leberkase Semmeln, various Wurst and Breze’n are sold. To try the authentic Bavarian fare, go for a Weisswurst breakfast - white sausage with sweet, wholegran mustard, and a Weissbier.
One famous brewery in the Munich area is Andechs. Here the beer is brewed by the Andechser monks. The monastry also owns a restaurant behind the Cathedral of Our Lady (between Stachus and Marienplatz U-Bahn stops). Andechs am Dom is situated in a pretty little corner with a cosy wooden interior. Outdoor seating also available under large, white, canvass parasols. Unfortunately I have not yet had the pleasure of dining here but I have heard that the food is excellent. If it is anything like the food at the restaurant adjacent to the monastery, it is not to be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment