Crazy for Käse

Jetzt ich bin in Deutschland! An overnight bus whisked me through the Swiss Alps and after a brief pause in Munich, I made my way out to Pfaffenhofen, a Bavarian suburb to visit a shop catering to one of my other obsessions. Completing that fabulous fibrous pilgrimage sooner than expected, I found that I had a bit of time before I had to return to Munich, so I wandered into center of this charming town where I found a Saturday market in full swing.

ctmy101-Käse von PfaffenhoffenGuess what? There was not one, but two, cheese stalls! I perused the offerings at each, but ultimately decided that the one pictured had the most intriguing options. I told the counter girl that I was eager to stick to local cheeses and it just so happened that they were featuring a sale on one, Allegäuer Emmentaler.

ctmy100-german cheeseThis is the German version of the famous Swiss cheese. As you can see,  it does not have holes, but the color and texture is that classic creamy yellow associated with the well-known variety. I would describe this Alpine specialty as sweet, but with a mild bite.

ctmy102-leafy german cheese The other cheese I tried was called Blaümflor. Unfortunately, I can’t find any information about it, so it’s either incredibly rare or more likely, I didn’t copy the name down quite right. The translation device says it’s simply “pale green”, which I guess might refer to its rind? It was coated in leaves and flowers. Overall, this was my favorite of the two I sampled, for it had a mild, but sweet, leafy, but not too grassy, flavor. If you sprechen Deutsch and can figure out my error in transcribing the name of this cheese, Gib mir Bescheid–I’d love to find a way to maybe track it down again!

These cheeses were enjoyed as a picnic lunch on the train back to Munich. I also indulged in some of my beloved mohnstrudel, and later I even found one with poppy seeds and cheese. I failed to document it, but trust me, it was köstlich. 

In the afternoon, I took another train over to Austria. Are you keeping pace with me? Yes, it’s only day three and I’m covering some serious ground with my limited vacation allotment. There, I met up with my friends, the Mondsee family. The Mutter is an American friend from college, who married an Austrian yodeler, and together they have a 10-year-old daughter.

I had fun catching up with them as the last time we had seen each other the tween had been but three! We toured the serpentine streets of Salzburg in the rain. Thankfully, my college mate is a certified tour guide, so we were never lost. We stopped at one point and enjoyed some eis, and when I saw that topfen was a flavor, I knew I had to try it. Cheese ice cream? Yes, please. I tried it combined with aprikose, and so did my pal. She declared that the swirl reminded her of peaches ‘n’ cream. Indeed. Apologies for the lack of documentation–it was too complicated to manage umbrellas, ice creams, and a camera.

ctmy103-käsespätzleLater on, we stopped for dinner at a beer hall. The menu was extensive but thankfully, my English-speaking friends could help me figure out what was both veg-friendly and cheesetastic. Their daughter and I both went for the Käsespätzle, the Austrian version of macaroni-and-cheese. Served in individual skillets, you can see that it was an ample portion and I was sorry that I couldn’t finish it, as I didn’t have a fridge handy to hold the leftovers.

I parted ways with the Mondseer family–they returned home and I stayed over in Salzburg that evening. Arriving in the middle of a weekend meant that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to patronize a charming cheese shop that I’d read about in my guide book. I guess I will just have to make plans to come back soon, for it’s clear that I’m crazy for any and all käse I encounter.

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