by: Gerhild Fulson / Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!
That's the greeting you'll get when you visit Schleswig-Holstein, the most northern German state. It's a friendly welcome to a part of the country that lies between the stormy North Sea and the relatively calm Baltic Sea.
Before 1946, wars and political intrigue left this part of the country economically poor. Agriculture and fisheries provided the sole basis for survival, leaving their mark on the cuisine of the area.
In 1946, Schleswig-Holstein attained political unity. The influences of Denmark and Germany are intermingled in their culture and cuisine. Local produce is still in abundance and is the basis for hearty and rich dishes, needed in this area with its harsh climate.
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Denmark and Germany join together in this traditional fruit dessert.
Once only popular in Schleswig-Holstein, this fruit sauce is now found throughout Germany and can even be considered a national dessert.
Traditionally made with just fresh red currants or a combination of red currants and raspberries, there are many variations possible.
Some of these possibilities are strawberries, red or black currants, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, and even rhubarb.
It is served over cream, vanilla custard, or with vanilla sauce. It's also great, layered in a glass with cottage cheese, Quark, ice cream, or yogurt.
My favorite memories of this dessert are very recent. Our friends took us on a "must do" excursion: taking a walk to a Hallig which is part of the Schleswig-Holstein's Wattenmeer National Park. This was a 6 km walk from the beach to the Hallig (island) at low tide.
Hiking barefoot through the wet sand and navigating around the little sea creatures such as stingrays and areas of sharp shells was quite an adventure. Once on the Hallig, we rested with a cup of coffee and Rote Grütze, all the while keeping our eyes on the clock. Rested and nicely filled, we quickly hiked back to the mainland before the tide came back in.
That was my introduction to this easy fruit dessert. All that seems to matter is that this fruit sauce is red. Other than that it seems, any combination of fruits work.
Here's my quick and easy recipe for Rote Grütze.
On our first trip back to Germany after having lived in Canada for over 50 years, my German was very limited. We were invited to a specially prepared dinner.
Our hostess brought in the appetizer soup, describing it as Tomato Krabben Suppe. I understood tomatoes and crabs. However, when I lifted out my spoon, I saw what looked like maggots, hanging off the spoon.
Having been well trained by my Mutti, I knew I had to swallow this. I made sure I didn't chew. I just swallowed. The tomato broth part was delicious.
But, the ‘maggots’ were torture.
It wasn't till weeks later that I found out that krabben are shrimps … very small north sea shrimps, the size of maggots.
The humor here? I love shrimps. If only I had known! Our friends, who were with us, still tease me about this.
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Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.
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Words to the Wise
"Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger."
Proverbs 29:8 NLT