Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stommeln 7.5.05: Kölsch and Maibäume

Now in Stommeln outside Köln. We drove here from Wiesbaden this morning, arriving shortly after noon, and took a room for one night in a small hotel on the street with the church.

Interesting towns, with small brick cottages. The churches are also brick, beautiful brickwork. It’s hard to say how old much of it is. A history of our hotel says it was built 1646-8, and is the oldest house in town. The history implies the town was built around that time—why so late? An extension of Köln?

But the sign for the synagogue says the Jewish community here dates from the early 1300s. So the town can’t have first been built in the 1600s. What does the little history mean?

A different feel here than anywhere I’ve been in Germany. The architecture looks at times like something out of Amsterdam—those steep-gabled buildings with steps and whorls leading up to the gable. Landscape is flat, too, though nowhere near so flat as Holland.

Some houses painted colors I’ve never seen in Germany—strong Mediterranean blue, bright orange. And trees have colored streamers—obviously Maibäume—something I didn’t see anywhere in the Taunus region, Marburg, or Wiesbaden.

Wonderful meal this evening at a place near the town Bahnhof recommended by the hotel owner—Bauernstube. Steve had a leg of lamb—thick steaks—in a Madeira sauce with green beans in bunches and Dauphinoise potatoes. I had schnitzel in mushroom cream sauce with spätzle and salad.

Before we ate, they brought us asparagus salad—wonderful, in a creamy vinaigrette that wasn’t sweet. Almost impossible to find a non-sweet dressing in Germany. With the asparagus was chopped ham, and there was onion or leek also. Delicious!

The spätzle were so much better than in Marburg, and the schnitzels (two of them) were enormous. I could eat only one and Steve had the other.

His green beans had been cooked with an herb that was, I suspect, summer savory. Isn’t that what Germans call Bohnenkraut? They were wrapped into bunches (Bohnenbönchen) with bacon. The Dauphinoise potatoes were very rich—croquettes flavored with nutmeg.

With all of this, several glasses of Kölsch, light and refreshing. I like the small glasses, so you don’t feel as if you’re drinking like a pig. Sauf dich voll und friss dich dick . . . .

1 comment:

myspotlght said...

Dear Sir,

I was in Stommeln in 2005, for it called KiBiWo placed in one of kirche...Ich komme aus Asien