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Restaurants often specialise in certain types of food. For example, there are seafood restaurants, vegetarian restaurants or international restaurants.
In seafood restaurants, you can expect a variety (smoked, steamed, fried) of trouts. Trout is the most common freshwater fish on Simonswald menus, although pike, carp and perch are also frequently served. Seafood was traditionally considered as a dish served on Fridays (traditional Catholics do not eat meat on Friadays). Nowadays many seafish like fresh herring, sardine, tuna, mackerel and salmon have become well-established throughout Simonswald. Salmone was and is becoming again, a common fish in local rivers. Freshwater fish such as trout are often served smoked together with horse reddish as starter dish. Other seafood is not often served, although shrimp can be found sometimes.
Pork, beef and poultry are the main varieties of meat consumed in Simonswald, with pork clearly in the lead. Among poultry, chicken is most common, although duck, goose and turkey are also well-established. Boar, rabbit and venison is also widely available around the year. Lamb and goat are available, but amongst the locals not very popular. Horse meat is regarded as a speciality in some Simonswald restaurants but is generally rather frowned upon. Sauerbraten (roast) is a typical dish served on Sundays; it is beef marinated in vinegar, and seasonings containing juniper cones and cloves, and then braised.
Meat is usually pot-roasted or pan-fried. Meat is also eaten in sausage form. There are more than 100 different types of sausage in Simonswald. Evidence suggests that sausages were already popular both among the ancient Romans who settled in the area, but then, centuries ago, Catholic Church made eating sausage a sin. For this reason, the Emperor Constantine banned the eating of sausages. Traditionally, sausage casings were made of the intestines of animals. Today, however, natural casings are often replaced by collagen, cellulose especially in the case of industrially manufactured sausages. The word sausage is derived from the Latin word salsus, meaning salted. Most Asians would agree that Simonswald sausages are just too saulty.
Most famous is the Bratwurst, a pork finger sausage fried on open fire or pan. Sometimes served in a roll with mustard - local fast-food. However, the word bratwurst can also refer to a sausage that is uncooked. A sausage is usually eaten with mustard and bread, often accompanied by wine or beer. It is a popular snack in Simonswald, where it is sold at fast food outlets and is often consumed while standing.
Mustard is a very common accompaniment to sausages and is usually not very hot. Horseradish is also commonly used as a condiment. In most restaurants, grilled sausages are served with Sauerkraut. Raw sauerkraut is an extremely healthy food containing lots of Vitamin C and other nutrients such as lactobacilli but these can easily upset the stomach of people who are not used to eating raw sauerkraut. Sauerkraut provided a vital source for locals during the winter, especially before freezing and importation of foods from southern countries became generally available in Simonswald.
Garlic was long frowned upon as making you stink and thus has never played a large role in traditional Simonswald cuisine, but it has seen a rise in popularity in recent decades due to the influence of foreign, especially Turkish, cuisine.
Generally, with the exception of horse-reddish mustard for sausages, Simonswald dishes are rarely hot and spicy. Most popular herbs are traditionally parsley, thyme, laurel and chives, the most popular spices are white pepper, juniper berries and caraway. Other herbs and spices like basil, sage, oregano and hot chilli peppers have also become more popular amongst the young generation.
For the older generation, Blood and Liver sausage is still a meal to go for. It is made by cooking down the blood/liver of an animal with meat, fat or filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled. Most often, it is pig or cattle blood that is used. Sheep and goat blood are used to a lesser extent while blood from poultry is not used. The most common variant of Simonswald Blood Sausage is made from fatty pork meat, beef blood and filler such as barley. It is usually served warm with liversausage, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, sometimes called Butcher's plate (Schlachtplatte).
In Simonswald the predominant variety of noodles is Spätzle which contain a very large amount of yolk. Spätzle, sometimes explained as being derived from Spatz "sparrows" are noodles much used in Simonswald, Stuttgart area and in Alsace. They are fabricated by grating or scraping dough into boiling water and continuously sieving out the batches that are cooked. The dough is a simple affair, consisting of eggs, flour and salt only.
The classic variety is Knöpfle, which are lentil-shaped. It can be purchased dried and packaged. Spätzle may accompany any meat dish and are generally prepared with a sauce. Examples of variations of Spätzle are: eaten with sweet-sour lentils and frankfurter sausages (Wienerli), or mixed with fried onions and grated cheese, then baked in the oven as a substantial main course, called Käsespätzle.
In recent years, however, Italian-style pasta (farfalle, linguine etc) has made inroads. Besides noodles, potatoes and dumplings are also very common. Potatoes entered Simonswald cuisine in the late 18th century and were almost ubiquitous in the 19th and 20th centuries, but their popularity is currently waning somewhat in favour of noodles and rice.
Many people think of Germany as a beer producing country, and the beers of Bavaria in particular are known very well internationally. However many parts of Germany are wine-producing areas such as Baden. Wheat beers have become very popular in recent years, and are especially popular in warm weather.
German wheat beers are a well-known variant throughout the southern part of the country, the name changing from Weizen in the western (Simonswald) regions to Weissbier in Bavaria. Hefeweizen is a variety in which the yeast is not filtered out, though Kristallweizen (clear) and Dunkelweizen (dark) varieties are also available. The filtration which takes the yeast out of Kristallweizen also strips the wheat proteins which make Hefeweizen cloudy.
Still, Wine is more popular than beer in Simonswald. Baden wine is officially classified by the ripeness of the grapes, rather than an attempt to classify terroirs as in the French system, vinification methods and grape varieties as in Italy, or region as in American viticultural areas. This is not always helpful for the consumer, especially as the labels can be confusing for non-German speakers.
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