Steen Bjørn Hanssen

  • Location: Berlin

Snapshots from Germany: the Biergarten

@DanielJ: Don't think I can help, I believe “Wurstel” is the Italian word for the traditional Wiener Würstchen or Vienna sausage. What you describe sounds like some kind of hotdog ? only one way to find out, visit Munich again and try avoid doing so in September. Cheers

Snapshots from Germany: Imbiss, or German Street Food, Explained

@TiminNY: ooh yes the area around Yorkstr. S-Bahn is quite dodgy with all the haunted looking old rail overpassings. I'm sure a significant number of imbisses are indeed fronts for gray zone Berliner transactions. The third Hamburger joint since late January has just reopened under new name at the exact same spot very near by.

@inothernews: Dresden is a beautiful city with good and heavy Saxony cuisine and their Christmas markets should be some of the best in Germany.

@tikipundit: Thx !

Snapshots from Germany: Spätzle

Useful Spätzle gear:

The Spätzlepresse looks like an over sized garlic press, The Spätzlehobel a mandolin like instrument where you slice the dough into the pot. The so-called Flotte Lotte is a simple mechanical food mill. I have even observed the use of a bullet hole pizza pan placed directly on top of the boiling pot with the Spätzle dough being pressed through the pizza pan holes.


Snapshots from Germany: Spätzle

@Kaiser: I apologize for my spelling mistake, Württemberg with two t's has just been corrected... and yes nutmeg is indeed only optional. I just love nutmeg and find it hard to avoid when doing stuff with eggs or potatoes.


Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Non-Alcoholic Beer

I must regretfully report that non-alcoholic beer has also become quite popular in Berlin..... an abomination, we agree... like unsalted butter or frozen pizza... in Biergardens, my better half, often drinks Radler which is Bier mixed with 7upish soda, far from being non alcoholic, it's actually a sound drink for women who for whatever reason don't plan to get too tipsy....

Liebe Grüße.


Snapshots from Germany: Weißwurst

@Lorenzo thx for your comment. For 90% of German sausages you do eat the casing or skin. However, the interesting culinary experiences often lie in the exceptions to the rules.....and yes, grilled weißwurst is indeed a horrific abomination.

@hungrychristel: :) Berlin is on the brink of spring....

Spice Hunting: Nutmeg

I recommend reading Giles Milton's book "Nathaniel's Nutmeg" a fascinating historical account of the early nutmeg trade from the Indonesian island of Run to Europe. Run a tiny (today forgotten) island in the Banda Sea, was once the sole global supplier of nutmeg....

Snapshots from Germany: Flammkuchen, AKA Flaming Cake

Zwiebelkuchen and Flammkuchen are two distinct dishes.

@hungrychristel as always your comments are much appreciated... :)

Snapshots from Germany: Flammkuchen, AKA Flaming Cake

@deltadawn & Labhan: I actually had a sentence on beverage in the original text, but if got edited out (I forgive you SE) of course Weissbier will go well with Flammkuchen, however since we are in the upper Rhine river area I'd also recommend that you try Weißburgunder from the German region of Baden. @deltadawn: as a Flammkuchen traditionalist, I have to agree with you on the olive oil, I stand corrected.

@lulzbot: always go for the fattiest you can find (in cooking that is)

Come on in 'The Kitchn'

Yes maybe I'll do a Snapshot from Germany on Kinder Schokolade....a truly amazing product....unable to go shopping without my daughter grabbing a kinder egg. (Kinder is actually produced in Italy...)

Snapshots from Germany: Döner Kebab

@justinem that must have been one amazing döner ! Guess you better soon come back for more....

Snapshots from Germany: Swabian Maultasche

@digital you're right the German word "Maul" specifically refers to an animals mouth or snout, while the the English word "mouth" refers human and animal mouths alike

@hungrychristel and others: Thanks for all your positive feedback, this is really encouraging !

Snapshots from Germany: Swabian Maultasche

@stevuchan Yes the story goes that Maultasche originates from the Maulbronn monestry (hence the name Maultasche) where Monks belonging to the Order of Cisterciansy invented the dish to be able to eat meat during the Lent fasting period by hiding it from god inside the pasta pocket. The nickname of Malutasche is actually “Herrgottsbscheißerle” translated into something like "god cheaters" !

Snapshots from Germany: Sülze (AKA Head Cheese)

@Trilby: for poultry and seafood you of course use not only the head meat, whole shrimps are for instance used in Sülze, some also add eggs and veggies.

@nyc_Hugo: Can imagine that horseradish & vinegar would be excellent for Sülze, will apply next time, Thx for the tip !

@Labhan: agree on the importance of dedicating attention, especially for this dish which I'll only prepare maybe 4 or 5 times a year, I hesitate substituting the Kristal, would however consider adding a shot of Aquavit but rather at room temperature.

Cheers Steen

Snapshots from Germany: Sülze (AKA Head Cheese)

Agree KaDeWe and Rogacki offer some of the best Sülze in town.

Cant help on the Sülze impasse in Fl....there must be a German or Swiss butcher shop in your area, if they are serious they will produce their own Sülze.

Indeed an awesome head cheese, sometimes wonder if it should be eaten as a burger ?

Snapshots from Germany: The Currywurst

@TiminNY: look closely at the background wrapping on the photo and you might recognize Konnopke's logo. The currywurst in this photo was bought at Konnopke's, indeed one of the best currywurst stands in Berlin !

Cheers Steen

Snapshots from Germany: Grünkohl mit Mettwurst (Curly Kale with Pork Sausage)

@hungryC, of course pinkel is first choice, (dont think there's any brain in it).... but mettwurst is king, at least here in Berlin, cheers,

Hilsen Steen

Snapshots from Germany: Grünkohl mit Mettwurst (Curly Kale with Pork Sausage)

@dylan_oliver: you are a sharp observer, the brownish thing is indeed not the Kale, the brownish thing would be the Mettwurst.... :)

Steen Bjørn Hanssen hasn't written a post yet.

Pork and Liver Pâté

Making this pâté at home, it was a struggle to wait until it had cooled with all those heady, meaty aromas and the lovely layer of bacon on top. Slicing into it, the texture was rustically grainy with an over-the-top porky flavor. It's fatty enough to easily spread on toast. Juniper and brandy come through in a big herbal way. Sliced thin and served alongside crusty bread with a bit of mustard and cornichons (and of course, a glass of wine) this pâté is probably the most authentically French dish to come out of my kitchen. More

Snapshots from Germany: Weißwurst

For the hardcore Bavarian (Munich) locals, there are a number of rules on how to remove the sausage casing (it's never eaten). Some will argue that you should suck the meat out of the pork casing, and that "any other method would be sacrilegious." Removing the casing with a knife and fork is completely fine by me, as long as you remove the entire casing in one gentle, elegant motion. But this can only happen if the weißwurst has been properly heated, allowing the casing to be peeled off easily without disturbing the sausage texture. More

Snapshots from Germany: Flammkuchen, AKA Flaming Cake

Flammkuchen directly translates as "flaming cake." But it's considered just as much as French (they call it tarte flambée) as it is German since this pizza-like dish is from the Alsace region of France around the upper Rhine river, which has shifted between German and French control for centuries. It traditionally comes in two styles: sweet with apples and savory with bacon. More

Nordstrom's Tomato Basil Soup

This is what my wife asked me to accomplish: a) Recreate the tomato soup from Nordstrom, and b) don't mess it up. In case you're not familiar with this soup, it's rather famous, ranked regularly on lists of Best Tomato Soup Ever, enjoying something of a cult following for those who love tomato soup. More

Snapshots from Germany: Bread Bakeries

The most popular German bread must be the plain-looking and tasting Brötchen (white breadroll), eaten for breakfast with jam and for lunch with butter and slices of cheese or salami, or simply served beside your wurst (sausage). I always use three-day-old pretzel bread in my meatballs and for my knödle (German potato and bread dumpling). More

Snapshots from Germany: Döner Kebab

According to the European Association of Turkish Döner Producers, more than 100,000 tons of döner meat is annually consumed in Germany. This translates into two million döners sold and eaten every single day, surpassing all other German fast food dishes including the currywurst. In Berlin alone there are over 1,300 döner stands. More

Snapshots from Germany: Sülze (AKA Head Cheese)

Head cheese, also known as aspic, is popular throughout Europe. Just to clear things up before we move any further: it does not actually contain any cheese. Head cheese belongs to a family of dishes where prime quality meats from the head of a pig or calf (seafood, lamb, and poultry can also be used) are preserved into a jelly made from cooled stock that's been turned into gelatin. More

Snapshots from Germany: The Currywurst

Arguably the most famous and iconic Berliner street food dish is the currywurst. Few German dishes are so popular and have inspired so much controversy. The traditional currywurst is a fried, scalded sausage with a fine texture cut into thick slices and seasoned with a ketchup-curry powder sauce. The sausage (wurst in German) is served with or without casing, an existential choice for devoted currywurst fans, and may be accompanied by either fries (pommes) or a bread roll (brötchen). An indisputable must-try at any of the hundreds of street food stands (imbiss) throughout Berlin. More