Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We were the lifesaver...

While we were on the train from Linz to Salzburg we were quite literally pulled into a car by an anxious looking Australian girl to talk to her overzealous Austrian admirer.

We ended up talking to Josef for the whole train ride and enjoying his fierce nationalism and interesting jokes. After the train we decided to go out to lunch together and continue our discussions of Austria and world politics. We watched the Australian girl scurry away, not able to deal with Josef's opinion of the "Middle Sea" attitude of the E.U. countries to the south, especially Greece.

Josef took us to an Austrian-style Biergarten and afterwords took us on a hike all over the beautiful city of Salzburg, through the castle and around the old ruins.

But first we had lunch. This was billed to me as surprise vegetable soup, we were supposed to guess what vegetable they used as the base of the cream soup (celery.) Though I'm not usually a fan of celery soup, this one was quite well balanced, not nearly as bad as it's hideous cousin the celeriac soup (GHAAK)

Jess opted for for the more exotic of soup options and had the Leber Knödelsuppe or literally the liver dumpling soup. The broth was a clear, beef stock. It actually takes a lot of care to keep stocks a clear color, if the stock ever comes up to a hard boil during the cooking process the proteins kind of curdle and make for cloudy stocks. Anyways, Jess is obsessed with these liver dumplings so she had to get this soup.

It was about this time that we started talking about our Ahem, revered Gov. Schwarzenegger. Jess was taking notes because we had never heard this story. Apparently he was the favorite son of Austria for years and years throughout his Mr. Universe and subsequent Hollywood days. But after he became the Governor of California, Austria sent him an official correspondence asking him to end the death penalty, because Austria has no capital punishment. In response, Gov, Schwarzenegger did not stop the death penalty nor did he write a long response, but rather he mailed back the special Austrian Cracker Jacks toy surprise decoder ring, "I don't care what you say, I am no longer Austrian." (It was actually more of regional Austrian pride ring similar to our high school graduation rings) Since then, Gov Schwarzenegger has not been very popular in Austria.

Jess decided she had eaten enough Austro-German food in the last few months and needed something else, so she got this pasta dish... ... it ... had a lot of cheese on it? It was pretty bad indeed, but I guess that just goes to show you, when you're in Austria sitting in a nice Austrian biergarten, don't order the Italian food.

I had a very nice Wiener schnitzel (wiener art[pork]). The breading was the most loose and crunchy that I had on my trip, it almost seemed the texture of a KFC fried chicken without the 11 secret preservatives and "flavor agents." Served with a potato salad that had thin slices of cucumber with it, which I found to be amazingly refreshing and delightful, and a local berry compote which was a perfect sweet/sour balance for the Schnitzel.

Obligatory porn shot of crispy fried goodness.

And mom, the term porn shot as applied to food is hardly risque, and really is quite a common phrase amongst food writers usually denoting close ups and high detail pictures of food. :-P


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