Monday, February 28, 2011

Every time we travel, I always try to find a local market, preferably an outdoor farmer’s market.

To me, this is fantastic way to sample the local specialties and find the hidden gems. Prices (usually) are better than at some store where the shopkeepers also have to cover rent, labor costs, etc.

In Munich, Jason and I discovered the joys of the Viktualienmarkt, located just south of the Marienplatz. (From my prior research on, it sounded like this area was going to be the best place to do some food shopping.) This is Munich’s oldest and, in my opinion, very picturesque market. 

As soon as we turned a nearby corner, we passed this butcher shop. The front window was filled with all kinds of meat, especially pork. I was in heaven!

When you’ve been deprived of pork, seeing all this meat was quite overwhelming! “Where do I start? What do I want to buy? How much will fit in our suitcase?” These questions quickly started running through my head. (I had planned ahead and had a handful of Ziploc bags to secure our purchases in later.)

Since the weather was cold, dreary and rainy, our first stop happened to be at a darling honey shop called Honighäusel

Inside, we were awed by all the different flavors of honey. Ones from different types of flowers such as clover, thyme, rose and fruit tree blossoms. Others were flavored with pieces of herbs, spices and even chocolate. In the end, I settled on just two jars of honey – ginger and thyme.

We ordered 2 glasses of hot Honigwein – a sweet alcoholic beverage made from honey and water. It wasn’t even noon yet, but it was chilly! We started talking to an older German gentleman whom entertained us with stories about Munich and how when he was a young man he had lived in New York City.

After the wine, we stopped at Lupper, which seemed to specialize in Italian cured pork products. I bought 150 grams of Pata Negra Jamon Iberico, 100 grams of thinly sliced, spicy hot chorizo, a package of chorizo links and a nice chunk of Valdeón – a Spanish blue cheese. 

At Anne’s Oberbpfalzer Brotzeitschmankerl, the helpful young gal suggested several different German wursts and sausages, including a blood sausage, for us. I’m not even sure what we all bought, but we did so happily 
and it’s all stored in our freezer right now.

At Greisinger’s stand, we purchased some German speck and more sausages. (Over this past weekend, we carefully sliced off a few pieces of the speck, cooked it and enjoyed it with pancakes for breakfast. Salty pork goodness!) 

Rows and rows of Speck which reminded us of a saltier type of bacon.
In addition to the meats, cheeses and other gourmet foods, there were several stands selling local produce. Since we were staying at a hotel, I just wandered among the stalls and took some photos of the colorful seasonal vegetables.

By the end of our shopping trip, I had spent nearly 100 Euros on European cheeses, honey, mustards, spices and pork. I’d happily return to this market any day!

We also sampled several kinds of German mustards.

Here are the German mustards and honey that I brought back to Istanbul.

Salivating over all this food made hubby and me hungry. We strolled over to a nearby restaurant to order some German Weißwurst and beer.


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Unknown said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip to Munich and the Viktualienmarkt! Just a 100€ worth of purchases, you exercised great power of restraint ;-)

Anonymous said...

Great post, glad to have you back!

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time. Did all your purchases fill up your suitcase? Sounds like you had an amazing time. Augh the memeories of Germany come flooding back after reading this. What other trips have you planned for this year?


Sippy Cup Central said...

Wow, when can I come for dinner!

Joy said...

Panda and Steph: I would have loved to buy more but we only had so much space (unfortunately) in our hotel room's small fridge to store our purchases!

Later in March, we head to London to celebrate our 1-year wedding anniversary.

Hopefully, we can return to Germany later this year as there are often cheap flights from here.

Unknown said...

Just read all your pork posts. So good! Our mouths are watering.

Joy said...

Thanks Julia! Germany is a great place to stock up on pork and you can get cheap tix on Pegasus Airlines from Istanbul. :-)

Nadia Archuleta said...

This post really took me back. I lived in Turkey a few years ago, and I had to travel to Bulgaria every now and again. EVERY time I went, I stocked up on pork products! I had been living in Croatia, and had not realized how dependent on pork my diet had become. Thanks for sharing -- I'd forgotten all about that.

Joy said...

@Rosa, LOL. Ask nearly any expat here in Istanbul and they all bring back pork in their suitcase. :-) We sometimes bring back American PB, maple syrup and baking supplies too.