We hope you have liked our recent photos and stories, but we know what you really want to know… you want the dish on the cuisine… (see what I did there…!)
Strasbourg is right on the border of Germany and France, and has changed ownership a few times over the years. Because of this, the city’s cuisine is actually more German based than French based. It’s a really interesting place to live since we can experience culture and food from two countries at once.
Let’s start with the obvious.
It’s no surprise Brad and I have been a little pastry obsessed for the past few weeks. Every blog entry has ended with one of us holding up a delicious dessert. It’s hard to walk these streets and not indulge. The streets are full of cheese shops, pastry shops, or chocolatiers. Honestly.. it’s got to be every 3 shops there is a storefront full of treats! Every window either has colorful macaroons, racks of bread and baguettes, or impressively decorated chocolates.
Let’s move on to CHEESE.
How can you go to France and not think cheeeessseeeee. The best place in Strasbourg to get the real cheese experience is a place called Cloche a Formage, literally meaning ‘Cheese Cover.’ They have several boutiques around town that sell cheeses, and they also have one sit down location with interesting cheese-based dishes.
Cloche a Formage is a little overwhelming. After our evening there we boycotted cheese for a week. This is only because they stuff you so full of cheese you need a serious break when your’e done. When you enter, they show you their bell jar of cheese that is the largest in the world. No joke, they have the Guinness Book of World Record certificates to prove it.
There are a few different options on the menu that let you have a cheese-filled night. I opted for a cheese board. They have an actual “CheeseMaster” at the restaurant that chooses the items on the cheese board. They give you instructions on what order to eat the cheese in that go from most mild to most strong. It was an adventurous choice for me as I am actually a pretty picky eater and really strong cheeses freak me out. But hey! I’m in freaking France. So I had the cheese plate and loved it. It was also accompanied by never-ending baskets of 12 different varieties of bread.
Brad chose something different for dinner called a Raclette. It was so cool. There is this contraption wheeled to your table that has spikes for the cheese round on one side and a heat lamp on the other side. They bring you endless plates of potatoes, meats (prosciutto, salami, etc), and vegetables. Each time he finished a portion, they brought him another. You put the plate under the cheese/heat lamp set up and the giant cheese round literally melts onto your food.
Check out this video to see how it works:
This restaurant is a must-visit if you are here and wanting to experience serious cheesiness.
TRADITIONAL ALSATIAN DISHES:
Alsace is a region around the French/German border consisting of a bunch of small towns and cities. The Alsace region has many traditional dishes that are a blend of French and German cultures. Here are some traditional dishes we have tried.
Sorry for the crappy picture, but we tried a traditional tarte flambee (also known as a flammeküeche) on the far left. We got one with ham and onions, which seems to be the most traditional. It is basically a large flat bread with a creamy sauce base and toppings. One of the toppings is always onions, and then something else added in as well. (The middle dish here is a croque monsieur – basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.)
A kugelhof is basically a little airy bundt cake! It is in all the shops but was first introduced to us by our landlord! The lady we are renting our apartment from greeted us with one and then we saw them all over town. One of the most popular souvenirs from Strasbourg is a little ceramic Kugelhof mold.
Fleischnacka is a traditional Alsatian dish basically made of minced meat and pastry dough. They are pinwheels of pastry and meat and served with a tomato based sauce to pour on top. I had this dish when we were in Colmar and I really loved it. It was delicious!
A tartine is basically just a big ol’ piece of toast with a bunch of stuff on top. I got the tartine with three types of cheese and prosciutto on top, and Brad got a tartine that had mushrooms, onions, duck, and salmon on top. (His looks insane) They were pretty tasty!
Baeckeoffe is a dish cooked in it’s own little ceramic baking dish. It is kind of like a deconstructed beef stew with potatoes, onions, carrots, and large hunks of meat. Brad got this dish and it was brought to the table piping hot and plated by the waiter with plenty still in the ceramic dish for us to plate later.
The Baeckeoffe as a whole was good, but came with another little layer of surprise. There were some pieces of pork that still.. how do I phrase this… still looked like an actual pig. We were told it was the pig knee and was delicious but Brad described it as ‘gummy’ and showed me that it still had skin and hair on it. That was a little much for me.. but the Germans laughing at us from the next table pressured Brad into eating it. He didn’t hate it, but I don’t think it’s something we will seek out.
Although we ended with that slightly disturbing image, remember all the pastries and cheese!?
I think that about sums up our food experience here in Strasbourg. What do you think?? Tell us in the comments!
I will just leave you with this photo of some giant crepes 🙂