FrischeParadies

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FrischeParadies

From the seaside & the farm to your table

FrischeParadies is my favorite place to shop for seafood and meat in Stuttgart.

When it comes to food, growing up in a tropical environment is amazing. I had all kinds of food at my disposal all year round. If I wanted a steak, it was available; lobster, check; seafood, livestock, & fresh produce of all varieties - check, check, and check! I could have fresh coconut water all year round, tropical fruits, the best gourmet meats (Candy's, I love you. That chicken-mango-habanero sausage is to die for). I had grocery stores like Whole Foods with full blown restaurants inside and access to a large variety of international and local ingredients. I had the land and the sea. When it was mango season in the Caribbean, we would go to mango bush (acres of green forested land with swimming holes and fruits growing wildly). We'd fill our bellies with a variety of different mangoes, swim all day and eat nothing but fruit. In the evening when we returned home, we'd be ready for some curried chicken or better yet, curried goat. We had it all.  Because of access to a variety of foods that I grew up with, making the move to Germany was a huge adjustment. 

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While I fell in love with German beer, I missed the types of foods and restaurants that were available to me in the places that I lived in before. Germany is drastically different from SoCal or Jamaica. Both SoCal & Jamaica are pretty much very hot throughout the year. Germany, on the other hand, has 4 seasons. I'd compare the climate in Germany to the east coast region of the United States. Then there was the fact that while I lived in coastal cities and areas before, I was now landlocked in Stuttgart. There was not much access to fresh seafood or finding a variety of meats in local supermarkets. I mean, where would I get goat meat and racks of lamb? Where could I get beef ribs? Needless to say, my eating habits changed completely. I started eating pasta for the first time in my life and bread became a staple instead of something you ate a few bites of while waiting for your dinner in a restaurant. Now, don't get me wrong, if there's one thing you want to have in Germany, it's bread! The Germans do it damn well & there's a local bakery on practically every corner - there's nothing like the smell of freshly-baked bread. While my senses love it, my waistline hates me more with every bite of bread and butter with strawberry marmalade that I put into my mouth.  Before moving to Germany, I was pretty much a protein and veg girl, and of course, thanks to my African-Chinese-Indian heritage, I loved my rice. While I eventually found some great butchers and markets for all things meat, seafood was still very elusive until I found FrischeParadies. I loved it so much that I quickly became fast friends with the general manager Melanie, and a several of the staff. Every time I visited they would greet me warmly and we'd sometimes exchange hugs and chat a bit. I talked to Jürgen, the motorcycle enthusiast, about his latest trips; our Italian friend would tell me about his latest trip to Italy and his hometown; on days when the vendors visited, I'd sample a variety of different foods from grilled filet to foie gras pâté with grapefruit and of course a glass of wine from time to time (I know, I ate foie gras. It was damn good. I don't cook it nor have I ever ordered it in a restaurant but it was a free sample and I didn't have the will power to resit trying it. Don't judge me).  I could go on and on about FrischeParadies but to sum it all up, I finally felt at home in Germany by having access to some of my favorite ingredients. Since first discovering FrischeParadies, they've opened up several other locations throughout Germany and it's comforting to know that there's one in all my favorite German cities now. Check out what they have to offer below. 


Seafood

Out of all the grocery stores and markets that I've visited in Stuttgart, FrischeParadies has the largest selection of fresh seafood. You can get everything there from sashimi quality tuna and salmon to Caribbean spiny lobsters and Canadian lobsters (humanely killed via high pressure). Trust me, if you've never killed a crustacean before, you'll be happy to have that job already done for you. Every time I killed a lobster, the humane way (knife through the center of the head) it was a nightmare. Yes, of course, fresh is always better but the frozen lobsters are also pretty damn good and unless you live by the seaside, fresh is a bit elusive.  

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Jürgen Bauer - Weinfachberater

Jürgen is the wine expert at FrischeParadies but he also works in the seafood department from time to time. He's one of the people who make shopping at FrischeParadies such a pleasure for me. He's always super helpful and very pleasant. There's no doubt that FrischeParadies has excellent seafood and produce, but when the staff is also amazing it makes the shopping experience so much more pleasurable. I always leave there with the feeling that it's money well spent.  

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Tips

One thing to keep in mind when buying fish at FrischeParadies is that you will have to scale them once at home. Although the fish are lightly scaled, they're still covered in scales. One of the tricks I use to prevent those pesky scales from clogging up my sink is to scale them in a large plastic bag. 

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Wine

The wine selection at FrischeParadies is pretty good, especially when it comes to their German wines. Normally I'm not a fan of Riesling but I had a very dry Riesling last summer which was to die for. Sorry, I forgot the name of it but the bottle had a very distinct shape. If I come across it again, I'll let you know. If you go to Frische on a Saturday, sometimes there are samples of wine on offer. Who doesn't love a good wine tasting?

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Produce

I love the produce section at FrischeParadies. They have exotic fruits like lychee, mangos, etc. They have micro greens, lemon grass, baby corn, jalapeños, black truffle, and much more. You won't find everything there, but things that are a staple in my kitchen and are hard to find at other grocery stores are typically in stock. Staple items in my kitchen include coriander (cilantro), bok choy, and thyme. Coriander plays a huge role in the Latin American dishes that I cook - bok choy is one of my favorite Asian greens & thyme is essential in the Jamaican kitchen. Just make sure you get there early on the weekends if you want to score some coriander - it sells out rather quickly. You can also call ahead and ask them to put some aside for you. Just make sure you pick it up. It's not fair to let good produce go to waste. ;-)

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Meat & Poultry

Their meat selection is amazing. They have rib-eye (entrecôte), filet, lamb rack, rabbit, kobe beef, deer, goat, cornish game hen, black chicken, squab... and the list goes on. Of course, what's in stock depends on the time of year, especially when it comes to wild game meats. For charcuterie lovers, you can also find a nice selection of premium cured meats. Be prepared to buy in bulk when it comes to certain items. Since FrischeParadies is a wholesaler and often supplies local restaurants and businesses, when it comes to meat, packages typically weigh approximately 2 kilograms or more and that will cost you about €60 and up depending on the cut and type of meat. I love all the meat there, but what really excites me is the goat meat (Ziege) & the veal ribs are a close second. Oh my God, those veal ribs! I can't wait for summer. 

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Insider Tips for shopping at FrischeParadies in Stuttgart

1. Cash & Carry - Every 1st Monday of the month shoppers get 15% off everything purchased in Frische Paradies. This day is especially great because vendors often have demonstrations of the products they sell, whether it's a piece of perfectly grilled fish or wine & cheese tasting, you're always in for a treat on Cash & Carry Monday.

2. Weekend shopping - Go early! They open at 8am on Saturday.

3. Drive instead of taking the S-bahn or U-bahn. It's a lot more convenient. FrischeParadies is located directly across from the Mercedes Benz arena & isn't near a station so you would have to walk for quite a bit with your groceries & that's no fun. If you're sporty, ride your bicycle (preferably one with a basket attached). 

4. They also have a variety of sauces from around the world that you won't be able to get in a typical supermarket and lots of specialty items. Try the Olive Taggiasche - it's absolutely delicious. All you need is a great baguette and you're in heaven. 

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Thank You

Thanks to the whole FrischeParadies team for letting me get behind the counter to take these beautiful pictures showcasing their amazing selection. It was the perfect shopping experience as usual. 

If you're in Stuttgart, visiting FrischeParadies is definitely a must. And if you're not in Stuttgart, visit frischeparadies.com to see if there's a FrischeParadies in your city. Happy shopping this weekend.

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Food Porn from the kitchen of a Stuttgart architect

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Food Porn from the kitchen of a Stuttgart architect

Keeping it Sexy - Sometimes it's just better to do it at home ;-)

I live for a dinner party, so when my brother-in-law setup a dinner party battle between his friend Johannes & I, I saw blood in the water and I was ready to strike. But in all seriousness, I'm not at all competitive (insert sarcastic smiley here) - just kidding, I'm a maniac when it comes to competition - just ask anyone I have ever played exploding kittens with (Yoga Niki). Competition aside, I was happy to have someone else throw a dinner party for a change. And Johannes was really into food and he knew his stuff, French techniques and all.  It's rare to find other home cooks who enjoy cooking as much as I do, are passionate about great produce, and who are constantly working on acquiring more food knowledge & perfecting their techniques. 

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It all started under the dim red lights & over a few plates of Sauerbraten at Fisch Labor in Stuttgart-West . Boris invited Kahlil & I to join him & some friends for the once-a-month Swabian specialty, Sauerbraten (Sour or pickled roast; traditionally made with beef).
The Sauerbraten was great, but the company & conversation were even better. I mean how could it not be? It was all centered around food . Johannes & I instantly connected over conversations about our favorite foods, best restaurants - fine dining & otherwise. He showed me pictures of the beautiful food he enjoyed on his most recent trip to Croatia with his girlfriend Katherine and a group of friends. We chatted about food for hours while the others entertained themselves with conversations about... who knows what? We were focused on the food and being able to indulge in our obsession without boring uninterested parties. But, let's not forget that all this friendly conversation is simply a preamble for a dinner party war & I wasn't planning on taking any prisoners. I was in for a clean kill. But for now, it was up to Johannes to strike the first blow & my knives were sharpened and ready to spilt a strand of hair in mid air. Bring it on Johannes - the ball is in your court. 

Check out Johannes' interview and this delicious recipe below. 

Recipe - Crème de petits pois à la menthe

Crème de petits pois à la menthe

Crème de petits pois à la menthe


Ingredients

4 servings
200 g small fresh peas (you can also use frozen peas)
1 shallot
20 g butter
250 ml of veal stock
4cl of white port
150 ml of cream
salt
sugar
lemon zest (of half a lemon)
lemon juice (of half a lemon)
100ml milk (1,5% fat)
fresh mint4 thin strips of pancetta

 

Method

Preheat the oven to about 140 degrees; place the strips of pancetta on a sheet of baking parchment and place a second piece of parchment on top (you can use a second baking sheet to weigh down the pancetta so it will stay nice and flat). Put it in the oven for about 15-20 mins until the pancetta is crispy.

In a large saucepan add the butter and shallots, cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened.

Add the (frozen) peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. If you're using frozen peas it will only take 2-3 minutes. Don’t overcook the peas or they will lose their fresh green color.

Add the white port and some salt.

Add the stock and increase the heat to allow the mixture to come to a quick boil.

Taking the pot off of the heat, pour the mixture into the blender and blend until the entire mixture is creamy.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and put it in a fresh saucepan.

Add the cream, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and adjust for seasonings (Don’t let it boil after adding the cream)

Heat up the milk in a small saucepan, add the fresh mint and some salt froth up, using an immersion blender until you get a nice (very lightly green) mint foam.

Using an immersion blender, froth up the soup before serving.

Serve in a small glass; put some of the mint foam onto the soup; garnish with some fresh mint and the crisp (warm) slice of pancetta.

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OK, I was impressed by the first course and quickly realized that I had a serious competitor on my hands and it wasn't going to be quite the slaughter I had imagined. On to the second course: a beet salad that could put many restaurants to shame in terms of presentation, technique, & flavor. 

Roasted beet salad with crispy pancetta and goat cheese cream

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Salmon with pumpkin puree and peas in a teriyaki cream sauce

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The salmon was cooked perfectly and the puree was silky smooth. I was happy and would have gladly paid to have this meal in a restaurant. I'm having flashbacks about a "fancy Stuttgart restaurant" that served me a piece of salmon with soggy skin and scales on my fish. I paid 30€ for that piece of fish and would have gladly eaten a Döner kebap instead (by the way, I don't eat Döner kebap, so you know this food was horrible when I'd rather have pressed mystery meat instead of a nice piece of fish. But, I digress. It was delicious and we all wanted more. Thank goodness Johannes offered us seconds. 

Pumpkin parfait with mini apple tart and blueberries

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This dessert was prepared by Katherine and it was the perfect way to end the meal. The blueberries were swimming in a tart cherry sauce. The pastry for the apple tart was crisp and flaky & the parfait, the parfait, the parfait... it was to die for. Well done Katherine. Johannes you cheated a bit on this one. 

When Johannes isn't busy whipping up gourmet meals or drawing up architectural plans, he's playing a super hero and saving us all from 1 bad meal at a time. Find out where this Stuttgart architect gets his food swag from in my interview below. Check back next week for part 2 of this dinner party challenge when I bring a little bit of Singapore & SE Asia to the dinner table. 


Super hero Johannes

Super hero Johannes

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Interview

LEXIE: Do you consider yourself to be a foodie?

JOHANNES: I take a great interest in food and wine, spend a fair amount of my free time preparing, experimenting with, and learning about food. If I look up the definition, I guess I am a foodie.

LEXIE: What is your definition of the term foodie?

JOHANNES: I don’t really have my own definition, but I would say people who like food, or enjoy cooking, or enjoy knowing about cooking. The difference to a gourmet/gourmand, being that it doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around haute cuisine, the most expensive wines, and high end products, but well prepared and delicious food and drinks.

LEXIE: What's your earliest childhood memory involving food?

JOHANNES: I guess that would be mashed potatoes mixed with carrots. My mom never bought those little glasses with baby food; instead she cooked those very simple meals for us. I don’t know whether I actually remember eating them as a baby, but to this day I love eating those very basic dishes.

LEXIE: Did you grow up in a household where your parents cooked often? If so what was your favorite dish and can you cook it?

JOHANNES: I partially answered that with my previous response. My mother is a great cook. Eating together, to this day, plays an important role in our family life and my mother prepared most of those dishes. Since she is a teacher and wasn’t around every day during the week, my grandmother used to cook for my brother and I. We also had Au Pairs from around Europe so we were exposed to home cooked food from Spain, France, Poland, Denmark and other countries. My dad, on the other hand, never touched a stove as far as I can remember. One of my favorite dishes is a crispy pork roast that my grandmother used to prepare on the 26th of December for the whole family. I have actually never tried to prepare it myself.

LEXIE: Out of all the places you've traveled to, what was your favorite country in terms of food & why? Can you recommend some great restaurants in your country of choice?

JOHANNES: That would be France and I know that is a boring answer. It is not that I haven’t been anywhere exotic and exiting, but in terms of food and eating, France is unbeaten. It doesn’t matter whether you go to a small restaurant in a little village and have the “menu du jour” or you go to one of the many great restaurants. I have had very few disappointing experiences in France - most of them in Paris.

A great Restaurant and as close as restaurants in France come to Stuttgart is

Le septieme Continent

35 Avenue du Général de Gaulle

68170 Rixheim

 

LEXIE: What's your favorite type of cuisine?

JOHANNES: That would probably also be French cuisine. In my eyes, that is still the foundation of most European gourmet cuisines.

LEXIE: If you could go anywhere in the world and eat in any restaurant, where would it be? What would you eat and why?

JOHANNES: I would love to go to Copenhagen and try Noma. I love the new Scandinavian kitchen for their fresh and local theme and the playful look of the food. Also, the way they tie in the overall design of the restaurant and tableware appeals to me. Noma is probably the best place to try that.

LEXIE: Where did you learn how to cook?

JOHANNES: I mostly taught myself with a fair amount of trial an error. To this day I am not a big fan of recipes. In terms of techniques I enjoy cooking shows on TV. If you have basic knowledge about cooking that is a great way to learn.

LEXIE: What does an average dinner consist of for you?

JOHANNES: During the week we mostly have bread, cheese, and cold cuts - usually with a salad and sometimes soup.

LEXIE: Is there a correlation between how you approach your professional career as an architect and how you approach food?

JOHANNES: I don’t think that it is too farfetched to say that there are certain similarities between design and cooking. For me, it is the ability to imagine how certain components come together to form a whole. You have to taste how certain ingredients will fit together much like you have to see what a building or an object will look like before it actually physically exists.

LEXIE: What are your insider tips for shopping in Stuttgart? For example, where can you buy the best produce, fish, meat, etc., and what makes each place good?

JOHANNES: A great place to buy fish and meat is the Frischeparadies in Bad Cannstatt, great value for money in Stuttgart. For fresh produce there is “Paraskevas Kirpas Obst- und Gemüseladen” (in Stuttgart-West, Kornbergstraße) quite expensive but in the tiny store they have the best produce I have found in Stuttgart so far. For Asian cooking I go to “Asia Markt Thai-Lam” (in Stuttgart-Ost, Rotenbergstraße), the atmosphere in there reminds me of Chinatown in Vancouver.

LEXIE: What is your favorite type of German Juice (beer)?

JOHANNES: That would be “düsseldorfer Altbier”.

LEXIE: What's the worst experience you've had dining out & why was it terrible?

JOHANNES: A couple of years ago I was on a road trip along the west coast of Canada. Towards the end of the trip we were on Vancouver Island and a friend suggested a “Restaurant” in a little town on the way from Vitoria to Nanaimo. I tried to look up the name but apparently and not very surprisingly it doesn’t exist anymore. The minute we walked all my instincts told me to leave as quickly as possible but since it was a recommendation of a friend we stayed. It was a tiny place, the interior more like a diner and supposed to serve mostly fish.  It turned out to be a horrible experience with unfriendly waiters and close to inedible food. The next day we were both out sick, on a roadtrip…

LEXIE:  What's your favorite kitchen tool?

JOHANNES: Just a good and sharp kitchen knife and I am good to go.

LEXIE: What food item is always a staple in your kitchen? (type of cheese, fruit, vegetable, protein, etc).

JOHANNES: I always have Dijon mustard in my fridge and I use it in dressings, dips and sauce. 

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Thank you for a lovely evening Johannes and Katherine. We're all looking forward to round 2. Try out Johannes' recipe and comment and let us know how it went. Thanks for setting me up Boris! I'm bringing my A game!!! ;-)

 

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Origami

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Origami

Sushi & Service - What more could you ask for?

 

Winter, rain, snow, or sunshine, sushi's always on my mind. One of my favorite sushi spots in Suttgart is Origami. If I could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of my life, it would be Japanese - and if I could only chose one type of food preparation from the Japanese kitchen, it would definitely be sushi. I love it! What's not to like? Fish - Goood! Rice - Goood! Wasabi - Gooooood! Although I'm a fan of traditional sushi, meaning I don't want teriyaki sauce or any sweet sauce drizzled on/or anywhere near my Sake, Maguro, or Hamachi nigiri. With that being said, if you know how to order at Origami, it's well worth a visit.

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The good 

Origami is located in the Stuttgart Heusteigviertel area (Heusteig quarter). There are great little local bars and restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood. The food is fresh and beautifully presented. Their prices are reasonable and compared to several other restaurants in Stuttgart, even though you pay a bit less at Origami, the quality is comparable to some of the most expensive sushi restaurants and sometimes much better. The decor is a mixture of modern & traditional and the atmosphere is cozy and warm. The acoustics are also notable, which is something my brother-in-law would appreciate as an architect. The Mittagsmenu (lunch menu) at Origami is super and for those who don't enjoy sushi, they also offer several wok dishes. On average, you can get away with being well fed for under €10 at lunch time. We had dinner there on our last visit and spent €64 for two people. We ordered the following:

  • 2 miso soups
  • 1 Gyoza
  • 1 Tannenzäpfle Pils
  • 1 Kristallweizen
  • 1 Origami Classics for 2 people from the Sushi Combo's menu
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The bad

Origami's sushi is much like a lot of sushi that we get in the west, in the sense that it's far from traditional, a hell of a lot different from what you get in Japan, and is tailored to suit western palates - this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Food always changes as it gets introduced to different cultures - that's one of the things that's so beautiful about sharing our backgrounds and building upon tradition while preserving it. However, some traditions and flavor combinations are just meant to be adhered to. At Origami, they deviate from the tradition of celebrating the pure complex-simplicity that is sushi by taking things a bit too far and dousing everything in teriyaki sauce. I know we westerners like our sweets, but save that sauce for a Yakitori grill or BBQ and cooked meats. That overly-sweet-sticky-sauce does not belong on a gorgeous, delicate piece of hamachi, albacore, or anything that remotely resembles sushi or sashimi. It's as if the next Jackson Pollack lost his way and decided to express his love of abstract impressionism on the plate instead of a canvas tucked away somewhere in the confines of his home. Teriyaki sauce is just too overpowering for the delicate flavor of raw fish. It destroys the whole sense of umami which makes sushi so amazingly delicious. It's not listed as an ingredient in many dishes, so customers have no idea it's on the plate. Make sure to tell your waiter to skip the teriyaki sauce. 

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Fun facts:

  1.  Los Angeles was one of the first places in the west to embrace & popularize sushi. 
  2. LA is also the birthplace of the California roll, which is said to have been invented by Ichiro Manashita in 1973.
  3. The California roll is a major factor in why sushi became more appealing to westerners, eventually making its way to Europe, and exploding in popularity worldwide.
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The great

Terriyaki-Pollack aside, Origami hooked me as a customer and it has become one of my favorite go-to restaurants in Stuttgart. The food is fresh and the atmosphere is inviting. But above all, the thing that stands out most is the service. The staff is so friendly and accommodating. They are predominantly Vietnamese and their hospitality reminds me of what I loved about my time in South East Asia, including Vietnam: the people! If you live in Stuttgart, you know that it's a rarity to find a restaurant with good food and great service. Any restaurant with good food and great service will always get high marks in my book. I'm always happy to spend money supporting independent businesses with owners and staff who not only care about their bottom line, but care a great deal about their customers and Origami is one of those places. Consistency is also another aspect of what makes a restaurant great and from my first visit to my most recent, the food, atmosphere, and service have always been consistent. Some restaurants in Stuttgart could definitely learn a thing or two from Origami when it comes to service. 

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German Juice

The Beer

 I usually go for Japanese beers like Asahi or Sapporo when I'm having sushi, but this time I chose to have a different type of Pils from the country that has had, arguably, the most significant impact on Japanese beer - Germany.  

Fun fact

  • Sapporo is the oldest beer brand in Japan and was first brewed in Sapporo, Japan in 1876.

  • The founder and brewer of Sapporo is Seibei Nakagawa and he is a German-trained lager brewer.

So, it made perfect sense to try a German pilsner with one of my favorite types of cuisines. I chose Rothaus brewery's Tannenzäpfle pilsner. Tannenzäpfle is a very accessible beer. No, it's not as accessible as Heineken or Corona - those are beers for people who don't really like the taste of beer. ;-) The color of Tannenzäpfle is golden & straw-like. The level of carbonation is medium and it has a nice sense of roundness. The bouquet has a hoppy aroma with hints of honey, spice, and wet grass. The presence of malt can be observed in the slightly sweet finish of the beer, but the sweetness is balanced by the mild bitterness from the hops. It's a well balanced beer, however, for sushi, I definitely recommend Sapporo or a pilsner that has more citrus notes. The finish of this beer is a tiny bit too sweet and as an accompaniment to sushi, I'd prefer a more supple and mellow beer. 

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Fatty Tuna: A Love Poem

O Toro, my Toro!
You bring me no sorrow!
Just you on a plate,
O my taste buds can’t wait!

Atop a small mound of rice is where you beautifully sit perched,
I know that my whole life it was for you that I’ve searched!
The light dances off of your gentle pink hue like a star,
A phosphorescent culinary delight is what you are.

I embrace you with chopsticks, eyes closed, and place you on my tongue;
And your flavor love-making that proceeds keeps me feeling young.

You’re creamy and buttery in all the right places!
You ended up here with me only by God’s good graces.
Onto my tongue melts your morsels of fat,
Rich decadence coats my mouth and my inhibitions go flat.

I can’t ever get enough; I want more, I need more!
Your soft savory texture hugs my mouth and warms my core.
I swallow you wearing a smile unlike any I’ve worn before,
Your gentle ocean tuna taste lingers and leaves me wanting more

O Toro, my Toro;
You leave me and my appetite so Zen,
And I’ll be dwelling in our memories until we meet again.

(The poem above was written by Ryan Unger)

German Juice
German Juice
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German Juice

All photos were taken by Lexie. Feel free to use & share the photos on this blog but please credit German Juice if you use our photos. :-)


The Verdict

Whether date night, afternoon lunch, or just for the hell of it, Origami is a great place to have a fantastic meal with wonderful service. If you live in Stuttgart or you're just visiting, I highly recommend dropping by for a bite. After you finish dining at Origami you can pop over to Le Petit Coq or Milliways for a cocktail or two and some laughs. If you see me in any of those places, say hi. I'll be the woman with a bottle of German juice in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Cheers.


 

Food


Service


Value


Atmosphere

 

 
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Location

Hauptstätter Str. 61,
70178 Stuttgart

Tel: 0711 99717717

 

Hours

Unsere Öffnungszeiten/ Opening hours:

Mon-Fri
11:30AM–2:30PM
5:30-11PM
Sat-Sun
5:30-11PM

 


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Recipe: Slow-cooked Jamaican Oxtails

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Recipe: Slow-cooked Jamaican Oxtails

Thank the Gods for Beef & The Big Bang for Beer

(Scroll down for recipe)


You don't have to be rich to eat like a king. Cheaper cuts of beef are the best for slow-roasting and stews. Chefs like Henry Harris, Karam Sethi, Jeremy Lee, Chris Cosentino, Fergus Henderson, and many more, embrace the nose-to-tail movement and so do I. Some of these chefs have elevated what was previously considered "poor people food," like offal, to Michelin-star status. And although oxtails aren't quite offal, it is definitely a "poor man's cut" and I love it.

I often crave rich stews and my Jamaican version of oxtail stew is definitely at the top of the list.  If you haven't eaten oxtail stew before, you're missing out on a whole world of gorgeous, succulent, delicious, gooey, finger-licking freaking yumminess. By now, you know I have a love affair with beef, and if you love it like I do, you know that there's nothing more satisfying than a tender piece of meat falling off the bone. You know that there's nothing like BBQ beef ribs or a juicy and tender piece of smoked Brisket. You know that there's nothing like a filet cooked to medium-rare perfection and just melts in your mouth - these are the things my dreams are made of. This slow-cooked Jamaican oxtail recipe is the kind of dish that makes you want to lick your fork, knife, plate and ask everybody at the table if they're going to finish theirs. It's the kind of dish that Anthony Bourdain travels the world for, hoping to be invited to dinner at the house of an old auntie whose home is filled with the scent of this etherial goodness we call beef. It's the kind of dish you can get lost in. Screw being polite; it's just too good to be focused on etiquette or anything else other than savouring every single morsel. No talking please. Let me enjoy my meal in peace, with dignity, a glass of rich dark ale, and a choir of mmmm's. That's the only music I need. And let me thank the Gods, and/or the big bang, for giving us beef & beer. You simply have to try it. You'll love it & so will your friends, family, and lovers. Find the recipe below. It's easy to make.

Slow-cooked Jamaican Oxtails
 

Super yummy Jamaican oxtail stew


INGREDIENTS
(serves 4)

1kg Oxtails
2 large onions
1 large bell pepper
3 large carrots
6 cloves of garlic
1 thumb of ginger root
10 or more sprigs of thyme
15 Allspice berries
1 tbs freshly ground pepper
1 tbs himalayan salt
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs smoked Paprika
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbs olive oil
3 tbs tomato ketchup
3 cups of beef stock or cold water (2/3 of a litre).
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper

Note: Where to buy Oxtails?
First ask your local Metzger (butcher)
If you reside in Stuttgart, Galleria Kaufhof Supermarkt usually has it. 

You can also use cheaper cuts of meat like chuck, round, flank, brisket, or shank.

If you're buying meat in Germany, you can use Suppenfleisch, Nacken, Bauch, Keule...
 

PREPARATION
(Cook time - 5 hrs)

Finely chop garlic and ginger then set aside. Pick thyme and set aside. Chop carrots into 3cm chunks and set aside. Cut tomatoes into chunks and set aside. Slice onions and bell peppers into rings and place into a large mixing bowl.

Preheat oven to 200ˆC/392ˆF

Add the oxtails, soy sauce, salt, paprika, and black pepper to the mixing bowl with the onions and bell peppers. Rub the spices and seasoning into the oxtails  and combine by massaging the mixture for approximately 2 minutes. You can also use a wooden spoon but it's better to use your hands. 

Next, add 2 tbs of olive oil to a large cast iron pot and set it on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, remove the pieces of oxtails from the mixture and sear them in the pot. Continue to turn them to get an even sear on each side. Add the remaining mixture from the large mixing bowl to the pot with the oxtails and stir periodically until onions are transluscent. Once the onions are transluscent, add the garlic, ginger, allspice, and thyme to the mixture and stir for 2 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add tomatoes, ketchup, and sugar, then stir. Press the chunks of tomatoes to release their juices and stir. Wait approximately 10-15 minutes for the tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers to caramelize. Add the 3 cups of beef stock or cold water and stir. Add the whole scotch bonnet to the mixture. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Set the timer for 3.5 hrs. 

Remove the pot from oven and pour 2/3 rds of the mixture into a sauce pan. Once you've poured the sauce into the sauce pan, cover the pot with the oxtails and put it back in the oven for another hour or until tender. 

Next, put the saucepan on the stovetop and set the flame to low heat. Let the sauce simmer until the desired consistency is reached. It should be able to coat a wooden spoon.

Once you remove the oxtails from the oven, pour the sauce that was simmering in the saucepan over the oxtails and give it a gentle stir to combine the mixture. 

*Note*
If you have a low tolerance for spicy food, you can leave the scotch bonnet out altogether or cut a very thin slice. 

If you don't have a cast iron pot, you can use a pan & then transfer the contents to a casserole dish for the oven. 

I served the oxtails with rice & peas which is a Jamaican tradition but it's also great with mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables. 

Enjoy...


Slow-cooked Oxtails


Strong Suffolk Dark Ale

Of course, no meal would be complete without some German juice to complete the experience. Since heavy-malty ales typically pair well with game and red meats, we chose Strong Suffolk Dark Ale. It was given to me in a sampler from some friends of mine. If you like Malty beer with fruity flavors this one might be up your alley. The aroma is fruity with notes of oak, cherry and dark fruit. It's soft, plummy and a too sweet for my palate. It lacks roundness and the finish is a bit sharp. I would have preferred a much smoother finish with a little less noticeable presence of alcohol to accompany the oxtails. Try it and let us know what you think. 

German Juice - Beer

I hope you enjoy this recipe, beef, and beer as much as I do. Let us know in the comments how it goes if you try it at home. We love hearing from you and if there's anything you'd like us to cook for you, let us know. Eat well, drink well, and share a good meal with a great friend. You deserve it.

 

 

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San Francisco

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San Francisco

Gentrified, over priced, & delicious!

As if San Francisco wasn't expensive enough, Mark "money bags" Zuckerberg goes and pays almost 10 million dollars for a house worth a little over 3 million, and instantly drives up the cost of living in San Francisco's Mission district even further. Gentrification has forced many native San Franciscans to look for "cheaper" digs across the bridge in the city of Oakland and the surrounding areas. "As of June 2014, the median rental price of a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was $3,120.  According to Zillow, a real estate website, that number spiked to $3,800 in San Francisco's mission district in August of 2015. Oakland is not far behind San Francisco, and is also succumbing to gentrification as millionaires get priced out of San Francisco by billionaires. With the über-wealthy, like Zuckerberg, paying more than 3 times the value of a property - it's safe to say that many native San Franciscans will end up displaced, homeless, or moving away from the SF Bay area because they can no longer afford to live in the city in which they were born and raised. 

The city by the bay

The city by the bay

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay

Palm trees and Scyscrapers

Palm trees and Scyscrapers

This phenomenon is not unique to the San Francisco Bay area. It's happening all over the United States and the entire world. It's happening in Berlin; it's happening in Venice, California; in fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find an area of the world where gentrification isn't taking place. What does this mean in terms of food? It means bodegas and 99-cent stores are out and gourmet coffee shops serving up expensive soy lattes, cafe's serving organic free-range everything (with sauces whose names we can't pronounce), and chain restaurants are in. It means the vibrant Latino community in San Francisco's Mission district is vanishing, and along with it, a food culture that is as American as apple pie. It means $2 taco Tuesday's are out and truffle French fries and degustation menus are in. I live for taco Tuesday's. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a Michelin starred meal (I could have died a happy woman the first time I ate at a Michelin starred restaurant - thanks Mike), but for the average person that's like planning a holiday in a foreign country: there's a lot of saving & sacrifice involved; little Penelope might have to give up piano lessons and Timothy can forget going to sleep-away camp this year. And to be quite honest, some of the best freaking food I've had has been in some little hole-in-the-wall with a mama somewhere in the back of a kitchen cooking recipes handed down from generation to generation. 

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf

Victorian

Victorian

At German Juice, we believe that everyone has the right to good food, great service, and of course - German beer. But the more I travel, the more I'm beginning to realize that just like good places to live, good food is steadily becoming a thing only the rich can afford. On gloomy and cold winter day like today, I reminisce about my past trips to San Francisco and what I love so much about the city: the people & the food.

People make the city go round

People make the city go round

The first time I visited San Francisco, I was 19. My mom bought my then-boyfriend and I two airline tickets from Los Angeles to San Franciso & paid for a 3 night hotel stay. Our hotel was located on Market st. within walking distance of San Francisco's artsy Haight-Ashbury district. Since we didn't have a car with us, we walked everywhere or took public transportation. On our first night, while standing at a bus stop near our hotel, these kids pulled over in an SUV and asked us what we were up to. We said nothing much, just exploring the city & then they told us they were going to a party in Petaluma and asked if we'd like to join them. Petaluma is about 80 km from San Francisco. We got in their car and they drove us to the party. We stayed out all night and partied with them and then they drove us back to our hotel and the next morning we had some of the best and most disgusting dim sum dishes I've ever had. This is my San Francisco. This mix of people, cultures, and openness. 

Live Lobster

Live Lobster

The ability for you to be almost anywhere in the city and have homeless people around, artist districts, Chinatown, wealthy neighborhoods, and two perfect strangers invite you to a party because you had a random chat and hit it off is priceless. Society was right there in front of your eyes for you to take it in; all of it! Something about that allows people to see each other and interact with each other as human beings. This is what gentrification often deprives us of; the opportunity to encounter, engage with and interact with people that you normally might not have the opportunity to meet because of your social class, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or skin color. It deprives us of learning how to co-exist and creates an even larger divide, further separating us into two distinct groups of people: the haves & the have nots - as if the number of zeros behind that digit in your bank account has anything to do with your character or whether or not you deserve a life of dignity and a right to share the resources which simply exist and shouldn't be the exclusive property of one group. 

The possessions of a homeless veteran named Charles with whom I shared a cigarette on a bench near the Ferry building.

The possessions of a homeless veteran named Charles with whom I shared a cigarette on a bench near the Ferry building.

San Francisco was a welcome contrast to my parents neighborhood in the South Bay, which is largely homogenous and homeless people are picked up by the police and driven to the ghettos of downtown Los Angeles. We've become so accustomed to shoving things in closets. We reinforce the barriers that separate us and convert fiction into pseudo-facts by pretending that "if you don't see it, it doesn't exist." When San Franciso's Mission district becomes entirely WASP and the working class, poor, and colored people are pushed out, they are being deprived the benefit of sharing in the success and beauty of a city built on their very own backs. Furthermore, the new inhabitants of previously diverse neighborhoods are being deprived of the food, culture, art, exchange of ideas and perspectives that a socioeconomically and ethnically diverse community has to offer. 

Jack

Jack

While my last trip to San Francisco, is a far cry from my first, I still ate some good food and shared some great moments with perfect strangers. One of those strangers was Jack, a San Francisco native. I met him in the Ferry building while I was taking photos of all the different shops. I stopped at a wine shop and he came up to me and asked me what I was doing and wanted some help with the settings on his camera. I helped him with his camera, we walked through the Ferry Building together while I had some tea, and he gave me a list of his favorite restaurants and food related places that I should visit. He also invited me to his weekly camera club which was taking place that evening. I would have loved to go but I had to drive back to Los Angeles and I wanted to head out before sunset. For a moment, it felt like the old San Francisco that I loved so much. After chatting with Jack, I went down to Fisherman's wharf and had a cup of New England clam chowder, a 2.5lbs Dungeness crab, and a nice cold Bitburger (don't judge me. German beer isn't easy to come by, especially when you're buying from a street vendor or seaside food stand). And as I sat at a table on the sidewalk overlooking the cars driving by while taking in the salty air and carefully dissecting and savouring every morsel of that sweet delicate crab meat - I couldn't help but remember that my $50 roadside meal probably cost me half that amount nearly a decade ago. Fisherman's Wharf is a bit of a tourist trap, but I wanted to relive old times and it still represents the mix of cultures that is San Francisco. And I don't care where it is, if the seafood is fresh, I'm in. I'm so in!

Dungeness Crab

Dungeness Crab

Yummy

Yummy

German Juice

German Juice

New England clam chowder

New England clam chowder

Tips for eating at Fisherman's Wharf

1. Eat at one of the Sidewalk stands.

2. A cup of New England clam chowder is a must.

3.You have to try lobster or crab with drawn butter. In November, the California Department of Public Health advised that people abstain from eating any Dungeness or rock crab caught in Caught in California until further notice. The toxicity levels in Dungeness and rock crab were reported to be above what is considered safe for human consumption. Due to a change in water temperatures, Pseudo-nitzschiahas flourished in the waters off California's coast. Pseudo-nitzschia is a toxic form of algae which produces Domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can cause nausea, dizziness, short term memory loss, siezures, and can be fatal; all of which depend on the levels present within the body

The devil is in the details

The devil is in the details

I'm Goin' Fishin'h

I'm Goin' Fishin'h

What we eat is more than what we put in our mouths: it's the people who make it, the experiences we have, the stories, the neighborhoods, the taste, the memories, and so much more. I hope one day we will have as much respect for the people who build the cites as we do for the people who buy them. I hope we can create communities like Michael Moore describes in his memoir, Here Comes Trouble; Communities where a milk man and a doctor can afford a home in the same neighborhood. Everyone deserves dignity and a fair share of natural resources like land and food, which simply exist and shouldn't be accessible to only the extremely wealthy. 

The Watchers

The Watchers

I hope the future doesn't see us standing on the sidelines, watching, as people get tossed out to make room for the bigger, greedier, richer. After all, our existence depends on people from all walks of life. If you don't have garbage men, we'll be buried in our own filth and without out technological advances, we'd all still be in the dark ages. In a world of many, how much does one person really need? Can't we all just get along? Let us know how gentrification has affected you in the comment section. 

If you're interested in reading a bit more about the topics discussed in this article, click the links in the body of this post to read the sources. Check back next week for part two and the recipe for our Southwestern black bean soup - made with some delicious black beans I bought at the Ferry Building. Eat well and drink your German juice. 

All photos were taken by Lexie.

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