I am a vegetarian. For the most part anyway. Like most vegetarians (or so I’m told), I really enjoy eating pork products (bacon, spareribs, chops and pork tenderloin with an apple sage stuffing) and especially, sausage.
When I booked a surprise trip to Bavaria for my husband’s birthday, I knew that we were going to the good food capital – Munich – and that sausage would most definitely be on the menu.
I had been a self-congratulatory and iron-deficient vegetarian for the last six years but I, like most vegetarians (or so I’m told), was tempted by the smell of hot dog carts. Sometimes, I would arrange to meet people on a specific corner (Hoxton and Purcell, for instance) and I would arrive extra early just to take in a whiff or two of those heavenly aromas.
As we boarded our Lufthansa flight from Heathrow to Flughafen München, my mouth began to water. It had been a long time, a very long time. I knew the waiting was almost over. I was headed to the land of bratwurst, milzwurst, bierwurst, gelbwurst, stockwurst, wollwurst, weisswurst and all number of other wursts.
When I booked the trip I knew I was going to eat some meat. You know what they say, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ I am sure this applies to Bavaria. It is only polite to do as the Bavarians do. This includes: speaking German, playing the accordion, wearing lederhosen, drinking beer to excess and eating sausage to excess. I was happy to do it, as I wanted to fully immerse myself in their cultural heritage.
We went straight from Flughafen München to Hofbräukeller on the east side of Munich in Bogenhausen. We ordered a Hofbräu Dunkel straight away and we poured over the menu. I ordered wursts, sauerkraut, and a basket of bread. I, like most vegetarians (or so I’m told), inhaled that sausage like it was going out of style. It was dee-lish!
The entire trip to Munich was a whirlwind of dancing to Oom-pa-pa polka music, climbing the Alps, visiting fairytale castles, swigging the local brew, devouring the local fare and standing in awe of the beautiful Rococo architecture.
We did not want to return home. We wanted to stay in Munich and live in a fairytale land where we had all the time in the world, there were biking beer gardens (see photo), the pretzels were aplenty, and I wasn’t a vegetarian anymore.
Alas, reality called. And our tickets were non-refundable. We hesitantly made our way to the airport, purchased our many mementos and souvenirs (including postcards of Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung, cuckoo clock magnets, and a mini keg of Lowenbraü Original), and boarded our flight home. I had the vegetarian meal.
I don’t know what Heaven will be like, but I’m guessing there will be sausage and I’m hoping it will be a lot like München.