Art and food à la Kunstkammer. Here I was at the Munich Residenz, looking at so many dishes. And it’s not an optical illusion or a mirror trick. There really are numerous golden dishes and buffet servers lined up in rows.

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No surprise because in the next room, rows upon rows of silver dishes sit, waiting to be used. What fabulous dinner parties the Wittelsbachs (the Bavarian dukes and family dynasty who owned the Munich Residenz) must have thrown.

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Food, glorious food, like that found in Dutch still-life paintings come close to the beauty of the tangible, aromatic fruits and breads I ate in Europe. Perhaps there is something to the idea that a painting or a picture can evoke the taste and memories of happy days.

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My Parisian salad of tart currants and sweet figs with a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I didn’t get to catch any eggs (a detail from Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1567 Land of Cockaigne)…

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…but I did taste some wonderful crispy duck and potato dumpling in Munich, while drinking the tiniest beer.

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IMG_6694In Vienna, gold and salt go together well, as seen by Cellini’s Saliera (salt cellar) in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. But it seems that gold goes well with anything…

Nikolaus Schmidt, Ornamental Basin with Ewer, ca. 1592
Nikolaus Schmidt, Ornamental Basin with Ewer, ca. 1592

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Back to the restaurant motif… note the bottles of herbs and vegetables (at least that’s what they look like) on the top shelf of the bar.IMG_7596 IMG_7604

Viennese desserts…IMG_7835

Some sort of yogurt raspberry cake at Café Central, a beautiful coffee house.IMG_7840

My favorite corner in Vienna, the Film Museum‘s cafe next to the Albertina.IMG_8117

At Neni restaurant at the Naschmarkt in Vienna, where I had my first taste of the seasonal Austrian drink Sturm. I was warned more than once to not drink too much of it for a headache would ensue the next morning. The Sturm here was crisp, fruity and chilled. Delicious.IMG_8146

Sitting down to Viennese Wienerschnitzel at Figlmüller, one of the best Wienerschnitzel restaurants in town. I, the “tourist” hosted my friends, the locals, as this restaurant is advertised mainly to tourists, though my friend who is Viennese liked it well enough.IMG_8310

And now for more dessert…IMG_8317

In Vienna, of course, one must have sachertorte and coffee at a coffee house. I did this, but honestly, I’m happy with my macchiato at a more casual place. Have you seen this much foam in an espresso macchiato? I haven’t. This was my kind of coffee shop. I’m in foam heaven at the kantine in the Museum Quarter. IMG_8516

And finally, I left Vienna for Munich to fly home. On my way to the airport, I happen by a pretzel stand at the Munich Hauptbahnhof. I had my luggage and probably didn’t have much time or room for more stuff, but now I realize that I should’ve bought all the pretzels I could stuff into my bag. These golden creations were pretty incredible. Again, München Brezeln (German for “pretzels”) impress me so much with how perfectly soft they are on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. IMG_8651My fever for the treats have gotten so bad that I’ve started researching Bavarian pretzel recipes. I miss my daily pretzel pausa. And my daily espresso macchiato. And my daily 0.5 L glass of beer. With dessert, of course.

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