Monday, March 9, 2009

Home can be exotic

In a constant quest to leave behind the dreary gray of Germany, I realized that "home", regardless of where it is, is exotic to someone else. Yes, it's taken me a while to figure this out. Hence the reluctance of many Germans to embrace corn on the cob. It simply does not belong to the culture.

My "exotic" find came from the depths of my fridge; the "feldsalat" I bought at the farmer's market 2 days ago. "Feldsalat", known as "mâche" or "lamb's lettuce" in English, is a wonderful winter green I only became aquainted with when I first came to Germany. It is a green that adds a highlight to winter, as it grows quickly in the fields, and requires low temperatures. Some say it has a velvety texture, which I would not have agreed with until I mispaired it tonight. It goes well with roasted beets, sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese (what doesn't go well with goat cheese?) and, I think is best in a light dressing.

My mispairing was with crawfish & sauteed pitas, two "exotic" ingredients around these parts. I found the crawfish in the local supermarket, and the lebanese pita was my huge score from the green grocer around the corner. I had never had fried pita until I went to Kuwait. Somehow, this makes me feel like I lead a sheltered life. Bottom line: crawfish - good; fried pita - aditional velvety texture which simply confuses the palate.

If you find mâche, try it with seasonal veggies. And enjoy one of the few greens worth the gray days of winter.

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