I was in Europe for the first time, and the trip was a week in Poland with a second week split between Germany and Amsterdam. This particular episode happened on our last day in Germany, in Bavaria. We’d been to some rave club until well into the morning, so by the time we awoke in our b&b it was well into the evening. My intrepid companions and I set out to grab a bite and find something to do.
We ended up at some Biergarten, grabbed a table and these massive glasses of beer, and asked for the Spiesekarten. The Kellner lets us know that on account of the hour the kitchen was closed, but takes pity on the sight of us and says he can rustle up any of the cold plates.
My mates dive right in, ordering up a feast of meats, but as the lone delgate from the vegetarian contingent, I’m frantically looking for something- anything- I can eat. To my dismay, the only thing available is the cheese plate.
Now I’m a big fan of cheese, but I’ve got a fairly conservative palette when it comes to it. There’s just a lot more that I don’t like than do. The plate arrived with some bread, and it’s a round platter with four different kinds of sliced cheese, four small cubes of other kinds of hard cheese, and three runny squirts on the rim.
The squirts are right out, full stop, but I start nibbling at the slices, feeling they’re the safest bet. They were delicious, and hell, everything tastes better with a little Senf. The beer didn’t hurt, either.
The easy options gone, still ravenously hungry I abandoned better judgment and made my way to the blocks. The first one I tried was okay, and feeling myself safe and silly for worrying I took a nice bite out of the next.
The only way I can describe it is that something of vaguely rodentine origin crawled onto my tongue and died- two weeks ago. Images of carrion flashed in my mind, and I gagged ferociously. I clutched for the last piece of bread and ate it like a starved prisoner, but it did nothing to remove the vile taste. I quaffed the rest of my beer in a go, then wrestled my mate’s away from him and downed it too. Finally, I resorted to taking the knife and scraping my tongue with it.
The Kellner, having come by to check on us, kindly told me that while it was his personal favourite, it “wasn’t for everyone,” and most certainly was considered “an acquired taste.”
It wasn’t one I was keen to acquire.