Thursday, May 14, 2009

Guest Blogger: The Parisian Princess

Blogger's Note - The Parisian Princess, a/k/a Peter's sister, is a world renown gastronome, having lived in Paris for a year and traveled extensively throughout Europe. In this guest blog appearance, she recounts a tale from her latest jump across the pond. Don't hate the player, hate the game. To get your article up for consideration, send via email to blackenedout.

On a recent trip to Germany for my graduate school survey of international art markets,* I decided to do some gastronomy research. Being a natural FBA, aka foodie by association, due to my shared genetics with the culinary co-master of Blackened Out, Peter, I sought the expertise of a higher power. In this case that power was no other than the man himself, Anthony Bourdain.

In his travel series "No Reservations," Bourdain circles the globe in search of food, culture, and adventure. In order to pick the best of Berlin, I consulted Bourdain's homepage and printed out his culinary "to do" list. I selected one restaurant in particular, Konnopke's, which Tony visited to enjoy the German speciality, currywurst. Currywurst is a regional dish of Berlin originating from the 1930s that consists of chopped sausage topped with ketchup and curry powder and served with a side of fries. It can be found almost anywhere in the city, but according to Bourdain, Konnopke's is the original and best currywurst spot in the city.

The scene outside Konnopke's

So on a nice, sunny day in Berlin, I set out in search of currywurst. What seemed like a short pleasant trip turned into a meandering journey through the broken, back streets of the city. After getting lost several times and walking for over an hour, I finally arrived at my location. To my horror and dismay, Konnopke's, the temple of currywurst was closed for a local holiday. Tired, hungry, and extremely agitated, I made the decision to forget Bourdain and his closed "elitist" currywurst stand for the next best thing. I located another little restaurant next to Konnopke's that was open and offered currywurst on the menu. Sure, I was settling for second tier grub, but what harm could there be? The currywurst looked okay and other people were eating it. So I took the plunge and ordered the currywurst with fries and side of ketchup and headed for the nearest subway.
The food looked good and it tasted fine. But later, I would realize just how wrong my rash decision was. Within four hours, my stomach felt like it was being twisted into a German pretzel. The whole experience culminated in World War III of food poisoning in which I had to get up every 20 minutes to run to the bathroom. I spent 20 hours in Berlin laying in bed, sick as a dog and missed a whole day of traveling. All because I thought I could cheat the system. So lesson learned: Do as Bourdain does and don't accept culinary imitations. The best is there for a reason, all others need not apply. Thanks to my German experience, I will never look at sausage the same way again. Well, except for maybe some boudin when I go back home. I am from New Orleans after all, aren't I???

-The Parisian Princess-

* Editor's note: International Art's Market's Studies? Where the hell was this booth at Career Day? This doesn't even sound real.

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