Tracker Pixel for Entry

​The tastes they are a’changin’

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | April 4th, 2018

Art by Jacob Bloomquist, gold key winnerA couple of weeks ago an article in The Washington Post called ‘Grandma’s food’: How changing tastes are killing German restaurants outlined just that. It acknowledged the loss of established German restaurants throughout the nation that have been around for generations.

Why the a decline in German restaurants? One reason -- we’re losing our German restaurantiers and along with them we’ve lost their establishments. Another is that the new generation’s palates are changing as food trends are becoming more globalized, pointing to a more diversified palate rather than the traditional European taste.

Some also try to claim that it’s not for the health conscious.

Granted there’s a lot of carbohydrates in traditional German fare considering that they take such pride in their bread and baked goods and use potatoes as a staple. But they’re also known for their fine pickles and sauerkraut -- both of which have been revered for their probiotic properties -- which is one of the latest health trends.

As with anything quality ingredients are key.

What makes for traditional German fare? Have we been soured with Americanized versions of traditional dishes? It took me most of my life to put two and two together to realize that a chicken fried steak is an American burlesque on wienerschnitzel. Schnitzel is a German institution but it’s not the be all end all and there are a ton of variations in preparation of not only the meat but the sauces as well. Who knows, maybe another contributing fact is that German food in America got too Americanized. The two greatest rushes of German immigrants occurred in the late 1800s and post WWII.

The dishes are meat heavy but one would understand why if they’ve ever walked into a German butchershop. This coming from a half hearted vegetarian who has no guilt while eating a good bratwurst--but then again I only feel guilty if I’ve knowingly done something wrong--and if there’s wrong in eating a good brat I don’t want to be right.

In fact, I finally convinced my German grandma to come to the Wurst Bier Hall with me. For the longest time she’d turn her nose up and almost boast that she was a better cook than that without ever setting foot through the door. What else do you say to your grandmother other than “Yes, Mommom, I know but if you try it you can give it an honest critique.” Needless to say I finally convinced her to stop. She had a German wurst and has been talking about it ever since and looks forward to when we go back.

Though business for bier halls is on the up and up--which makes sense considering craft beer culture and micro breweries are all the rage these days and soft pretzels are getting more and more popular on bar menus.

There’s certainly German influence in modern food trends. Everyone knows hamburgers and hot dogs have roots in Germany. A friend in my hometown owns a brick fired pizza shop and one of his top sellers is called “The German” which includes sausage, sauerkraut, and a horseradish sauce. Locals love it but my grandma and her German friends don’t understand how that’s German--considering pizza is Italian. I guess you can’t please everyone. After all, America is a melting pot.

I grew up in a German household and was raised on German fare. According to the article people are still cooking in the German tradition at home but aren’t looking for it sadly enough. It warms my heart to see German influenced items hitting menus -- granted I’m not a chef or a food expert but it almost seems like a no brainer to embrace German culinary traditions in this neck of the woods.

Knoephla soup is already a regional favorite as well as fleischkuechle. Spaetzle was even piquing the interest of foodies. In fact we had a cover story on the release of “Gutes Essen: Good eating in German Russian country.” A handful of German-Russian grandmothers graced our cover and questions about the books availability came pouring in our social media commentary and inboxes.Though German culture and German Russian culture are two different animals you can imagine the cultural similarities.

According to my friend Michael Miller -- the man behind the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) their cookbooks have the highest sales out of all of the books that they have published. There are also a host of recipes that can be found on their websites and if you head out to German Russian country you can find some amazing butcher shops whose recipes have been handed down for generations.

In fact you can find church dinners serving German dishes and Wishek (often referred to as Vishek) even hosts a Sauerkraut day that has been going on for over 90 years. The community opens up their community hall and feeds over a thousand people wurst and kraut while serenaded by the high school accordion band.

Even though many of these established sit down German restaurants have closed their doors across the country there may be hope for a German culinary resurgence. Call me sentimental but maybe, just maybe, people will start to embrace “Grandma’s food” before they have the chance to miss it, even if there are a few minor adjustments I’m sure she wouldn’t mind, just make sure you have good bread.

Recently in:

BISMARCK – Two bills are fighting for ethical supremacy in the North Dakota State Legislature. Senate Bill 2148, sponsored by Senator Tim Mathern, a Democrat from Fargo, received a ‘Do Pass’ from Special Ethics Committee on…

Culture

​‘Pull-Tab’ machines

by HPR Contributor

By Zach Nerpelzachnerpel@gmail.comThere is nothing more hopeless than a feeling unrequited. The obsession it brings, the doubt it stews, and the madness which erases your sense of self are crippling. You’ll give more than you are…

Thursday, February 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m.650 40th Ave S, West FargoThe area’s premier evening of Yoga, wine, cheese and community. Luna Fargo restaurant owner and wine/cheese expert, Nikki Berglund, will select 3 pairings to follow…

It will be Valentine’s Day by the time this issue hits the stands, but who knows you might even be picking it up after you’ve finished eating the last of the chocolates you bought for yourself for Valentine’s Day.We’re not…

Gadfly

Anti-Life America

by Ed Raymond

All The Evidence Points To An Anti-Life Political PartyAfter observing and experiencing the machinations and voting records of the Republican Party from Nixon to Reagan To Bush To Trump, one can arrive at only one conclusion: It is…

After a day of checking the weather updates and keeping an eye on any closing announcements from this week’s entrants, our judges ordered up a ride share service and headed out to the western side of town for two stops in West…

Over the past few years Luna has become my favorite restaurant in the FM area. The thoughtfulness of Ryan’s creations and the neighborhood environment of the locale as a whole creates a beautiful experience that can’t be found…

Music

​Ready or Knot

by HPR Contributor

By Gary Usseryusseryg@gmail.comWhen Sabrina gets a hold of you and asks you to interview a band as unique as Fargo locals The Knotties you just yell “yes!” Only a few days later I was meeting with Channing Minnema (lead vocals,…

Documentarian Penny Lane adds another entertaining movie to her filmography with an inside look at the recent rise of the Satanic Temple. As a movie experience, “Hail Satan?” often lives deliciously. The film might even turn…

By Jacinta Zensjacinta.zens@gmail.comThe Department of Visual Arts at Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls and the Kaddatz Galleries are excited to announce the First Annual Visiting Artists Workshop series.…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

The 1,290 square-foot garage that was once Main Avenue Auto has generated a lot of buzz for good reason. Harold’s on Main is Moorhead’s newest watering hole and the attention is all in the details. With its dark wood paneling,…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

By Cara Cody-Brauncara.braun@wyndmereschools.orgI am not much of a science fiction fan, but I’m a sucker for a story with a portal. Who hasn’t dreamed of entering a different world? Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole in…