Reinventing German Cuisine At Tavole Accademiche
Think you know German food? Well think again! Third year Bachelor students Elisabeth Wittich (Lisa) and Sofia Elisabeth Berlinghof (Eli) are the 1st group of UNISG taking control of the kitchens at Tavole Accademiche this year and have created a fabulous menu designed around food from their home country, Germany and in particular from the least known cuisine of the North.
“We’re trying to go along with the beautiful simplicity of German food, we’ll just try to refine it a bit, make it more pretty, delicious
and fun” - they said.
We caught up with them to learn more!
Book your meal at Tavole Accademiche for Thursday, May 9
it promises to be food for thought, and delicious!
Why did you decide to take part in the students at Tavola Accademiche project?
We wanted to showcase some of the best flavours from the German kitchen and that it’s far more than just sauerkraut and sausage. Often Bavarian food is assumed to be German food, but Bavaria is just one of 16 regions – there’s so much more to discover!
How did you create this intriguing menu? What will you be cooking?
German food doesn’t seem to have a great reputation, neither inside nor outside of Germany (a challenge that some Alumni projects, including Die Gemeinschaft, and Die Neue Deutsche Kelle are trying to update). Also, the book Kulturgeschichte der deutschen Küche (A Cultural History of German Cuisine) by Dr. Peter Peter (historian and guest lecturer at UNISG) is a great piece of research and literature that proves just how much German kitchen is underestimated!
We do have a food culture to discover! So, with spring being our favourite season of the year, we decided on refreshing some of our favourite, traditional comfort dishes from home.
It's exciting to bring something new to plate, that meets the taste of a younger generation.
What’s the story behind your choice of dishes?
Our menu choices were inspired by the food we ate around the family dining table as we were growing up. The first dish is a type of Spargelsuppe, a white asparagus soup, taking the flavours of this much-loved vegetable in Germany and combining its with a broth and ham. We actually discovered that in Lisa’s family the soup is eaten with smoked ham, while in Eli’s it is made with cooked ham - we grew up in different regions :)
Quark is the star of the Primo, and is one of those ingredients many Germans crave for during our time in Bra. This type of fresh cheese (eaten sweet or savoury in Germany) just doesn’t exist here!
We’ll make it ourselves for the lunch! It’s combined of course with potato, or should I say a special type of potato: there are so many varieties of potatoes, each with different cooking characteristics, that have lead to many traditional dishes that get the most out of each kind!
The main dish is a particularly interesting one. Some of the flavours appearing in these meatballs are actually Italian! Since this is a north German dish - we suppose that the ingredients appear because of the regions long maritime and trading history!
Lemons, capers and anchovies travelling north and being incorporated into the regional sauce culture - yummy! Traditional fusion! Once again a reminder that traditions are living, product of exchanges and dialogue!
The dessert instead is inspired by an absolute classic in Germany -Kaffeekränzchen (afternoon coffee and cake with friends) and Bienenstich- the sting of a bee. We look forward to surprising you with these delicious dishes.
What do you enjoy cooking at home?
Freedom is the limit, fresh ingredients from the farmer is the rule :)
Do you have any particular food memories that inspire you?
For me (Eli) most of these flavours are evoking memories of everyday home food. I grew up with a mom very passionate about cooking who has given me access to a wide variety of flavours - what a lucky palate!
What kind of work would you like to do once graduated from UNISG?
- Lisa: Communication of food that is produced in a good, clean and fair matter, in form of B2B retail or Food development.
- Eli: I‘d like to work with agroecology, legumes, craftspeople and small scale farmers who work respecting environment and people.
Is there anything you would like to add?
We’ll don’t always follow the traditional recipes as we know them, but we will bring the dishes to life and make them more bright, applying some of our experience in UNISG :) and giving you an insight into how tasty German cuisine can be.
Photo credits: Ruth Von Strauss