Part of the job of language house tutors is to offer classes or events that teach William and Mary students about the culture of countries where the language they study is spoken. We are supposed to plan two such activities in an average week. I usually have a movie night where we watch German films, and a traditional Kaffeeklatsch. That is a meeting with your friends and family in the afternoon where you have Kaffee (coffee) and Klatsch (gossip). I also serve traditional German cake to go with the Kaffee and the Klatsch.
For whatever weird reason, though, I decided to not only offer two cultural activities this week, but six. So the residents of the German House might be just a tiny bit stressed out right now.
Anyhow, yesterday, I taught my first German cooking class ever. Now, I know that Germany is not particularly famous for its cuisine, and I honestly do not know where all these people live who supposedly eat Schnitzel all the time.
So we made a fairly simple dish, which is called Flammkuchen. It is a very thin pizza topped with cream cheese, onions, bacon and cheese. It is called Flammkuchen (flame cake) because it is baked at a very high temperature for only a short period of time.
The name caused some confusion among the students though, and they kept being worried about the fire alarm. But, to everybody’s surprise (and perhaps disappointment), the fire department did not have to come as there were no real flames involved. What really surprised me, though, was how much everybody was suddenly into cooking and how exotic they found my recipe. People kept asking me if it was really okay to put the oven to 465 degrees and whether I was absolutely sure about putting two packs of cream cheese on one sheet of dough. Everybody felt they had to check the oven every two minutes to see how the Flammkuchen was coming along. I think they all liked the result in the end. They agreed that it tasted good, or at least so they said.
I for myself had a really great time. For the first time in six weeks or so, it was not me who was marveling at ‘weird’ food.
Here you can see the Flammkuchen in the making. It still needs to cook a little, though, until that bacon is just a little crunchier!