April 6, 2007

As American as Apple Pie

So, last week was the “International Food Party” at my German school. Everyone was asked to bring a traditional dish from their homelands, and as the token American, I chose apple pie. What could be easier or more American than that?

Of course, the Germans would never deign to sell pre-made pastry dough (which is all I have ever used), and so I had to attempt my first-ever homemade piecrust. Only, I couldn’t find any vegetable shortening in the supermarket. According to my German-English dictionary the equivalent German word is “Schmalz,” but the only kind of Schmalz they stock is Schweinschmalz – essentially, pork drippings. Maybe that’s what the German use for their piecrusts, I thought. In the end it was all I had to work with, so it would have to do.

Unfortunately, when my pie came out of the oven, it smelled distinctly of bacon. I couldn’t stomach a single bite, but the students in my class seemed to like it well enough. Some even came back for seconds. The only person I didn’t fool was my German teacher. She asked after the crust, and I confessed that I had used Schweinschmalz. “Well, I don’t know what you use to make Äpfelstrudel in America,” she said, “But in Germany we use Margarine.”

1 comment:

s.e.razer said...

apple pie with a hint of bacon?? you're silly and gross. also, don't you know how dangerous it is to serve something you don't try first!?! you could've told her it's another variation, like apple pie 'a la mode or hot apple pie with cheese on top (i still haven't figured that one out).