Das Essen ist gut!... The food is good! That is one of the sentences which I have learned from my German lessons.
So, it was very appropriate that I had lunch today at the nearby German-American Cultural Center in Olmsted Township with my cousin Gail and her husband Wes.
The cultural center was established in 1970 by the Danube Swabians. In the eighteenth century, the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa offered free land to farmers who would settle areas along the Danube River which had been taken from the Ottoman Empire. Many Germans, especially those from the region of Swabia, took advantage of this offer. Those colonists, whether they were from Swabia or from other regions of Germany, became known as the "Donauschwaben", and they formed an important minority within the largely Slavic region.
After World War I, the territory where the Danube Swabians lived became part of the new nation of Yugoslavia. After World War II the Communist government began a campaign of repression against the German-speaking minority, and hundreds of thousands of Danube Swabians immigrated to the United States.
The cultural center includes a restaurant which is open to the public for lunch five days a week. Our waitress was a very personable lady who was born in Vienna and came to the United States when she was a child.
Here are Gail and Wes. Gail is showing the chicken schnitzel which she ordered.
I ordered the Wiener schnitzel. It was served over "Blaukraut" (red cabbage, although the German translates as blue cabbage) and "Spaetzle", little egg dumplings.
Whenever I am at a German restaurant, I always order "Spaetzle", hoping one day to run across something as good as what my mother used to make. She always called them "Spatzli" which is what they are called in Switzerland. My mom most certainly learned how to make them from her Swiss paternal grandmother. I have asked my Swiss cousins if there is a secret family recipe for "Spatzli", but they say "no".
The Wiener schnitzel was excellent. The "Spaetzle" were not as good as my mother's, but still... "Das Essen ist gut!"