In tranquility lies good flavor.
Love, time, and wonderful ingredients are the heart of Southwest Germany’s Soul Food and Slow Food–a movement defined by local chefs creating traditional regional specialties It’s a way to honor the past as well as transport us from our hectic daily lives and into the sublime with meals made to be savored, slowly, of course.
Artisan Unpasteurized Cheese: Langenburg Sheep’s Cheese
Norbert Fischer’s Demeter-Hof, nestled between meadows and fields in the Hohenlohe-Langenburg region, began in the early 1980s as a small, self-sufficient farm with a couple of sheep and now has grown into a substantial operation with a huge barn, a cheese dairy, farm shop and home. Everything is made from wood and glass accented with colorful flowering plants on the roof tops. Over 250 sheep live here under the care of Fischer, their shepherd. He uses their milk to hand produce fine sheep’s milk cheeses ranging from tangy Pecorino, to mouth-watering Camembert, and strong “Roque blue” cheese. Other products include organic ice cream and meat, sheepskins and the farm’s own picture book.
Lemon Ricotta Cake
- 3.2 cups (400 grams) flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 3/8 (340 grams butter), melted
- 1 cup (200 grams) of sugar
- 2 eggs
> Knead everything and spread the dough on a baking tray
Bake for 15 minutes at 170 degrees
- 3.3 cups (800g) ricotta
- 6.76 fluid ounces (200ml) cream
- 4 eggs
- 4 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 6.76 fluid ounces (200ml) lemon juice
Mix everything and pour over the dough
Bake for 30 minutes at 325°F.
Put in the fridge and before serving, sprinkle with fresh mint.
Fragrant bubbly: Blütenzauber Manufaktur in Bächlingen
The Jagst is one of the Neckar River’s largest tributaries. It winds its way from the Eastern Alb, over the Hohenloher and Haller Plain into the Heilbronn district. On the way, it meanders through the little village of Bächlingen. This is where Bernulf Schlauch lives, the Slow Food regional coordinator for Hohenlohe and inventor of blossom champagne. He uses a laborious process to produce sparkling wines from elder, acacia, rose blossom, and meadowsweet – deliberately taking things slowly.
“These sparkling wines need time for their flavors to unfold”, says Schlauch. For him, Slow Food does not just mean allowing time for the products themselves, but also taking time for guests and delicious food.
Love of the Loaf: Eselsmühle Mill in Musberg
Eight donkeys, a shop, the Mühlenstube restaurant, a garden bistro, and a wood oven where the Demeter bread is baked. Sounds like the good old days and real proper bread, luckily at the Eselsmühle this is all on offer right now. The mill’s history goes back over 600 years, when the local millers supplied surrounding villages with food.
In 1937, the mill was acquired by the Gmelin family, who are still working passionately to preserve it and have created a genuine feel-good location in the extensive grounds surrounding the site, a place where everyday stress is banished. All the products here are certified organic and most come from this beautiful bucolic region.
Organic Fine Dining Pioneer: “1950” in Hayingen
Located in the heart of the Swabian Alb biosphere is the world’s first Demeter & Bioland fine dining restaurant. The “1950” is a new addition to the Tress family’s gastronomic offerings and honours the legacy of Grandfather Johannes, with the name marking the year he laid the foundation for the sustainable company philosophy that is still upheld today. The key feature: for every course on the vegetarian “CO2 menu” served here, guests also get comprehensive information about the ingredients. From CO2 emissions, to the distance involved between the producer and restaurant. To avoid producing waste in the kitchen, Simon Tress and his team strictly follow the principles of “leaf to root” and “nose to tail”.
Holistic Gamekeeping: Schussental Game Products in Fronreute
“Once upon a time, there were three hunters …” – it sounds like the start of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, but in fact this is how the success story began for the Schussentaler Wildmanufaktur game company in Fronreute near Ravensburg. Their mission: to convince the residents of Upper Swabia to eat game. Game lives in a natural habitat, it is sustainable and largely free from harmful influences, offering the finest quality meat with a favourable environmental impact. Nonetheless, many people have reservations about the taste and are unsure how to cook it. The Wildmanufaktur hunters are doing their bit to restore its image by selling local, freshly hunted game that is ready to cook as a roast or goulash, grilled sausage or meat loaf.
Copper pan cherries: Faller jams from Utzenfeld
Whether it’s black cherries from Baden, forest blueberries or Bühler damsons: ever since the company was founded in 1913, Faller jams have been cooked in small quantities using traditional, open copper pans and stirred by hand to preserve the natural, original taste of the fruit for the finest possible results. Short transportation distances also contribute to the quality of these jams.
Following this tradition, Faller continues to source large quantities of fruit and berries from the nearby Kaiserstuhl and Markgräflerland regions. This family-run Slow Food business has links with farmers that often go back many years. Their produce can be sampled in the “Therese” jam café. Or order jars of these sweet temptations straight from the online shop to enjoy for breakfast at home.
Slow brewing amidst the pines: Rothaus Grafenhausen, Baden’s district brewery
Baden’s district brewery, Rothaus, demonstrates how you can capture the essence of the Black Forest in a bottle. All you need is tranquillity, care and time. The raw materials also come entirely from the surrounding area: the brewing water bubbles up from local springs in the nearby forest, native spring barley is used as the brewer’s malt, the aromatic hops are sourced from Tettnang and Hallertau, and the yeast comes from the company’s own pure culture. The “Slow Brewing” seal of approval confirms the exceptional quality and full-bodied, mature flavour of the Rothaus beers. This final feature is undoubtedly also owed to the brewery’s special location, up at an altitude of around 1,000 metres, between the Black Forest pines and spruce trees.
Café Goldene Krone in St. Märgen
The “Golden Crown” has welcomed numerous guests over its centuries-long history. From 1753, it operated as a pilgrims’ refuge, later it became a grand hotel. Famous people called by here: from Heidegger to Adenauer. When the hotel was closed in 1990, a hush descended. A citizens’ action group halted the threatened demolition and, a good ten years later, went on to rescue this historically significant building and revive the village centre.
Hugely successful, today the “Golden Crown” is once again a popular meeting place. This “countrywoman’s café” with a small shop is a fine example of social, economic and environmental sustainability. Instead of trained professionals, the shop and kitchen facilities is run by 20 committed local women, all adding their own special flavour to the regional dishes with their personal recipes.
For more information:
State Tourist Board Baden-Württemberg
Esslinger Strasse 8
70182 Stuttgart, Germany