Recommended Bodensee Foods

On a nice day you could sit on the terrace of a Bodensee restaurant forever, looking across the sparkling waters to the imposing heights of the Alps in the distance. The fish on your plate, possibly caught that very morning in the lake, is another reason to linger. Fish predominates on the menus of the region; 35 varieties swim in the lake, with Felchen (whitefish) the most highly prized. Felchen belongs to the salmon family and is best eaten blau ("blue"—poached in a mixture of water and vinegar with spices, called Essigsud) or Müllerin (baked in almonds). A white Seewein (lake wine) from one of the vineyards around the lake provides the perfect pairing. Sample a German and a Swiss version. Both use the same kind of grape, from vineyards only a few miles apart, but they produce wines with very different tastes. The Swiss like their wines very dry, whereas the Germans prefer them slightly sweeter.

One of the best-known Swabian dishes is Maultaschen, a kind of ravioli, usually served floating in a broth strewn with chives. Another specialty is Pfannkuchen (pancakes), generally filled with meat, or chopped into fine strips and scattered in a clear consommé known as Flädlesuppe. Hearty Zwiebelrostbraten (beef steak with lots of fried onions) is often served with a side of Spätzle (hand-cut or pressed, golden soft-textured egg noodles) and accompanied by a good strong Swabian beer.

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