Sprawled across Kiel’s Rathaus platz is the sparkly, scented jewel in Kieler Woche’s crown; the International Food Market. It is a veritable glut of fruity, spicy, creamy curries (from Nepal, Pakistan India, Africa, Thailand), cheeses (soft, hard, creamy, crumbly, blue, yellow, white, married and combined) bread (fried, woodfired, herbed, filled, laden with all sorts of treats) meats (cow, sheep, deer, elk, kangaroo, crocodile, chicken, combination sausages) pastries sweet and savoury, noodles, pasta, pizza, burgers, wines, beers, ciders … glut. Gluttony. Glorious.
It was here we rang in Kieler Woche, first with a cider at the UK stand, then a couple of sparklings at the Aussie stand, then with yet more cider at the Irish stand. And a creamy chicken curry with piping hot poppadoms to finish it all off, (natürlich). It was here, the following day, sore of head and empty of belly, SG and I strolled around and sampled Spain (chorizo) Argentina (cheese-filled Empanada) Australia* (prawns and a delicious burger with a beef patty, feta and salad) India (another curry) and Finland (beer.) And also here, the day after that, we returned to add Hungary (a hot, fried Langosch covered in garlic sauce and sour cream) to the list. Full, but facing the prospect of empty cupboards at home, we bought a oily, pesto-y, salsa-y sauce from Argentina, stopped by France and bought a pot of fig and mustard cream cheese, then by a German bread booth for two hot, herby Kraütertaler bread. Last night was Portuguese tostada, and chorizo in a redwine sauce. A glass of white sangria. A French Flammkuchen.
Gluttony. Glorious global gluttony.
We have no food in the house, so dinner will probably be there tonight, What am I saying, probably. Will be. And the next day and the day after that. I still haven’t had a Belgian waffle, Green Thai curry or a Serbian meatball that looks a little like Keftethes. Or much of anything, really. It would be a crime not to go back.
*I felt pure, unadulterated relief when the Australian stall came into sight. Not a kangaroo burger, crocodile skewer or cringe-worthy stereotype in sight. Except for Fosters. But I can overlook that.