Bierkeller, Leeds – Bratwurst platte mit pommes und brötchen On arriving at this subterranean establishment I was greeted in typical Bavarian fashion by a stout barkeep, enigmatically introduced as John. Signage entreated me to accompany my fare with a premium quality stein but, in sympathy with the Spartan decor of whitewashed brick and roughly hewn wood, I opted for water.
As I sat at a dimly lit varnished wood bench, lost in the music of Public Enemy, K7 and Naughty by Nature which I reflected was not generally considered Germanic, my hot dog arrived in an asphalt black polythene basket.
In preparing the bratwurst sausage the chef had thoughtfully cut deep incisions saving me from the school boy error of biting directly into a sausage only to be scalded by hot meat juices. Sectioning the Bratwurst also afforded a look at the seasoning of the meat with fresh herbs that were distributed within with geometric precision, rather like a pointillism depiction of a field of autumnal anemones.
This was a sausage prepared with both aesthetic and practical considerations. Holding the crusty bread that encased it I felt that there was a distinctly French influence – perhaps this was an attempt to acknowledge the contested Rhine, the times that the boundary between Germany and France blurred.The addition of French Fries supported a rather more threatening rationale of the meal plan and of what remains Bavarian in some minds but this was tempered by UN stripes of blue and white on the grease proof paper the fries rested on. It was as if in its presentation this hotdog meal represented the delicate balance that we reach in peacetime, with the New York oriented soundscape reflecting the inescapable influence of other world powers. A truly thought provoking hotdog allowing a re-examination of international relations such as I have never previously experienced.
by :Geraldine Montgomerie