In Köhln, a town of monks and bones,
And pavements fang’d with murderous stones
And rags, and hags,
and hideous wenches;
I counted two and seventy stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks!
Ye Nymphs that reign o’er sewers and sinks,
The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Cologne” (1834)
It was a very dreary day in Cologne but that did stop us from hitting all of the main spots: Kölner Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral; Farina House, The Fragrance Museum and birthplace of Eau de Cologne; and the Schokoladen Museum, the chocolate museum! All of these site worked up quite the appetite and it was time to try some local cuisine! We began with raclette, a heated and melted cheese that was scrapped off onto a piece of garlic bread. YUM! Then it was finally time to try flammlachs; the salmon is marinated in sea salt, peppercorn, chili, paprika and juniper berries then smoked against a wooden board. Then finally for dessert we could not leave Germany without a sweet cheese strudel! To celebrate our last night in Germany we participated in a Beer Culture Crawl where we were able to walk through the illuminated alleys of Cologne and sample Kölsch at the different brewpubs, known as brauhaus. Kölsch is the champagne of beer, it is only allowed to be brewed in a certain area of Germany in ordered to be considered a Kölsch. There are also many rules to drinking Kölsch that we learned about:
1. The waiters serving Kölsch is called a Köbes and in their line of work the customer is never right; the Köbes is always right.
2. Every time the customer buys a drink, he/she should also buy a drink for the Köbes, this is in place of tipping the Köbes.
3. The Köbes carries the Kölsch to the table in a circular tray called a “crown” which is specifically designed for Kölsch glasses called stangen. Stangen are very tall and thin and Kölsch is meant to be drunk in a few sips so the beer is always cold.
4. A customer will not be served a drink unless there is a coaster on the table in front of the person.
5. When drinking Kölsch, you do not need to order another round. Once your drink is finished, the Köbes will automatically bring another round. If you do not want to immediately be given another round, put your coaster on top of your glass and that shows the Köbes that you are done.
6. And at last, Prost! (Cheers!)