Happy New Year, Frohes Neues Jahr, and Selamat Tahun Baru! to all!!!
Wishing you all a great start to 2019!
First of all, thank you so much for visiting this blog. I’m surprised that there are any readers, as I’ve neglected it for so long, but according to the stats, you are out there. Dankeschön, どうもありがとうございました, Merci beaucoup! I hope you will find useful information here, even if some of it seems outdated. My sincere apologies for not keeping it up. I will make efforts to update it more regularly.
Muggle and I are now officially back in Munich, Minga, München, since the end of September 2018. Our three years in the States were simply lovely. So much happened that I’m just going to gloss over it for now. I’ll come back to it another time.
We’ve been so warmly welcomed back home, it’s touching and overwhelming. There are still a lot of people whom I need to meet. And there’s a lot to do. Besides my freelancing (as a writer and communication professional), I also am helping my husband build our house in Augsburg, and that is a huge project, especially with all the administrative work associated with it.
Which is why I’ve been going to Augsburg a hellofalot lately. And why this post will be about the goodies in and near Augsburg.
And, I can’t stress this enough, it is really important to know what is available in the Augsburg vicinity. I’ve visited restaurants, bakeries and patisseries in New York, Paris, London (though it’s been a while), New Jersey and California, and I have to say that some of the best gluten-free goodies in the world can be found in Aichach, of all places.
Where is it, you may ponder? Aichach is about 45-minutes north-west of Munich, close to Augsburg. It’s a small town with a population of circa 21,000 people and a cute little pedestrian zone complete with a cute little Christmas market. But most importantly, it is home to the amazing bakery that is the Konditorei Schenkel – the Mecca of gluten-free goodness. It has been mentioned in various gluten-free blogs, and for good reason.
First of all, it’s a dedicated gluten-free bakery. That means that it’s safe for celiacs, which is a rare thing to find in the world. You can find gluten-free breads, cookies, pralines, and most important of all: cakes! Oh the number of times I simply drooled while someone else got to enjoy their afternoon coffee and cake, I cannot count. But at Konditorei Schenkel, I myself, and other gf-ers, can eat not one but many varieties of cakes, cookies, breads. And they look, smell and taste good! Between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, they even serve Chili, Spätzle, and Kaiserschmarrn.
Last Friday, after having been there a few times, I finally managed to bring Muggle with me. We took home five different pieces of cake, one of which I ate, one of which I saved in the fridge and the rest of which I froze, so I can enjoy one lovely slice on my upcoming birthday, one on the day before, and one the day after.
For years now I’ve had to make my own birthday cake. Since 2001, in fact, when I got my diagnosis. That is 18 years of the same chocolate or coffee-flavored concoctions, year after year. A whole generation of children has been born, grown up and become adults since, and I’m still making the same two cakes over and over. The decorations do get better and more creative each time, and I know how to make it with my eyes closed, and I know usually whether or not it’s going to taste good.
I’ve had literally 18 years of feigning nonchalance and reassuring people with fluff such as, “Oh no, don’t worry about me, I’m fine, enjoy!” or “I’m full anyways, I don’t need anything else,” while they devour their Schwarzwälderkirsch Torte and the like. Seriously, who in the world feels okay about being the only one not eating a chunk of something chocolatey lathered with something butter-creamy? Hmmh?
FINALLY. I too can Eat. My. Heart. Out., wreak havoc on my insulin levels and cultivate cavities by overdosing on Christmas cookies and raspberry tart. It’s a First-World rite of passage in which I can now also take part. And really, it’s hard to explain what a game-changer it is for people like us. I can walk into a bakery and order myself a slice of Sachertorte and be on my merry way. When does that ever happen?
Never mind the fact that I had to drive 45 minutes to get there. ‘Tis a small sacrifice. After talking to owner and head baker Herr Schenkel (hence the name), we learned that 45 minutes is, in fact, nothing. Regulars come from all over Germany – some from over 200 km away – to get their fix, every two weeks or so. We asked him to open a branch in Munich, and this became a longer conversation which I hope to address in another blog entry. Suffice it to say that we will be going to Aichach many years to come.
And I’m happy to do so. You know so many weird things have gone on all over the world lately that it’s easy to get discouraged. But this, this little slice of gluten-free haven tucked away between Augsburg and Ingolstadt is something to be grateful for. Herzlichen Dank Herr Schenkel! is what I can say.
And what about Augburg itself? Well, there is Vollwert-Bäckerei Schubert. They have a few locations in Augsburg – I’ve driven past their store at the Schlachthof location – the Schlachthof Viertel is always cool – and there’s the small branch at the City Market in the center of town. They serve a small selection of gluten-free and sometimes also dairy-free breads and baked goods. I posted a couple of pics of their sweeties below. They were good, but of course it’s hard to compare those to Schenkel’s.
And while you’re in the City Market, you should also check out the Viktualienhall, where you will find a stand that serves a gluten-free pasta dish, as well as a Thai stand that also offers a number of gluten-free options. The curries there were good and did not taste generic – so I think they must make their own curry pastes, which is great.
I imagine that I will spend a bit more time in Augsburg the next months, so if there are any more interesting places to mention, I will do so. In the meantime, I will end the post here.
Below are some pictures of the goodies and goodness from Augsburg and Aichach. Guten!