Take a tour of Bob’s taste buds

Take a tour of Bob's taste buds By by Bob Karolevitz By the time you read this, the annual Schmeckfest in Freeman will be gastronomical history.

Once again we traveled to the Hutchinson County town to stuff ourselves with Mennonite delicacies.

We had D�mpfleish (stewed beef), Gebratene Kartoffeln (fried potatoes), K�se mit Kn�pfle (cheese buttons), Geschm�cke (relishes) and more.

I passed up the Gr�ne Schauble Suppe (green bean soup) which Phyllis liked, and settled for a bowl of Nudle Suppe (you know what that is).

Goodness knows, I had to save room for the Pluma Moos (dried fruit sauce), the Obstkrapfen (fruit pockets) and various kinds of Kuchen. Needless to say, I may never eat again!

The Freeman folks have been doing this since 1959, and they've got it down to a science. They're "sold out" well in advance each year, and the proceeds from "the festival of tasting" go to the Freeman Academy.

They also put on a musical to go with the Schmeckfest. This year we saw Oliver; and, believe me, there's not much difference between it and the New York production. There's a lot of talent in that Mennonite community!

To add to it, we have a reunion, of sorts, with our newspaper friends at this event. Tim and Mary Waltner with their son, Jeremy, of the Freeman Courier put it all together. (Tim, incidentally, was director of Oliver.)�Anyway, it was a happy and gustatorial time!

It also got me thinking about all the ethnic foods I've been exposed to. Having a Norwegian/Danish wife, I've enjoyed lefse, rullep�lsa, aebleskivers and krumkaker, but even if I like it Phyllis doesn't allow lutefisk in our house.

She has tried to make Polish pierogis for me, but the results weren't too gratifying. She never did try to cook up a pot of Zupa rybn (fish head soup), and I'm glad!

Actually I much prefer Italian ravioli to the Polish pierogis, although they are both little pillows of dough stuffed with meat and/or other ingredients.

When I wrote about the Black Hills, I became acquainted with pasties which Welsh miners carried in their dinner buckets. Of course I had to try them, too.

The pasty was tasty, but I can't say the same for Scottish haggis. They grind up too much marginal organ parts which they mix with suet and oatmeal. Then they boil all that mess in what used to be a sheep's stomach.

I ate a little bit of it in Scotland (the country) and at a Bobby Burns Night here in South Dakota. It's a good excuse for drinking Scotch whiskey.

Phyllis and I both enjoy Chinese food which I like to eat with chopsticks (just to show off). We especially remember a restaurant called the Tai Tung in Seattle where the elderly Chinamen ate. You couldn't see in the windows because they were covered with steam from the kitchen.

After World War II I had beef teriyaki in Japan when meat was hard to come by. As I recall, it was prepared by a pretty kimonoed gal over an open fire on some sort of griddle.

I didn't try kimchii when I was in Korea, though, because I heard it tasted too much like sauerkraut � which I also passed up at the Freeman Schmeckfest.

I am fond of most south-of-the-border dishes like tacos, tamales and enchiladas; I especially go for refried beans.

However, when I heard that cow lips go into some Mexican recipes, I had second thoughts. I've eaten Southern grits, Creole alligator and Pennsylvania scrapple, but when it comes right down to it � being a native South Dakotan � I'm mostly a meat and potatoes man myself.

I also go for American apple pie!

© 2003 Robert F. Karolevitz

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