Flohmarkt Theresienwiese (Caramelized Pork Belly and Eggs)
The clouds finally made way for the sun on Saturday, April 18, 2015... and just in time for the giant and cult favorite flea market, Flohmarkt Theresienwiese. Two thousand exhibitors gathered for this one day annual event. The location? Why, the Oktoberfest fairgrounds! It was huge. You'd have to start very early in the morning to get a glimpse at all of the goods. We didn't have much time to spend... so, we made a quick sprint through the tables and grabbed a few things for the girls. The Flea Market Insiders have a nice recap of their experience from 2010 as well as a list of some of the best flea markets in Munich.
We love flea markets, and there's constantly one somewhere in Munich. I particularly love the neighborhood yard sales, Hofflohmarkt, that go on each summer weekend in a different neighborhood of Munich. It's a lovely experience to see all of your neighbors (and their personal items on display) and sneak a peek into hidden courtyards that you might never see passing by on the outer sidewalks!
Standing high above the Oktoberfest fairgrounds, was the bronze, sand cast 19th century Barvarian Statue of the female personification of Bavaria. She was commissioned by Ludwig I of Bavaria and was the first collosal statue since Classic Antiquity to be made entirely of bronze.
She is still a technological masterpiece - 60 feet 9inches (18.5 meters) high and 87 tons with an interior circular staircase leading to her head which has four openings for great views of Munich. For comparison, The Statue of Liberty stands at 90 meters.
The story behind the statue and the Bavarians' love of their country makes me see it like this.
We arrived early in the morning before the rides or games got started. All quiet was the ferris wheel, reisenrad in German. In 2002, this 50 meter ride became a permanent fixture of the Oktoberfest. I've never been to the Oktoberbest before... but I'm gradually getting an idea of the size and fun to be had in this annual event.
On the north side of the fairground sits St. Paul's Church. Built in 1892-1906, the Roman Catholic cathedral was designed by an Austrian architect, Georg von Hauberrisser in the Gothic Revival Style. The height of the main tower is 97 meters.
During World War II, the church was heavily damaged and in 1960, a plane, from Munich to London, crashed into the 318 feet steeple and continued on to crash into a crowded two section Munich tram. All passengers and crew aboard the flight perished, including a group of students on holiday from the University of Maryland.
This church felt very modern, relatively new. It didn't have a lot of the old gloom and gore that I've seen in older churches. Many even have old body parts on display!!
. . .
But on we go... the weekend was short... mostly because I've been dealing with some tooth issues... and no one can feel inspired to do anything when their tooth hurts. So, I made a pot of Caramelized Pork Belly with Hard-Boiled Eggs - to boost the moods and comfort level in the house!
Caramelized Pork Belly with Hard-Boiled Eggs
adapted from Vietnamese Soul Food
1.5 lb boneless pork belly
2 nobs of ginger
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1/8 C sugar
1/8 C fish sauce
2 medium shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 C liquids (use coconut juice or soda, which is traditional. I used 2C Coke + 1C water)
4 green onions (finely chopped green part for garnish, 2 inch segments of white part for cooking)
1. Cut pork belly into large 1-2in cubes. Boil a pot of water. Add the ginger and pork and par boil for 5 min. Remove from heat and rinse pork and pot.
2. Back on the stove, add sugar, 1 Tbsp water, and brown. Stir constantly until a golden brown color is reached.
3. Add the pork. Stir til all meat is covered with the caramelized sugar sauce. Add fish sauce, pepper, and the minced aromatics. Cook until everything is melded together and all aromatics softened.
4. Pour in the liquids. (Traditionally, one would use coconut water or soda. I had none on hand and so used Coca-cola instead.)
5. Cover and simmer for on low heat for 45 minutes.
6. Add the hard-boiled eggs. Cook for a minimum of 30 minutes... or let it simmer for an hour or until soft.
You will notice that the pork feels 'rubbery' for a while... have patience... there will be a point when you poke at it that it is super soft and ready to serve. Don't serve it before it reaches this point!!