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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Of Enchanted Forests and Pork Knuckles

Hansel and Gretel were abandoned in a dark, labyrinthine forest. Snow White ran for her life in a haunted forest. Sleeping Beauty slumbered in her castle in an impenetrable forest of briars and thorns. Issac met the devil in an ancient, magical forest in the movie The House With A Clock In Its Walls.

So where is this forest, the backdrop to stories like these and many more?

"... he was lost
in the Black Forest.
Now, that is a very old place
with very old magic.
It's where the Brothers Grimm
wrote their histories." - Florence Zimmerman (The House With A Clock In Its Walls)

Ah, the enchanted Black Forest, where tales are spun: sinister, fanciful, whimsical, mysterious, mythical, magical ...

When our tour guide mentioned that lunch in the Black Forest was next in our itinerary, the ominous name suggested mystery – spooky paths in gloomy, forbidding woods inhabited by nymphs, goblins, witches, demons, werewolves...

But what I imagined was farther from the truth! The Black Forest is, in fact, a picturesque region of mountain ranges, fairy-tale villages and lakes.

Heck, the forest isn't even black but a dark shade of green!

The dense canopy of trees overhead blocks out most of the sunlight making the forest appear almost black from a distance, hence the name Black Forest. In more ancient times, the forest was reputedly so dense and black that stepping inside it was like walking into abyssal darkness.

Besides the Grimm brothers, the Black Forest is also home to cuckoo clocks, thermal spas, pork knuckles and its namesake cake.

It is said that the best cuckoo clocks are carved from the Linden trees found in the Black Forest. Interestingly, the history of the cuckoo clock, however, is a topic of debate among clock makers. The identity of the person who first invented the cuckoo clock, until today, remains a mystery.

Our pork knuckle lunch at  Zur Mühle · Café & Brauhaus in Titisee

Titisee is a lake in the southern Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg. There are several theories behind the name of this beautiful lake. According to an old Black Forest legend, babies are not delivered by the stork but they come from this lake!  In Alemanni, "teti" means baby and "see" (pronounced as zay) is lake, hence the name Titisee.

Lake Titisee against the  mysterious Black Forest backdrop

Zur Mühle · Café & Brauhaus
Image source: Google

The name pork knuckle doesn't sound very appetizing, does it? But it does sound kinda amazing when you say SH-vines-HAKS-eh!

Schweinshaxe(German) is tender and juicy pork knuckle wrapped in a salty and roasted skin.

Served with brown gravy,  fries and sauerkraut.
 Crispy on the outside and fork-tender on the inside!

Bestest Black Forest cake ever!

Contrary to popular belief, the name Black Forest Cake isn't named after the famous Black Forest in Germany, but refers to the liqueur from that region called kirschwasser that is made from the deep red cherries that the Black Forest is famous for.

Some sources claim that the name of the cake is inspired by the traditional costume of the women of the Black Forest region : the dress is as black as chocolate shavings, the blouse as white as cream and the Bollenhut hat consists of a white base with red pompoms, which are reminiscent of cherries.
image source - wikipedia
image source -

Black Forest Gateau - a chocolate layer cake filled with Kirsch-flavored whipped cream and sour Morello cherries, topped with chocolate curls.

Musings Of A Tired Mummy


  1. Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

  2. That looked like another nice place to visit! Did you find yourself gaining weight on this trip with all that delicious food available? Did you also find your stomach not agreeing with some of the food it might not be used to? I liked that lake; that would be a great thing to see in person!


  3. Ahhhh, yes. I have heard of the cake. But, I'll take the REAL forest instead. Great tour. I have ancestors from...Baden-Württemberg

  4. Switzerland and all its perks! I am sooo happy that you had so much fun there, Veronica. You know what, I'm heading back to Geneva for meetings this Saturday. Hope I have some time to enjoy the city!

  5. Those dishes look amazing!! I have had black forest cake - yum!

  6. Wow,splendid times!!!I can see how beautiful everything was!!!So happy for you!Thanks for sharing!!��������

  7. Wow that is so much information.. I didn't know about the cake!
    It all looks so picturesque.

  8. Well, I have learned something new. I have read all of the fairy tales mentioned but did not know the forest is based on the Black Forest, although it makes perfect sense from your lovely post. I am a vegetarian so will skip the food except to say the Black Forest cake looks yummy and again I did not know the name was from a liqueur.

  9. Nice post loved all the photos and the food LQQKS delicious :-)

  10. The name Black Forest does bring up images of fairy tales to me. Your photos and words took me on a tour with you. Thanks!

  11. I'd never heard of pork knuckles. It looks like it would be worth trying!!!
    Thanks for sharing at

  12. When I think of the Black Forest, the first thing that comes to mind is Black Forest Cake. Looks delicious!

  13. All the food looks so good! I needed that cake on the 21st - my birthday. I was out of town. No cake for me. I should make one.

  14. Oh very cute photos darling~ Look like a great place

  15. I'm hungry and looking at all this food isn't helping one bit.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

  16. Beautiful photos. I would pass on the pig knuckles, but I would love to try that cake.

  17. great read. it brought back memories of our trip to the black forest. :)

  18. Beautiful place. We used to have a Swiss bakery near our village and amongst other things they made the most delicious Black Forest gateaux. The pork knuckles look good too.

  19. Sounds great! It's a place I'd love to visit, the culture is so rich and intriguing and I always find the German people warm and friendly. Those pork knuckles look fabulous too, you've made me hungry!

  20. The food looks absolutely amazing ! And sounds like a great trip

  21. Such a beautiful part of the world and love that the Black Forest has inspired so many fairy tales as well as a fabulous gateau! Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

  22. I learn so much from your posts. And, I would love to try the pork knuckle. Germany is on my Buckle List. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best.