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.
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 is reminiscent of cherries.
|image source - wikipedia|
|image source - www.gusto.at|
Black Forest Gateau - a chocolate layer cake filled with Kirsch-flavored whipped cream and sour Morello cherries, topped with chocolate curls.