This story begins where it ends: Germany. Before coming here I’d only the faintest notion of what a “Schnitzel” was. Though I had taken for granted that it was both German and edible, I wasn’t inclined to further investigate this phenomenon until it began appearing on the menus of my every dining experience. I can now state with relative confidence that the primary attributes of this traditional dish are as follows: boneless meat, thinned with a meat tenderizer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. The most common meats chosen for this delicate process are Veal, Chicken, and Pork. While I’ve never yet had a Schnitzel made from Rabbit or Cornish Game Hen, those eccentric choices would both fit within the definition as outlined.
My first two weeks of dinner meals here were like a series of blind dates. Trying this and trying that, not knowing if I was ready to make a commitment, but enjoying the thrill nonetheless. It’s as if Schnitzel and I were eyeing each other this whole time, but weren’t yet ready for each other. I needed to play the field first. But when that day came in which my lips first met Schnitzel, I knew there was no other dish for me. It was as if all the Pretzels and Sausages in the world glimmered away into nothingness, leaving me and my new love alone in a fit of passion. I knew it was the real deal when I saw the mustache of the quaint eatery’s proprietor. This man was German with a capital G. Yes I’ll have ein Bier also, danke!
The honeymoon phase of our relationship transpired as any does. We were seeing one another weekly. Often it was at a different place every time, but I was always the one to pick up the tab. Sure, I was seeing the occasional Cheeseburger and Sushi platter on the side, but I always made it clear where my priorities lied. The weeks went by and we only became closer and closer. It wasn’t until mid October, right around Fall Break that we had our first fight. Surely it was the chef who was to blame, or maybe even the restaurant owner charging 17 euro for subpar fried meat products, but the time came when I needed to be alone from Schnitzel. Off I went to the Italian countryside, as far away as I could get, hoping that nothing there would remind me of that tender(ized) love of mine.
Upon my return things picked up from where they left off, but with the understanding that there is such a thing as seeing too much of one another. We both knew that I would eventually be leaving, and keeping things casual in the meantime might soften the blow when it comes. There have been ups and downs throughout, but I know I’ve grown as a person (because it’s very unhealthy to eat).
We’ll be seeing each other tonight. One last meating, if you will.