Well, I really like vegetables: a good coleslaw with carrots in it, a fresh Tabbouleh salad, steamed broccoli with almond slices in butter ...
But I am not at all a vegetarian. So when the theme “Food” came up I instantly thought of my favourite local butcher. Already when studying at University I bought my meat, sausages, smoked ham etc. at the market stall of Max Reichenbach at the Freiburg Cathedral Market. (There is still a Reichenbach stall there – just a few meters from the position shown in Reinhard Schmolze’s Panorama
for this event).
When Max’s son, Ulrich Reichenbach, took over the business in 1995, he built a completely new butchery conforming to the latest EC requirements, where he is still using the traditional Black Forest methods and recipes. I always wanted to have a closer look at it. So I grasped this opportunity to ring him up and was accordingly invited to come along and take some panoramas.
In my panorama you can see one of the maturation rooms for smoked ham, bacon and sausages. The making of the famous Black Forest Smoked Ham is a rather complicated process: raw ham without bones is salted and seasoned together with garlic, juniper berries and other spices and herbs. The ham then cures for about two weeks, after which the salt is removed and the ham is curing for another fortnight. The ham then is smoked in a special chamber for roundabout three weeks at 25°C (77°F). The smoke is generated by burning twigs from fir. After the smoking the ham remains in the maturation room for at least 3 months. There are some types of sausages that are also smoked: They have to mature in this room for some time as well. For his ham and sausages, Ulrich Reichenbach only takes local pigs.
The best way to enjoy this very tasty ham is a so-called “Vesper.” All you need for this is fresh bread – preferably from a wooden oven – slices of ham (about one-finger thick), butter, cottage cheese and pickled cucumbers (last three optional), a drop of the local red wine “Roter Bur” (the latter, by the way, for me not optional, rather mandatory), a wooden plate plus a very sharp knife.
It is rather a pity that the WWP does not offer the possibility to upload aromas. After taking two panoramas in different maturation rooms I was very perceptibly soaked in this rather distinctive scent of Black Forest smoke.