I was laughing when I picked up a brochure from our local deli shop about events and happenings in Münich and I have found among the recommandations the Potato museum. But after leafing through the booklet I realized that it is not exaggeration to say that the most important Bavarian food the one that foreigners most readily associate not just with Bavaria but also with Germany as a whole- is the potato.
Have been living in Münich for four years already it is not hard to behold that Bavarians love their side dishes the best of all the potatoes. Potatoes grace the table in about a hundred different ways, boiled and buttered, pan fried roasted, in sweet or savory potato salad, as pommes frites, large potato dumplings, and so on and on. Even it doesn’t say on the menu, it is good bet whatever you order it will show up with a serving of some kind of potato. I always wondered what the Irish and Bavarians ate before the potato was brought to Europe from South-America. If I’ve keyed up your enquiry and now you want to know more about this topic you must visit the potato museum in Münich.
The museum is actually an institution of Eckart Otto Foundation and was opened in 1996 in Munich. It shows a diverse collection of exhibits around the potato and it is the world’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the potato in art and art-historical terms. When you enter to the museum the centerpiece is an extensive photo collection. You can see here from oil paintings and watercolors of engravings to drawings, lithographs and prints to naive reverse glass painting and modern graphics, everything is represented, which has something to do with the potato and / or produced from their products.
The extensive collection of books of the Otto Eckart Foundation documented diverse and extensive career of the potato. For scientific purposes, the museum opens gladly, by appointment, his large library. Discovered by Columbus, the cultivation of potatoes in Germany in 1997 celebrated its 350 anniversary. Significantly involved in the rise of the potato in Germany was the Prussian king Frederick II promoter-potato cultivation since the Inca period artists were fascinated and inspired by the theme of potato. These historical documents also reflect the change in appreciation of this important crop. The museum is divided into eight thematically self-contained rooms such as:
1. History of the potato: From Inca gold to people’s food 2. Flowers, plants, tubers and harvest 3. Planting seeds –fling 4. Market scenes 5. Multi-talented potato: whether tape or gummy bears, the potato is always with 6. Rarities, collection 7. Prince and pauper’s dish meal 8. Gallery of modern art of potatoes
The best French potato salad
Ingredients: 2 small potatoes for each persons, cooked in boiling water and peeled, salt, pepper, 2 dl extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbs of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 onion, bunch of fresh basil leaves or dried, 1 teaspoon dill
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water, and cook until tender 25-30 minutes. Peel and transfer to a large bowl. Cut potatoes while still hot, into 1 inch pieces. Set aside to cool.
2. Chop or grate the onion. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, the mustard, a bit of lemon juice, then add red wine (raspberry) vinegar and stir until has reached a smooth velvety texture. 3. Season with salt and pepper. Toss over cooled potatoes and onion mixture the basil, the dill, and some fresh cilantro until evenly coated. Mix everything carefully together and chill until serving.
It is an excellent side dish with a fried Wiener schnitzel or with a fried fish..