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April 2007

Easter Eatings

If you’ve ever spent an early morning tiptoeing through a dewy garden to hide colored eggs in the wood stack or other nooks across your lawn, you know how important the sweet tales of the egg-decorating Easter Bunny are to us all. Those without their own garden can still let their children search for his special deliveries. On Easter Sunday, April 8, and also on April 9, the staff of the Hellabrunn Zoo will hide a generous bounty of chocolate eggs from Lindt across the grounds for children to discover: 80,000 to be exact. The search will take place from 10 am to 5 pm each day.

In recent years, the chocolate industry has been a formidable competitor to the hard-boiled or blown-out eggs of tradition. (And offered fervent repudiations of the suggestions that the same sweet eggs are made from recycled Santas.) Above all, we recommend a visit to a good confectionery: A nougat bunny or praline egg tastes only as good as its ingredients, and cheap chocol ate does not become better when pressed into an egg form. The confectionery section at Dallmayr is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. The Rischart bakery on Marienplatz also produces a wide selection of Easter delicacies. No Easter morning breakfast table would be complete, for example, without an exquisite Osterzopf (Easter braid). This simple, slightly sweet yeasty baked good tastes delicious with homemade marmelade. If the symbolism isn’t too over the top for you, buy an an innocent powder-dusted Osterlamm (Easter lamb) made of biscuit dough and slaughter it slice-wise at your breakfast table.

The night of Easter Sunday signals the end of the Lenten fast, which has been in effect since Ash Wednesday. On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, however, diners will still be stuck with meager meals. That doesn’t mean that they have to be tasteless. Kräutlsuppe (herb soup) is a tasty Bavarian specialty traditionally served on Maundy Thursday. Seven or nine fresh spring herbs, or simply just chervil alone, are mixed together into a hearty broth. Goethe’s favorite Maundy Thursday meal, by the way, was potatoes boiled in their jackets and then peeled, with the traditional Frankfurt green sauce.

Speaking of Goethe, I’m reminded of his famous “Easter Morning Walk,” from Faust. “From the ice they are freed, the stream and the brook,” he wrote. To shake off your own winter doldrums, make a short trip out of Munich in the direction of Rosenheim, and combine a refreshing walk with the visit to a comfortable pub: The Schlosswirtschaft Maxlrain (Maxlrain Castle Pub) between Bad Aibling and Tuntenhausen is a praiseworthy spot with its own small brewery, the most breath-taking Alpine views, and impeccable Bavarian-Italian cuisine. Happy Easter!