So I’m on a business trip in Germany, slightly reluctantly (too close to Christmas, weather turning bad) and I discover that Kassel, where I am at a meeting of a European Project is the home town of the Brothers Grimm. Drawing a veil over the journey which was definitely in the Epic rather than F-T mode, there are F-T references everywhere. The Brothers huddle together in statue form in a slightly scruffy patch of grass, an open book clutched between them.
The Christmas Market sports a kind of windmill driven pagoda with life-size figures from Snow White in perpetual motion, and the carousel is painted with scenes from Little Red Riding Hood…
The wine at dinner one night is called ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ too – the venue for this meal is the tower of a ruined church (Cafe Luther), which would fill in for Rapunzel’s tower quite well (the giant metal doors of the tower room were stunning). Even the entrepreneurs we are here to meet bring us fairy-tale themed food. Bettina Trautwein, owner of a cafe and catering company serves up ‘fairy tale soup’ which turns out to be beetroot with sour cream and pumpkin oil – reflecting the red white and black theme at the start of Snow White, when her Mother’s blood falls in the snow… This is followed by a salad (I was hoping for Rapunzel here, as it was stolen Ransoms got her parents in trouble in the first place, but no) a salad which represented the rose forest around the goats cheese castle of Sleeping Beauty with a pastry kiss on top, and almonds scattered in the leaves. And the almonds? we ask… oh those are all the dead princes, Bettina says beaming. Slightly disconcerted, I eat my almonds. The food is excellent, and gets me thinking about how food features in fairy tales: gingerbread cottages and breadcrumbs in Hanzel and Gretel (and the potential for baked boy, too), poisoned apples in Snow White, that stolen garlic in Rapunzel.
The following day, business concluded, we are taken on a guided walk around the Bergpark Wilhelmehohe a fantasy landscape of folly castles, ‘ancient’ temples, and frozen waterfalls. We are told a ghost story… and leaving out the ghost, its a very good story indeed, which really captured my imagination.
soon it will be processed into something else entirely.
copyright Cherry Potts 2010