Even though I’d spent most of the winter longing for sunshine, I wasn’t prepared for the first day of the year with temperatures over 85 degrees. By late afternoon, it was warmer indoors than out, and just thinking about preparing dinner over a hot stove had me sweating. So, we decided to head to the Eis Café in the neighboring village to beat the heat with a bowl of our favorite German summer treat: Spaghetti Eis, or spaghetti ice cream.
Classic Spaghetti Eis is made to look like a bowl of pasta topped with a hearty helping tomato sauce. Scoops of vanilla ice cream are pushed through a potato ricer or Spätzle press to form the noodles. The dish is garnished with a drizzle of marinara (strawberry or raspberry sauce) and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (flaked coconut, grated almonds or white chocolate shavings). I grew up in East Texas, where Blue Bell reigns supreme. It might be considered blasphemy to say I like Spaghetti Eis better, so I’ll play it safe and say I like it as much as a bowl of Homemade Vanilla.
Spaghetti Eis isn’t the only magical item on the menu at Eis Cafés.
Eis Kaffee is another favorite of mine. It’s similar to a root beer float, only with chilled coffee and scoops of frozen cream instead of soda and vanilla.
Anything with Amarena in its name is also a great choice. Amarena Kirschen are luscious dark cherries that have been soaked in sugar, almond liqueur (Amaretto) and vanilla extract. They are so heavenly, my husband and I scoured the internet for an authentic traditional recipe so we could make our own batch at home.
Hankering for a traditional ice cream sundae? Choose from the selection of Becher dishes, which are scoops of ice cream layered between tropical fruit, berries or liqueurs and topped with decadent sauces and a swirl of (typically unsweetened) whipped cream.
Then there’s the kids’, or Kinder, menu, which often features scoops of ice cream and waffle cookies made to look like familiar characters, such as clowns, bumble bees and even Mickey Mouse.
You really can’t go wrong.
In Germany, it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy ice cream for dinner on a warm summer day. Many Eis Cafés, or ice cream shops, are full service restaurants with outdoor seating so you can sit and enjoy sweet treats at your leisure.
If anyone catches you off guard by asking what you ate last night, don’t panic.
Calmly smile and say, “we had spaghetti.” 😉
Your secret’s safe with me.