After our relaxing weekend in Munich, we got right back to learning with a visit to the Technical Institute of Munich. This is one of the top schools in Germany for food science related departments. We were treated to lectures on the starch research and analytical testing done at the University. In addition to our lectures, there were several tours, which were another great insight into analytical testing. We had tours of their Department of Food Science and Brewery Science facilities. There was even a miniature baking line! They even provided a lunch for us–it was very delicious and thirst quenching. And, they had Bretzel (pretzels–also spelled Brezen) for us–but you had to be quick because everyone seemed to enjoy these pretzels that were dipped in NaOH (sodium hydroxide, also called lye). But don’t worry, even though NaOH is caustic, it will evaporate off and you will live after consuming this lecker (delicious) Bretzel. The function of the NaOH is to give the characteristic brown color, thin, crunchy, and slightly chewy crust. Sadly, not all pretzel manufacturers in the United States go through this process, thus one on the reasons why Sarah G. will not eat pretzels in the USA.
Once we had soaked in all we could at the Institute, we departed to see Kampffmeyer’s Rosenmuhle flour and rye mill in Ergolding, Germany. This was the second time we were able to tour a Kampffmeyer mill and it was equally as intriguing as the first. On our guided tour, we were able to see the unique processing steps that sets this mill apart as one of Bavaria’s finest. One of the tour highlights was the automatic truck loading station. This piece of equipment moved an incoming truck into position for cleaning and filling with the utmost of precision. (Those German engineers! They are always so creative and innovative.) Many of the GRSC students could stand and watch the packaging section of the process flow for hours–it is so interesting how all of the machines move at once and how they are organized. (I thought it was fun seeing Rosenmehl flour at a grocery store in southern Germany and being able to say that I saw first-hand how they produce this flour!) All and all, it was another great tour and insight into the global milling industry.
The day ended with dinner at the restaurant adjacent to the world’s oldest brewery. Sadly, due to time constraints, we were unable to tour the Weihenstephan brewery, but dinner was fantastic!
Sarah G. is allowed one mistake in German, right? Sarah G. is sorry that she took Sarah M.’s dinner. But it was soon all cleared up and Sarah G. is now inspired to make both German dishes at home. (Sarah G. got picked on for the rest of the trip because of this mistake, haha.)