English may be the international language of commerce, but love of food is the language of international unity. I am in Dusseldorf, Germany, to attend a beloved niece’s wedding, and to sightsee for a few days. Through a coincidence of incredible stupidity and a moment of inattentiveness, I lost my wallet. I did get it back the next day, (and I won’t bore you with the details of that), but going through the motions of what to do when one is that stupid, I stopped at the police station to file a report.
The very polite and extremely efficient young police officer, taking the details and my contact information, asked for my email address. When I said foodcritic.ca, his eyes lit up–I had inadvertently, through a twist of fate, connected with a foodie.
After chatting about the local fare, authentic german dishes, and a small town with a mustard mill I should see, I left the station with a list of recommended restaurants to eat, google maps and directions of how to get to each one. Over food, an instant connection is made. Lost wallets and other miserable things are forgotten for the moment, language barriers come tumbling down, and the world seems like a much friendlier place. I headed back to my hotel feeling much more upbeat, much happier than the circumstance warranted, simply for having shared in the purest love, that of good food.
On this day, the wurst overcame the worst.