15 April 2011
Posted in Sights and Sounds
April 16, 2011
You may recall my previous blog post about my winning picture in the Pfalz tourism competition, where I had won my very own 2-year-old sweet almond tree as part of the spoils. Mandy (I have chosen this name, as in German almond is translated to Mandel) was planted last autumn on top of a hill that overlooks the quaint town of Birkweiler, and she had done so with quite an audience! In the attendance of her inauguration was: her carer Klaus, the Major of Birkweiler, Nina the marketing whiz who had a hand in choosing my picture, Karl-Heinz a wine-maker from Dr Wehrheim wines, and Sophie the lovely wine princess of the Birkweiler/Siebeldingen region. Since the 30s in the Palatine- Pfalz wine region, a wine princess is elected and crowned yearly, to promote the local wineries through her welcoming speeches at festivals and wine tastings, and in doing so she is required to have knowledge from about the vine to the wine.
Another one of our weekend spoils last autumn, was the praline tour through the nearby town of Leinsweiler through the guidance of our hostess. Silke had given us an insight about the sweet and bitter almond shells through our tree-lined walk. Not only are almonds a great source of protein; 30 almonds will give you your recommended dietary intake of vitamin E. This subtle, buttery flavoured nut is a versatile nut as it is widely used in a variety of recipes. Along our route we had eaten the almond flavoured pralines, a sample of the almond flavoured jelly and the exquisite taste of almond liquor that are produced locally.
A few weeks after Mandy's planting, another 19 sweet young almond trees had been placed out evenly beneath her. The local residents had supported the tree augmentation, by purchasing these extra almond trees for the purpose to brighten up the hilly area for their tourists. This coming weekend, Mandy and her blossomed friends will find themselves with the company of springtime picnickers; we will be laying out our picnic blankets with our local foods and wines, whilst in the midst of their lovely colouring that resembles "coconut ice."