We had such a funny encounter in the Matsuya department store – we took the escalator down to the food hall in the basement and immediately smelt cinnamon, sugar and almonds.
We thought our imagination was playing tricks on us, but when we turned around and followed the smell, we came to a small booth selling nuts coated in sugar and cinnamon, a treat that both Patrick and I grew up with. ‘Gebrannte Mandeln’ are being sold at the Oktoberfest as well as various festivals and Christmas markets in Munich and we both enjoy them very much.
The booth was called ‘The Nutty Bavarian’ – and was run by a lovely Japanese guy. He offered us different nuts to try – telling us how great they are, that they are German quality and really delicious.
In fact they did taste like the ones we grew up with. Patrick and I were both smiling and we told the vendor that the almonds taste as good as the originals.
When we purchased a (very expensive) pack of hot sugar almonds the Japanese guy asked us if we were from Europe, when we said Bavaria he thought we’d be playing tricks on him. But we did convince him in the end that we both are from Munich and know exactly how ‘gebrannte Mandeln’ should taste like and the ones we just bought matched the original ones! We left a very happy Japanese guy behind.