I ate curious foods around my grandparents' table, although they never struck me as unusual. When my family visited my grandparents, we’d gather around for an array of German products I never saw anywhere else: liverwurst, weisswurst, gooseberry fool, little pickles, dense, grainy bread, Westphalian ham. My grandmother hated the kitchen, but my grandfather loved food. It was around their table that my identity as “feinschmecker” was born.
Though she wasn’t much of a cook, my grandmother baked, and she passed down her love of sweets to me. Every visit brought the promise of cookies, cobbler, or my hands-down favorite plum torte.