Today's post is going to be very short, but very sweet. Germany has changed quite a bit since my last visit. Things have been rearranged, and the store that used to have sweets now just has misc. trinkets. The old Hummel porcelain store has been replaced by a wonderful - but not very vegan-friendly - caramel store. In the interest of research, I did try to check out this new caramel place, but the line was so crazy long that I must confess to giving up on actually asking any questions. Unfortunately, most of the fresh stuff looks decidedly un-vegan, and all of the prepacked stuff I found was definitely not vegan. It is possible to make vegan caramel, but sadly, it isn't the norm.
I wasn't ready to give up, though. I had too many fond memories of visits to the old sweet shop in Germany, so just in case, I wandered over to the other side of the pavilion, and took a lot around the teddy bears, cuckoo clocks and beer steins. While the surprisingly large selection of vegan candy I used to find is gone, I did manage to find a decent display of chocolate - much of it vegan.
Most of the Hachez bars shown below are vegan. As always, it's very important to read the labels. I've tried a couple of these in the past - very dark chocolate... not bad, but not my favorite. However, I should probably try them again as I've found that my tastes continue to evolve, and I've adapted to darker and darker chocolate.
The real treat here, though, in my humble opinion, is the Ritter Sport bars. These are probably my favorite dark chocolate candy bars to date - not just from Germany, but from anywhere. Again, please read the packages. Just two of the bars shown below are vegan - a plain dark chocolate bar (in the brown wrapper), and a dark chocolate with marzipan (in the red wrapper). Both are unbelievably good. I was actually surprised at how much I like the marzipan - not something I really had any previous experience with. Now, these remain one of my favorite treats ever.
So, as I said, short but sweet. However, I can't leave the Germany pavilion without at least mentioning the wonderful model train display. It's a must-stop for me, every visit. (I must confess that I rather enjoy counting little lizards here. I get such a kick out of seeing these tiny little lizards that look huge when they crawl over those tiny little houses. No lizards in the photo below, but the village is decked out for the holidays.)
Guten Tag und vielen Dank fur Ihren Besuch. (Good day, and thanks for stopping by!)