As expected, there are a variety of flavors and ingredients that are unique to Germany, unique to Central Europe and Europe as a whole that just are not available to us in the United States. One of those flavorful ingredients is something called Waldmeister, “Master of the Wood.”
Waldmeister is a flowering ground cover found primarily in the shady undergrowth of the forest which we, here in America, call Woodruff, sweet woodruff. In the States it is primarily used in holistic medicine. I had never heard of it as a food source until I started to explore an online deli and saw this bright green syrup. Ever the geek, I did a little research.
Foraged in Germany in May, it is used in a variety of drinks, Maibowle for one, as a digestive aid. It is also purported to have some calming effects. I imagine the syrup must be important to a lot of recipes though I have yet to find anything using the Waldmeister outside of a gelatin dessert.
My pen pal sent me a package of Götter Speise from the Dr. Oetker company as part of that Christmas package. Unlike the product from the Jell-O™ people, the sugar is not added. Two packets of powdered gelatin cost 1.29 Euro at Amazon. You add the sugar, or whatever sweetener works for you. She can’t tell me why they call it Götter Speise instead of Waldmeister. It’s just a thing.
Traditionally it is served with a vanilla cream sauce, which Oetker also sells. I had nothing on hand to make a traditional sauce. But still…. the flavors were wonderful. My housemate got to sample this wildly unfamiliar product and deemed it edible. I Beyond that, once you get used to the fact that it lacks a distinct fruit flavor, it becomes a brilliant flavor treat all on its own. But it takes a few bites for the American palate to really relate to the flavor profile.
About that Flavor Profile
As hard as it is to believe what I am about to tell you, I ask that you believe it anyway. I tasted this and could not quite believe it. The first thing that you notice is the indiscernible flavor of fruits. It is there, but what hits you first is…. MARSHMALLOW. Yep… that campfire favorite is the top flavor in this gem. With raspberry coming in second and a little herbaceous twist in the end. It seems a little like yarrow to me.
It is only semi sweet, and semi fruity. Smooth and almost creamy for something that is gelatinous.
¼ Cup Light Cream Cheese
1-2 TBS powdered sugar
½ packet of vanilla sugar
Blend these together until smooth and pipe onto gelatin with a star tip.