Enjoying dining on the Rhine

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Having just come back from Cologne, Germany, I thought I would share some thoughts about this lovely and manageable city, (the fourth largest in Germany) with you.

I’m especially interested in focusing on  the food and drink that is specific to Cologne.

Enjoying dining on the Rhine

First, a local beer, made in Cologne, named Kolsch, is the go-to beer. In fact, it is completely legal to walk around the city with an open bottle. Friday and Saturday nights, locals congregate in parks, and simply talk and drink their Kolsch. There is no music, there are no speakers, no entertainment, just people sitting, talking and drinking beer. It’s quite interesting to see!

I had the opportunity to enjoy vegan ice cream from a super popular shop, Ice Cream United, owned by a local football (soccer) player. My chosen flavor, lemon-mint was incredibly delicious That was a highlight of my culinary adventures.

In traditional Cologne restaurants, you can always get a lovely salad, local mushrooms, salmon, and of course, schnitzel and wursts. And potatoes. Plenty of potatoes.

But what is such a pleasure for me to enjoy are the German white wines. Rieslings in particular. Cologne is on the Rhine and that is where the grapes are grown. Here, we usually think “sweet” when it comes to Rieslings, but that is surely not the case in Germany. There is quite a variety to taste and the “trocken” or dry Rieslings are perfect for summer. Light, fruity, crisp and refreshing, I make sure to order a Riesling (or two) with every dinner.

I had a conversation with a helpful and friendly bar owner in Cologne, who told me about the interesting food customs and explained the unique (to us) bar scene.

You can hear our chat on my new radio show, “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” this Saturday morning at 9 on AM970, or hear the podcast of the show after it airs on http://am970theanswer.com/



  • Five-time Billboard Award-winning media personality Valerie Smaldone is a theatre, food, lifestyle and entertainment enthusiast. She is a celebrity interviewer, accomplished voice-over artist and actress. Recent appearances on episodic tv include Law and Order, Criminal Intent, The Other Two (on HBO Max), Tommy, Manifest and Blue Bloods. She is an audiobook narrator and producer. A live event emcee, moderator, and "Voice of God" at events and award ceremonies, Valerie has joined The Story Plant Entertainment Company and is currently working on a film and Broadway play. Visit her website at www.valeriesmaldone.com

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