Each week my friend Danée will be spearheading the food/ drink movement on the blog, putting together a pseudo round up of all that is good in and around the Berlin area. Allowing us all more time for life AKA eating & cocktails – it’s a WIN/WIN.
How come Berliners look so trim, taut and terrific when the nation prides itself on making the best beer, bratwurst, pretzels and potato dumplings?! I began to ponder this question shortly after I arrived in Berlin, and the second I stepped foot in, Joris, potato heaven.
Managed by Aussie expat Jaraya Wood, Joris is a fast-paced cafe serving jacket potatoes with a selection of hot and cold toppings like ratatouille, bolognese, and German pork casserole; and a heap of healthy salad stuff, as well as soups, and damn good coffee. The Joris crew know how to do friendly service, and whip up a spud for your lunch for under 6€ unless you go ape shit on the toppings. It didn’t take me long to became a regular on at this kartoffelhaus so much so, I got to know Jaraya. One potato lead to another and…she said yes to our first food person interview on ze blawg.
DANÉE: Why did you come to Berlin? And what do you love about the city?
JARAYA: I came here about three years ago as part of the typical Aussie just-graduated-from-Uni-trip and immediately fell in love with the freedom of creativity the city has to offer. You can, seemingly, give in to your heart’s desires: try writing, blogging, photography, film, whatever, and along the way meet a lot of similar minded people.
D: It’s 1999, what’s the soundtrack of your year?
J: Oh wow. This is bringing back memories of neon inflatable furniture and Spice Girls Impulse body spray… The Spice Girls (anything), Britney’s Sometimes, and Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn feature highly on that track list. I don’t know how long I tried to memorize all the lyrics to that last one, but it’s now, hands down, my Karaoke go-to song.
D: Why are jacket potatoes the best thing since pretzels?
J: Jacket potatoes are even better than pretzels, ‘cause you can melt serious amounts of cheese on top, and then cover it all with a steaming hot topping. If pretzels are the proper German beer snack, then jacket potatoes are the proper German Mahlzeit meal.
D: Who/ what is your spirit animal?
J: The sloth. I like to sleep a lot. And eat a lot. And I move at a very slow pace after indulging in both (or even one) of those activities.
D: If you were a topping, what would it be?
J: Hmmmm… probably the Vego Curry. Because Germans like it saucy, but not too spicy.
D: When you’re not eating spuds, you’re…
J: Drinking coffee. Or… no, usually just drinking coffee.
D: Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses. Discuss.
J: I would prefer to fight 100 duck sized horses than one horse sized duck, because I am tall and like to eat carrots, so if I couldn’t stomp on them (which I wouldn’t, because I would not be able to bring myself to it, them being DUCK SIZED HORSES!), I would just share the stash of carrots I keep in my fridge with them, and then we would all be friends and they would become my personal army of duck sized horses.
They would be pretty practical for transport, actually. Imagine, they could probably carry you to work on a mattress… Slow, but effective…
D: Lastly….who the hell calls their kid, Jaraya? ; )
J: Haha. Surprisingly, my parents aren’t hippies. They’re actually Primary School teachers. It comes from a mash-up of Saray or Saraya, which is Indonesian for lemongrass, and the sounds of the alphabet until J. Apparently the ‘J’ sound fits the best to the rest of that name. Or so my parents say…