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Germany

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The oldest restaurant in Berlin is called Zur Letzten Instanz, and it’s been around since 1621 (so, not quite as old as the bakery I visited in Austria, but still pretty darn old).

Pretty much everyone seems to be in agreement that when you come here, you have to order the grilled pork knuckle (also known as a roasted ham hock — basically a huge chunk of pork, bone and all, from just above the pig’s foot).  I require very little encouragement to order a huge chunk of pork, so obviously that’s what I got.

Sweet, sweet pork

The first thing you notice is the uniformly crispy skin (ultra crispy, in fact).  It’s amazing.

Actually, the whole thing is pretty amazing.  I mean, it’s a big hunk of tender pork encased in potato-chip-crispy skin.  If this doesn’t look and sound delicious to you, then you and me are very different people.

Pork!

It comes on a bed of cabbage cooked in malt syrup, which is a perfect accompaniment to the pork; the sweetness of the cabbage helps to cut the richness of the meat.  It’s pretty great.