Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Don’t Die in My Shop!

We stopped at the Strandcafe Restaurant in Spitz an der Donau and were greeted at the door by Herr Thorsten Busch (no relation to the Georges, he said) who showed us around his ground-floor shop, Der Busch, and its offerings of wines, jams, chutneys and other foods. He poured some nut-like substance into his hand and invited us to taste. Delicious! Just as I swallowed, he said that they are apricot kernels, the inside of the pits. I told him I thought I read when I was a kid that apricot kernels were poisonous. “Yeah, they are,” he said. My eyes widened. "They have a kind of cyanide in them." I think I stopped breathing as I wished there was a way I could un-swallow. “But,” he continued, “if you roast them above 80° C (that’s 176° F) for 15 minutes, the cyanide dissipates and the kernels are harmless. Then he politely added, “If you feel like you might die, please try not to do so in my shop.” He was joking, of course. We think.

"Here, try them in chocolate," he added.

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