August 2022



Sunday was an interesting day because last week I noticed an advertisement for a Kloßmuseum. Kloß are potato dumplings-and as it turns out, probably my favorite way to eat potatoes.

Fortunately for me, Anja was willing to go to the museum with me-thus solving my most immediate problem with visiting the museum: it’s out in the sticks (Heichelheim) and there is only a bus that goes out there–early in the morning, and one that returns–late in the afternoon.

So we trundled off to the museum Sunday morning-fortunately missing a bicycle race of some kind that was shutting down streets in northern Weimar. As we drove along the narrow road, passing through a couple villages, my mind was swept away in a sea of Kloß.

And then we got to the museum, walked in, and the man said to me, “Are you from Indiana?”

I was a bit taken aback? I don’t think that I look like I’m from Indiana, but here was a man seemingly guessing this from nothing immediately obvious to me. Until I looked down at my sweatshirt and realized it said “Indiana” on it.

The next thing I knew, Anja and I were being informed about the special exhibit in the backroom: German-American Potato relations And the exhibit had been opened by WWII veterans who had liberated Buchenwald! Incredible! Fantastic! History!

I have often wondered what it’s like to be so completely immersed in a subject that everything else is some how related to it. And yes, potatoes have a connection to Buchenwald: the weakened and liberated people from Buchenwald were given potatoes to eat-unfortunately raw.

Anyhow, the museum is a cute collection of things potato, including a variety of propaganda from East Germany blaming the United States and West Germany for the American Beetle that killed potatoes. (Actually it’s the Colorado Beetle, but propaganda doesn’t fact-check.)

I also learned a bit about the making of Kloß which involves washing potatoes, pealing them, cooking them, mashing them, and whatnot. I might note that even Christmas is related to this process-traditionally Germans pick their Christmas Tree by which one will make the best Potato Masher the following summer. (Seriously, although the whole tree is not involved, just part of it.)

After a fun filled tour of the museum, we headed 812m down the road to the Windmühle Heichelheim, a local restaurant that specializes in… Kloß Apparently, according to German tradition, Sunday isn’t Sunday without eating a Kloß (one Kloß many Kloße).

I’m happy to report that my first Sunday in Germany was terrific!

After eating two Kloß each, along with some venison, we walked back to the car and then made our way to the flat, where we played a game about living in the DDR (I was a member of the Stasi, but Anja was a Diplomat and couldn’t get thrown in prison, even by me!) which I lost. In the late afternoon, we went to the animatronic history of Weimar where Goethe personally showed us through German history, stopping in the late 19th Century, before we had dinner at a Crepe shop while listening to French songs.

Kloß made all the difference: Without it, Sunday wouldn’t have been.

7 comments to Kloßmuseum

  • Anonymous

    aw I remember when I helped you decide which clothes to take with you to germany and that was one of your token sweatshirts…which reminds me, have you worn that one shirt that I think is the worlds ugliest shirt?

    *tear* the good old days…

  • I forgot, I wrote a Heiku in the guestbook at the museum:

    I love potato
    Crispy, Flavorful, Lecker
    Thüringen Kloße

    In retrospect, “Crispy” doesn’t really apply to Kloße since it is rather moist.

  • ChrisC

    Karl the potato?

    Surely they got this off the set of German Hee-Haw, right? 😉

  • I forget which was the world’s ugliest. I thought I left it in BLoomington, if its the one i thought it was…

    As for Karl, I think he does most of his work during Heichelheim’s annual Potato Festival.

  • Anonymous

    think pasley…

  • Oh… *that* one… that one NEVER made it across the ocean. It’s probably still on the racks at Goodwill!

  • koko

    Do you remember that Goodwill commerical that is like:
    “ew a purple pasely shirt!”
    and someone else thinks
    “yay a purple pasely shirt!”

    Though who thinks yay?