I first learned about Strasbourg in my linguistic class in 2005. It is quoted as an example to linguistic assimilation, where German is spoken largely among the French (throughout the history Strasbourg politically changed-hand several times between Germany and France). The book quoted Alsace has “had a troubled linguistic history”. Today, aside from the official language, French, there is no single Alsatian dialectal variant. People here are almost totally bilingual, speaking both German and French. It is not surprising that residents here do think they are German but only to find themselves confused since Alsace belongs to the region of France.
My next encounter with Alsace will be roughly 7 years later where I personally visited Alsace for the first time. I was introduced to the Alsatian dish, Baeckeoffe. And I finally come to know sauerkraut. My only impression was only meat, meat, and more meat. Sauerkraut is great only when it is the mild version and please do not google how they prepare it before you’ve tried one.
This year I spent a day in Alsace town, taking in all the unmistakeable Alsatian architecture – the “pan de bois” (half-timbering) on the wall and predominantly steeply pitched roof. I’ve also learned that Gewürztraminer from Alsace will be the best. The Gewürztraminer variant ranges from mild to the very sweet, and they are good to go with spicy dishes. The sweetest Gewürztraminer is a good alternative to Port as dessert wine.