Germany consists of 16 states, and each state has its own flavor, with different dialects, different cultural subtleties, and different food specialties. Giessen lies in the state of Hessen, which has a difficult, slurred dialect, and one famous, or infamous, food – Handkäse. Handkäse (Käse meaning cheese) is a cheese very low in fat, less than 5%, compared to many normal natural cheeses that can have around 40% fat. This makes Handkäse unique to say the least. It’s a very healthy cheese, with a high protein content, but this difference is definitely apparent in the flavor. At a town festival, Butzbach’s Germany Italian Friend Festival, Handkäse was for sale, and in order to take part in the full Germany experience, I decided to try it. It’s a hard, slightly yellowish, slightly transparent cheese with a distinct aroma. It’s formed by hand, (giving it its name), giving it a circular shape. Handkäse is usually served with onions (“mit Musik”, or “with music”) and Caraway seeds on the side, and is often accompanied by Apfelwein, or wine made from apples. This unique cheese has a distinct flavor, with a sour after taste. Let’s just say I think eating it once is enough. However, those who like it, love it.This Handkäse was served with the usual onions, but was also served with hot peppers, oil, apples, and a few leafy greens. One day, my host family and I drove down to Heidelberg for the day. Heidelberg is about two hours south of Giessen, and is in the state of Baden-Württemberg. This area has a specialty food called Maultaschen, “taschen” meaning “bag”. These resemble large ravioli, with large “bags” of pasta, filled with meat or vegetables. I ate mine with spinach inside, and I really enjoyed it. Surprisingly, they reminded me of Korean food. Coming from a half-Korean background, maybe this is expected, but something about it, I don’t know what, tasted Korean. I would recommend Maultaschen to anyone visiting Germany. Maultaschen, served with salad.