German Word of the Day:
n.; foodstuffs (literal translation: life-enabling-things)
I hit the six-week mark yesterday, and life in Deutschland has pretty much settled into a routine. Wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, sit through three classes, eat lunch, one more class, come home, do homework, eat dinner, sleep. Seems oddly familiar. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how daily routines are an important part of every culture. And what’s more routine and common to all cultures than eating? Everyone’s always asking me how the food is over here, so I figured I’d write something about the cuisine in my corner of Germany.
First up, we have…. *drumroll* Brot. Bread is what German food is all about. We eat bread for breakfast and bread for dinner, and during breaks at school we have Pausenbrot, aka snack-bread. I’m fairly confident that my body composition is 95% bread roll by this point. Not that I’m complaining. While some of the bread is fluffy crap (you know, American style?), most of it is like a tiny piece of crusty heaven (that probably doesn’t come across as well as I envisioned it). Here is a picture of a small portion of the variety at a typical bakery (this one is inside the grocery store):
Aside from bread, most meals are based in either potatoes (I think I’ve mentioned this before!), Wurst, or pasta. Also, anything fried in breadcrumbs and labeled “Schnitzel“. (Seriously, anything. I had a green bean and corn schnitzel last week.) Rather than eating a hot meal in the evening, most people eat their largest meal at school or work and just have bread for supper.
Beverages: Although I’m old enough to legally drink in Germany, I haven’t really had an opportunity to try anything yet. I have had some very good wine-flavored Haribo gummies (more on that later). The most surprising thing about beverages in Germany is that almost no one consumes regular water. Everyone drinks bubbly water, and there are no water fountains in public buildings. I found that really strange, but after six weeks I’ve grown pretty attached to my bubbly water.
So, after bread and bubbly water, I think we’ve covered the important aspects of German cooking. (Disclaimer: if you’re German and you’re reading this, please insert a lot of non-verbal communication to convince you of my good will towards Deutschland. I’m not complaining.) Anyway, here is some of the fun stuff:
I suppose there is a lot more food than this in Germany. I suppose someday I’ll get around to trying some of it. For now, I’m just going to hunker down here with my Gummibären. Guten Appetit!