Foods that are hard to find in Germany, part 2

Hyde wrote a blog about this topic last year, but here are my thoughts…

I have been living in Germany most of my adult life, and for the most part, I have learned to move past the few foods that I really miss from the US and just simply live without them. I moved here in my early 20s, and to be honest, I really couldn’t cook. At that time, I missed things that I would hardly consider “real food” at this point in my life — things like Kraft macaroni & cheese, frozen ravioli, and Reese’s peanut butter cereal. I still miss the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and I still crave proper tortilla chips and easy jarred salsa that isn’t full of sugar, but otherwise, I have learned to make do.

So when I am using my American cookbooks, I often have to either substitute or just not make certain recipes because the ingredients are non-existent or very hard to get. Most of these things are convenience foods, or at least canned foods. Here are a few, off the top of my head. Continue reading

Not Käsespätzle again please …

The night we moved to Berlin we drove around in a snowstorm desperately trying to find a restaurant with a kitchen still open at 10pm on a Tuesday evening. Not knowing the neighbourhood, we dashed into the first warmly lit place we saw, hoping not to slip on the thick crusts of ice covering the pavement. What luck – it was a vegetarian restaurant, and they were still serving! My memory may be skewed by the simple relief of satiating my hunger on that bleak night, but the meal has stayed with me as some of the most delicious I have ever eaten. With both of us vegetarian, that the whole menu was meatless certainly helped. In due course, it became our favourite local restaurant; the surefire go to place when we had friends to stay. Such was the quality of the food and the subtlety of the flavours that we knew even the most committed meat-eaters would enjoy it. Continue reading

On Food

I have long believed that food in Germany is better than food in the United States. This was mostly based on (literal) gut feeling: since about age 14, my life in America was a battle with my digestive tract. I spent many nights as a teenager awake in bed with incredible stomach pains.  College cafeteria food kept me alternating between states of pain and nausea for the duration of my stay there. However, I grew up on healthy foods: fresh fish, vegetables from the garden, etc. As kids, we were restricted in our junk food allowance and never was a breakfast cereal to have more than 12g of sugar per serving. I actually thought I ate pretty well and considered myself a Foodie from an early age.

In retrospect, that self-perception is a little embarrassing. Continue reading