In the days that I have been here, I have been asked the ‘How does the food taste in Germany?’question more than about my well being. Well, this serves as really not a problem for me. But a question of interest.
An academic doctor friend of mine during a breakfast chat cracked a joke before I left South Africa for Germany saying I probably need to leave town with some food enhancing concoctions. Alleging that German food is tasteless. Well, I would not crack the same joke. Or even, expand on it.
My experience here thus far with food has really been much of my choice, therefore, playing safe. If you know what I mean. But, at the same time, I have also tried much to much for 22 days that I have been here. My thought is, I have had the worst food nightmare and the greatest days with food.
For me, a good typical day is a potato or vegetable day- trying all sorts of veggies out there. Often with different colours I have not seen before. Like purple carrots, purple tomatoes, some awkwardly shaped kohlrabi and so much delicious dark bread. A typical bad day meal may have included trying something meaty but ewyyy sorry, it has pork. But this is the least.
Five things I suggest you try when you are in Germany are:
- Obviously the bread
Big up to Germany for its creation of some 300 or so types of bread, from the Vollkornbrot, the Roggenbrot and the legendary Pumpernickel, to mention just a few. These come in different sizes and prices. Included in these are a variation of what we call rolls or buns in South Africa, here termed as Brotchen.
2. Kräuter-Tomate Streich
This a must try. This is a tomato made bread spread. Looks like fish paste but definitely not it and does not smell like it. Simply because it is not fish. It is tomato. The kids love it. I recently started liking it.
This is more like dried meat. It looks like sausages. Oh well, they are sausages but dried. More like biltong. Biltong in this case is far harder. Schinkeknacker is not so hard but really delicious. Just watch out if they do not contain pork contents, if you are allergic to it. I am allergic to pork and often they are pork flavoured. Anyway, it seems to me that Germany is not only a bread country but also a place where people like pork meat.
If you have a sweet tooth and prefer sweet bread spreads, try Marmalade. It generally refers to a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar. It can be produced from lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, and other citrus fruits, or any combination of them. It looks like jam as we know it. I at least call it jam but it has pieces of fruit in it and is sweeter than regular jam.
5. Kräuter Salz
This is not food but thank God kräuter Salz, literally flavoured salt with herbs can help give tasteless food or rather unusual food some taste. If you find yourself in such a predicament, ask for kräuter salz.
Things I suggest you try, but were my day-mare
This is worth a asking to Swedish people, who invented this and what the hell is this? Jokingly, of course. Knäckebrot in German, Crispbread in English is a flat and dry type bread containing mostly rye flour. They are light and keep fresh for a very long time. They are also a staple food. However, in recent years there has been renewed interest in crispbread in the Nordic countries. This is a no no for me. But do not get this wrong, cripbread is available in South Africa. I avoided it there and, I am more certain that I wont eat it here.
This is one of many German traditional meals. I tried it at Harz in a company of wonderful German gentlemen and women who were aiming to teach me other things about their home country and their culture. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately Grünkohl, known as kale or leaf cabbage is a darker and thicker type of cabbage. It is also stronger in taste. It was great trying a little bit of it, but thanks but no thanks. A good note is, this is healthy.