This post is dedicated to those who know me best. I love eating, and Germany has upheld all of my expectations regarding food. Again, these opinions are coming from an Armenian-American who loves to eat (and drink)!
I guess it would make sense to start with breakfast. I honestly wake up in the morning thinking about what I’m going to eat. Usually I eat a bowl of Muesli with either yogurt or milk. Muesli is a popular breakfast food consisting of rolled oats, fruits, nuts, chocolate, or just about anything. I tried Muesli mix with chocolate, and it was amazing, though rather unhealthy. I reverted back to the “fettarme” (lowfat) Muesli which included dried fruit and nuts. Somedays when I’m feeling more ahem…hungry….than usual, I like to eat some toast with nutella. I actually can’t describe my love for Nutella in words. I could (and have) eat it by the spoonful.
What kind of day would be productive without a midmorning snack? Bakeries are a staple here in Germany, and you can basically find one on every single street corner. They smell so delicious and it is really hard to resist the temptation. One of my favorite snacks there is “kaesebrot” or ” kaese bretzel”. The bread itself is of super high quality, and is quite delicious. The only thing better than bread, is bread baked with cheese! I’m practically salivating just writing about it. Of course just about everything in the bakeries is excellent, including schokobrotchen, and any of the health food type breads.
Lunch comes next. I generally eat in the Mensa (cafeteria) during the week, and the food there is relatively good, and affordable. Of course, the food isn’t nearly as good as the food at my home university, JMU. JMU is ranked #4th best college food in the nation, so there is no comparison. However, the food in the Mensa is pretty decent. There are many choices to fit all diets, which I like. I was a vegetarian before I left for Germany, and that has changed since I’ve gotten here. I rarely eat meat, but I do like to try new things. I usually get the vegetarian menu, which consists of an Entree and 3 sides. Sides can consist of a house salad, kraut salad, some sort of pudding, yogurt, fruit, or some kind of potato dish (fries, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes etc.). Germans like potatoes. And meat.
Dinner/Snack foods. I would have to say that the snack food (Imbiss) is far superior to American snack food. Of course, I will mention Doener. The Turkish-German speciality is so popular around Germany, and my taste buds certainly agree. It is made of a flatbread, with a few sauces, sliced meat, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. Doener kebab is cheap, at about 2.30 euro for a normal size, and fills you up. It satisfies that salty-yet-filling craving. In fact, I ate a doener kebab today. Turkish food in Germany is excellent, and reminds me of some of the things I like to eat at home in the USA. The only thing that kind of irks me is that the guys working at many Doener stands don’t speak German too well and assume that I’m Turkish because of the way I look. I am not Turkish, and don’t speak it, which tends to confuse the people working sometimes. Anyways, I’ve learned that a simple smile can accomplish a lot in Germany. I’ll admit though, I miss my mother and grandmother’s food more than anything.
Imbiss food wouldn’t be nearly complete without mentioning Currywurst. A simple sausage drenched in currysauce and powdered curry may sound simple, and it really is. Though, this simplicity is why it is just that awesome. I will mention a rather amusing point – when Germans say “scharf” or spicy, it basically means “flavor”. The Armenian and Lebanese food I am used to is full of spices and flavor, so when the Germans say “spice” I laugh because I know it’s not actually spicy. Sometimes they even gasp when I add extra hot sauce to just about everything I eat.
Dessert – ok family, you know how I like dessert. German chocolate is super cheap, and is of far more superior quality than American chocolate. Milka and Ritter Sport are my favorite brands, and I really do eat a lot of chocolate here. It’s really hard to walk past the chocolate aisle in Netto (local grocery store) without buying a bar of its sweet deliciousness. Another phenomenon in Germany is the “Eiscafe”, or ice cream parlor. They serve more traditional Italian gelato style ice cream, and it is also rather inexpensive. An ice cream cone with one large scoop of ice cream costs one euro, contrary to about 3 bucks in the USA at Baskin Robbins. Of course Eiscafes are also about the decor and style of their ice cream confections. One of my favorites is Spaghettieis. Spaghettieis is a German ice cream specialty that looks like a plate of spaghetti. Vanilla ice cream is put through a noodle press to make it look like spaghetti. This is placed over whipped cream, and topped with strawberry sauce (looks like tomato sauce). The white chocolate shavings on top are supposed to look like parmesean cheese. This combination looks and is incredibly delicious.
Drinks – Ok so I probably could talk about beer for a while, but I’ll save that. I’ll come out and admit it – I am addicted to Apfelschorle. What is Apfelschorle, you may ask? Apfelschorle is a combination of carbonated water and apple juice. Simple, yet extremely satisfying. I actually just bought a six pack of the large sized bottles form Netto. I wish you could get this at Costco. Rather, I wish there was Costco in Germany. When my Dad reads this, I know he will laugh!
All and all, my diet has changed a little bit. I eat more bread (because it tastes sooo good), cheese (yum dairy), and chocolate. So I hope you’re not all drooling too much. That means you’ll just have to come visit me in Dortmund. I wonder what’s on the menu tonight…