Each day I realize just how small our world is. Somehow it is not as vast as I once thought, that we are more interconnected than we know. Jane at Spain Daily, who writes about what her daily life is like in another country, recently started with several other bloggers sharing what it is like in their part of the world. This week's theme is breakfast...
So how could I talk about breakfast in Germany without first starting the sentence with "bread"? Of course Germans love their beer. They love their potatoes. They love their butter. But most of all Germans love their bread. I do have to admit that our light, flat, unhealthy, tasteless toast cannot even begin to be compared to the fresh, yummy, chewy, perfectly crusted bread that lines the shelves in every corner bakery.
One phenomenon I think I will never understand of German breakfast "must haves" is... Nutella. What perplexes me the most is that many Germans find your typical American cake with sugary sweet icing to be rather disgusting, but have no problems with loading their favorite bread for breakfast with this super sweet, chocolate and hazelnut sugar bomb. Tasty it is, but please not on my bread.
For many Germans, lunch is usually the warm meal of the day, and most evenings are a simple, light meal of sandwiches with the addition of carrots, cucumbers, or tomatoes. But what I find to be very unusual is that practically the same thing that is put out for dinner is the same thing that was put out for breakfast... salamis, prosciutto hams, and cheeses, etc. This took some getting used to because I would have never imagined pulling out the sandwich toppings at least until lunch time.
It is much more common to use nice china and dishes at your average morning breakfast than the quick eat-it-on-the-run, I'll-take-it-in-my-styrofoam-cup American style. My husband's aunt made this teapot and matching Stövchen (teapot warmer), which I had never owned, or needed, until I moved here.
A Northern German favorite of my husband's is sugar beet syrup. This molasses tasting spread is an alternative to maple syrup. He could also be very partial to it because of the fact that my husband's family also grows sugar beets. Eggs in egg holders are also a treat for me, and I can't really recall having ever eaten them this way before. My German family asks me, "well, then how do you eat your eggs?"... peeled, I guess. Usually scrambled or fried eggs beat out hard boiled eggs for breakfast.
Even though my husband is the native German in the family, it is me who does not drink coffee. Somehow it never sunk into my head that our country had boycotted tea all those years ago. So my coffee-loving husband, who I sometimes doubt just how German he really is, usually gives his Sunday morning breakfast a little American twist... and what says American breakfast like Starbuck's?
When I stop and think about it, and compare the Amercian breakfast table with the German breakfast table, it is quite easy to pick out the similarities. The differences are actually not that drastic or extreme, but I think it takes the eye of someone who is not a native to distinguish the subtleties that lie just below the surface.
Visit Jane's blog for the rest of the "breakfast" world tour...