Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Frühstück/What's for Breakfast?

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...

20 comments:

  1. What a great post!! Thanks for sharing!!-Jane

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  2. I like the word "frühstück." It sounds like a good solid meal.

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  3. Too true! My German husband loves his Nutella and his Starbucks =) However, I just can't seem to get over my missing of American breakfast cereals! But a slice of Vollkorn bread or a Kürbiskern brötchen is simply not to be found State-side! I've been a stövchen convert since moving here too, so practical! (btw-the Goldsaft stuff is the same as molasses, great for making your own brown sugar when baking)

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  4. next time I'm in HH I will come by for breakfast...looks yummy

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  5. thanks for this travel into the world of german breakfast ...

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  6. HHmmm.. I like the German bread as well. The darker the better. Hamburg Hansestad is beautiful btw.
    Nutella??? That's common in our house. We NEED Nutella to survive, you've seen my post, so you can tell that we adore sweet stuff a lot :-O
    Your post was really fun, an a nice teapot!!! Loved all of it and sehen wir mal was wir nachte Woche machen mussen. Ich freuhe mich schon auf deinem Post, bis bald und ein schonen nachmittag noch - did my best, forgive my grammar.
    Carmie.

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  7. This is funny! I hope to be able to find the sugar beet syrup now that I know of its existence: I've been looking for a maple syrup substitute for a long time (to use on corn bread).
    PS Nutella is Italian - although it was bought by Nestle - but it's banned from my house (not a fair trade equivalent)

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  8. thanks for sharing!
    have a nice day!

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  9. Amazing post !!! Loved the photos and the descriptions !!

    I love nutella !! Especially the white chocolate one ....

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  10. that was so interesting to read! i am from denmark and there are lots of similarities between germany and denmark, but then again, it's the small things as you say. i still like to eat some meat with my bread for brunch, not breakfast, and traditional israelies tend to find that extremely bizarre. oh, and the egg holders. THAT we have in denmark too. i have them here as well, but my husband is like you, he just wants his egg peeled.

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  11. I love the tea cup. I like Nutella too but have to limit it.

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  12. What an interesting post. Thanks for teaching a little about your culture and sharing your yummy breakfast!

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  13. What a small world! REALLY! As I was taking pictures of this morning's breakfast, a little girl asked her mama for somethin' - Mama explained she'd asked for bread and when mama didn't respond, she asked for bread in German! ;) She was a huuuuuungry girl! An egg and cheese bagel made her verrrrry happy :D

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  14. Love this post!! This has been so fun to learn about other cultures!! I had no idea about the full on sandwich for breakfast!! Love your photos too!!

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  15. I enjoyed breakfast in Germany! I love the teapot too.

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  16. Wonderful post. I learnt a lot from it.
    I love nutella too, but I wouldn't have it every morning.

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  17. Yummy. :) I just peeked at your website.. beautiful fabric and designs.

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  18. It does my heart good to see all of these wonderful comments on your blog, my friend. I so relate to so much you write, as you know, that it is scary. frightening. downright wierd. :)

    Everyone needs a stoevchen or two. or three. or four. I never even knew they existed until I got to HH.

    Hugs and liebe gruesse aus dem sonnigen Suden. Gruss an dein Mann unbekannteweise. Nicht vergessen. ;)

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