I LOVE BREAD! I really do… I know I sound like Oprah, but it’s true. I’m not picky, I love all kinds of pastries: breads, rolls, cakes, croissants, and the list goes on. If you are like me and thought when you got orders to come to Germany you had died and gone to “BAKERY” heaven only to get here and fumble at the counter, have faith this article is for you. I will be happy to share my “goof-ups” that turned into me becoming a master!
Counting the German-way Germans use their thumb as the number “1.” Unlike us in the states, where we use our index finger, Germans use their thumb as only one, bitte (please). So, if you are like me and asked for two items with your fingers instead of your thumb and index finger, chances are you confused the clerk or you would receive three of the item.
Mohn? What? Okay, Mohn is NOT chocolate! I repeat, not CHOCOLATE. If you head to the counter and see a lovely streusel like donut/pastry that appears to have a chocolate stripe running through it ask politely if it is “Mohn.” Mohn is a spice that is made from crushed poppy seed. I have found it is an acquired taste. I like it well enough now, still not my favorite, but my German friends love this and make several pastries from it.
Brötchen (rolls) These beautiful little rolls are usually made fresh every day in the local bakeries. They are great Würst holders at fest, quick sandwich rolls for lunch and found every day on German tables around the country. They range between €.20 to €.50 and come in various forms. Sandwiches at the counter made in Brötchen are “Beiliges.” They often come with salami, cheese or vegetarian. I have found each bakery has a different assortment of these and are great pick-ups for when you are in a hurry as they are typically under €3 too. Want a loaf of bread, but are intimated by a “whole” un-cut loaf? That’s okay, ask for it to be “Schneiden” (schneeden) sliced, they have a little machine that will slice it for you.
Berliners These puffed doughnuts filled with strawberry jelly, made famous after JFK’s visit in the 60s, are a favorite among our American community. I love seeing families scoot to the front to get half a dozen or more to share with visitors. Fun!
Butter Brezels (Butter Pretzels) If you haven’t tried a “Butter Brezel” (pronounced booter, bretzel) yet, you’re missing out I tell you. This is where they take a browned, large pretzel twist, slice it horizontally and smear it with butter. Just lovely!
CAKE - can’t forget cake! The cakes in Germany are richer and not as sweet as they are in the States. That’s why having them mid-day with a cappuccino or coffee is delightful. They come in all different shapes and sizes.
Don’t be afraid to test them out, I haven’t had a bad one yet. The bakeries in Germany are amazing and will keep you wondering what tomorrow’s beautiful creations will be. In the meantime, “Guten Appetit!”