Wednesday 9 October 2013

Aber bitte mit Sahne...

On the British Students tumblr here.

"We have four meals a day here," a German friend announced to me last week. Sensing the confusion on my face, he elaborated: "breakfast, lunch, Kaffee und Kuchen, and dinner."

Ah, of course. Just as we Brits have our afternoon tea, Germans enjoy Kaffee und Kuchen either in the morning or the afternoon - or, if your sweet tooth is anything like mine, both.

But how does German patisserie compare to our own? It’s certainly not reminiscent of the light, airy, refined concoctions you’re likely to find in Paris, nor the buttery, sugared shortbread rounds and jam-topped scones served with cups of Earl Grey. Oh no. Germans go all out: portions are huge, from streusel-topped fruit slices to towering slices of cream-filled tortes. With cream on the side. There’s a German song called ‘Aber bitte mit Sahne’ which sums up the attitude perfectly: ‘But please with cream’. Inside the cake, on the side, piled high on top of your coffee - you can definitely count on getting your daily cholesterol-raising mound of Schlagsahne in one sitting.

So where do they put it all? Our stereotypical image of sausage-loving, beer-wielding, stocky Germans only goes so far. The majority of Germans I’ve met are highly fit and active - most of my colleagues cycle to work and the office football team is a force to be reckoned with. It must be all that Kuchen fuelling them.

It’s a tradition I’m partaking in perhaps a little too enthusiastically - the waistbands on my clothes have certainly tightened a little since my arrival. You’ve got to make some sacrifices to fully immerse yourself in the culture, I suppose. After all, it would be rude to turn down a second helping of my friend’s freshly-baked Sachertorte, wouldn’t it?

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