What a week!
Last week, I reiterated over the #InterestingTimes that 2016 has produced, not knowing that just a day later, we too would have a fatal terrorist action that occurred on our very own doorstep, of my beloved Berlin.
The Christmas Market in Germany, isn’t just any old market.
Oh dear me no!
The German Christmas Market is a way in which people can socialize with their friends, hang out, and just have a fine old time.
The Christmas Markets isn’t Disneyland or some sort of recreational park, it’s a German tradition of browsing at skilled crafts, shopping, eating traditional German Christmas streetfood, and drinking to the heath of one and all, with hot mulled wine, otherwise known as Glühwein. And for those with a far stronger alcoholic tendency than my own, trying out the “Feuerzangenbowle.”
It can reduce a grown man to tears if care is not taken…!
And then the attack.
We were all so shocked at the carnage and death at the very popular Christmas Market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Gedächtniskirche) at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, where the attack took place in the photograph above.
It’s a Christmas Market with more than 100 beautifully decorated market stands and Christmas booths, 70 fairground rides, and lots of German and Austrian delicacies, not far from the High Street, the zoo, and the aquarium.
We cried, and we talked about what to do next.
And let me tell you what the next step is.
The next step is to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!
We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip!
Berlin is the safest West European city that you can ever hope to find.
Germany is open for business, and always will be.
And so, my post this week after much reflection, and because I tossed and turned as to what to write this week, and I have a family…. this post is on:
Here we go:
1. When people think of German food, you can’t blame them when their impressions tend to lay on the stodgy side of things such as the Mutzen, otherwise known as a German fried doughnut, above!
Not very exciting!
However living in Germany has shown me that of course, German food does lie a little on the heavy side, since it was originally designed for working class peasants, but you know, the modern-day German isn’t a peasant!
Well, not all of them…
So you can get lovely food such as croquettes, green beans, brussel sprouts, rich venison and home-made gravy! Oh my!
2. In fact most Germans are intelligent, tolerant, internationally minded, and open to different life experiences, and that is reflected in the food. In fact, in Berlin where I live, you’d be hard-pressed to find “real” German food!
Austrian food. Yes.
Berlin food. Oh yes!
But German food. Eeeh! Umm!
“Typical” German food has a hard, long reputation of being rather stodgy and boring. Pretty much like British food actually! So let’s see what we can find, because our Christmas Eve dinner above, reminded me that food in Germany can be pretty awesome.
If you know where to look!
3. For those of you who don’t know, the most popular meal in Berlin is not the sausage.
Nope! No sire!
It’s the Döner Kebap!
The kebab is made from small cuts of lamb or chicken meat which is grilled on a spit and then sliced. These slices are put into a Turkish-like loaf of bread with added raw white and red cabbage, slices of onions, tomatoes and cucumbers, and smothered with either garlic sauce, a sort of Turkish-mint sauce, spicy pepper-tomato sauce, or all of the above. The Döner Kebap can be found all over Germany and in pretty much every food corner in Berlin. Yum!
4. ‘Remember when I said that German food is more than stodge.
It’s true you know, so let’s talk vegetables!
The thing that Germans all rave about is…
Wait for it…
Asparagus, especially white asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel, is a popular summer dish especially in season. It’s a pretty short one of just two (2) months, so we all run around, looking for the nearest farmers market so that you can get can the freshest produce possible.
Luckily for us, we have two (2) farmers markets in my neighbourhood, and one of them is less than one (1) minute away from my house!
5. Breakfast in Germany is very different from breakfast in Britain.
In Germany, the breakfast tends to be “continental” in style.
And the best breakfast of all is a home-made one made by the very loving hands of a German grandmother!
We had a variety of cold cuts, slices of cheese, slices of ham, freshly cut paté or leberwurst, seasonal fruit, salmon, jam, butter, creams, and sauces, German condiments, pickles, boiled eggs, a basket of crunchy bread, fruit juice, yoghurt, tea, coffee, and some seafood!
6. Speaking of seafood.
Where should I start!
I say old boy! That’s quite a feat.
There were lots and lots of possibilities to eat some sort of seafood. In fact, all sorts of seafood. I mean, OMG!
7. Ah yes. Meatballs!
Some might even go as far as to call them burgers!
In Germany, they’re called different things. In Berlin, these German meatballs are huge pan-fried minced balls of beef, pork, or lamb and are known as Boulette.
In fact, so much so that when I first came to Germany, I didn’t know what they were, so I didn’t eat ’em! Imagine my shock when I discovered that they were actually meatballs!
I wasted two years not eating them!!
In other parts of Germany they are smaller and known as Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!
They are not normally eaten with a tomato sauce but with bread! As you can see above, these meatballs were small, topped with apple mousse, accompanied by sliced brown bread sprinkled over with tomato, salmon, and mustard & cress, or sliced brown bread topped with cream cheese, sliced radishes, with more mustard & cress.
In fact they were quite delightful, so I scoffed the lot!
8. Yummy in my tummy, heavenly, tasty dessert!
Scrummy desserts can be found all over Germany, as the cake shops are lovely.
Now I wish that I had taken a photograph of my cream puff before I actually pounced on it, but there it is!
The profiterole, choux à la crème, cream puff, otherwise known as a windbeutel in Germany, is a filled choux pastry ball with a typically sweet and moist filling of whipped cream, custard, or pastry cream. The puffs are sometimes garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar, or simply left plain.
Mine had castor sugar, which I promptly licked off!
The most popular dessert in Berlin however, is the doughnut, otherwise known as a Pfannkuchen or a Berliner!
It’s usually filled with plum or strawberry jam, but doesn’t have a hole in it, or sprinkles…! In fact, during our wedding, our pre-lunch snack was the Berlin doughnut, otherwise known as a Berliner, with croissants, orange juice and glasses of champagne!
Cool or what!
9. Since it’s that time of year, let’s throw in gingerbread and Stollen.
I’ll tell you a secret, I don’t actually like German gingerbread, and I can’t eat the Stollen ‘cos of my allergies!
Are you shocked!
I do love gingerbread men though. The kind for children, and home-made, and that’s about it!
10. Finally, I’m not going to leave this post without talking about street food.
The very highlight of a typical German day is the sausage.
The sausage above was served with thin slices of bread, and a venison light brown sauce. Quite yummy!
All hail the almighty S!
Germany has loads of different sausages and each comes with its own unique taste.
I find the white sausage with sweet mustard or Weißwürst quite disgusting personally, even though I’ve tried it every which way.
The grilled pork sausages with mustard, ketchup or both, otherwise known as Bratwurst can be decisively delicious.
My favourite German sausage however, is the currywurst. The currywurst is Berlin’s most famous sausage.
Currywurst is beef or pork sausage grilled and chopped up, then smothered with a spicy ketchup and curry powder. It’s eaten with a pile of chips and a slice of bread or a bun. It’s such a famous icon that it even has its own Currywurst Museum where you can learn how currywurst is made, smell it, watch a film about it, attempt to sell it, and play around with the french fries and chips. You can sometimes even have chocolate and curry ice-cream!
Currywurst can usually only be found in Berlin everywhere you look. My two favourite places however, are the 1930’s East Berlin historical establishment called Konnopke’s Imbiß in my own area of Prenzlauerberg, and the 1980’s West Berlin trendy establishment Curry 36, in my old neighbourhood of Kreuzberg!
p.s. They speak English in both places so no worries if you don’t speak German!
That’s it from me.
See you next year!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
This article is not sponsored, and the exciting food experience that I’ve always had, is my very own!
In January I’ll be making an announcement that will either having me jumping up and down like a Jack-in-the-Box, or crying over my hot cocoa! Find out in January!
The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017
Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th – 20th January, 2017.
At the beginning of January, I’ll be going to Holland, and at the end of it, I’ll be skiing in my favourite place, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, in the Czech Republic!
January is December is going to be full of excitment!
Have a great festive season, and a stunning New Year!