Author Archives: YG Guest Blogger

About YG Guest Blogger

YG Guest Bloggers are bloggers and writers who write the occasional post for our site. If you have something you'd like to say about your experiences in Germany and would like to become a YG Guest Blogger, then send us an email at contact[AT]young-germany[DOT]de.

German Cuisine: All About Quark

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

After my book signing last weekend, one of my gardening buddies sent me an email telling me how much she enjoyed the book, and ending with, “Quark? Really? How did it get that name?” This made me think that I need to set things straight about my favorite dairy product, which, alas, is hard to find in the United States.

Quark has been around centuries before the physicist Murray Gell-Mann decided to name the elementary particles he discovered in the 1960s “quarks”. He borrowed the term from James Joyce’s novel Finnegan’s Wake, without any connection whatsoever to the food.

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Rebecca Culverhouse: A British Filmmaker in Berlin

by Vanessa Abel of Leather and Abel

Rebecca Culverhouse. Photo courtesy Leather and Abel

Rebecca Culverhouse. Photo courtesy Leather and Abel

Rebecca Culverhouse is a nomadic British filmmaker who has made films in Japan, the UK and Germany. Currently based in Berlin, she is writing the script for her first feature film, which is based on a short Japanese drama shot in the Tohoku area before the great earthquake of 2011.

L&A: What kind of films do you make?

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German Cuisine: High Time for Poppy Seeds

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

“Can poppy seeds get you high?”, is a question that pops up a lot when you search for poppy seeds on the Internet. In fact, consuming only three poppy seed bagels can lead to false positives in over-the-counter drug tests, as demonstrated in a 2003 episode of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters.

Walk into any well-assorted pastry shop in Germany and you will likely find sheet cake, streusel cake, or poppy seed roll with a generous poppy seed filling. These goodies contain many times over the skimpy amount of poppy seeds that are sprinkled onto a bagel. Does this mean that Germany has it own legalized version of Alice B. Toklas brownies, available at any bakery down the street?

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Playmobil Turns 40

from the Piri-Piri Lexicon

Photo copyright Piri-Piri Lexicon

Photo copyright Piri-Piri Lexicon

Germany’s small towns are great at creating and hosting small businesses that specialise in something very particular and quickly take on the world in their own market. Birkenstock, Huf, and Playmobil are some names you may have heard of.

When I was a kid, my brother and I had quite a collection of Playmobil. We would save pocket money to buy some, trade some at toy fairs and ask Santa for more. We still have quite a collection stashed away in my parents’ attic as my younger brother refused to get rid of them. Our children now enjoy them when they visit their grandparents.

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German Cuisine: Cucumber Glut

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

During my visit to Berlin a few months ago, I stayed in a modest boarding house at the fringes of the Prenzlauer Berg district. I found it hard to believe this quiet neighborhood of unpaved sidewalks (but with high-speed Internet connection) is only a short bus ride away from bustling Alexanderplatz. Next door was an allotment garden. I relished at the sight of the neat flowerbeds with garden gnomes and impeccable lawns on the small lots. Living in rural America, I had forgotten all about this phenomenon of the German urban landscape.

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Real Expat Life: Things I Won’t Miss About Germany

by Shannon Miller

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

When you move abroad you go through phases. First you’re in wonder. Everything is different and new and exciting and an adventure! Then the frustration. It’s different and it’s hard and I JUST DON’T LIKE IT. Then, you come to terms with it, make the best of it, and then you’re fully integrated and you’ve passed the culture shock test, right?

Har har! ;)

I’m of the opinion that no matter how long you live in a place, there will always be things that drive you crazy about it (this can also be said of “back home” too, lest you think I’m picking unfairly on good ole Deutschland). I also think that as an expat blogger, I should be honest about what life is really like–ups, downs, and in betweens. I love Germany, but sometimes it irks me. And that’s ok!

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What’s Underneath a Lid

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

At breakfast with a friend and her daughter in Germany a few years ago, I quietly held my breath wondering how the little girl would eat her yogurt. And she did it! Without interrupting her happy chatter, she peeled back the foil, then scraped off the tiny bit of yogurt before eating the whole thing.

I leaned back, relieved and touched. My friend had passed on to her daughter what we were taught as kids.

Although I was born 20 years after the end of World War II and never suffered shortages of any kind, the commandment, “Do not waste food” of my grandmother’s generation was instilled in me. That mentality is, of course, not a peculiar German one. Americans who lived through the Great Depression were equally mindful of food waste.

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