Category Archives: German Culture

German Cuisine: Making Eierlikör

by Nadia Hassani

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

On my yearly visits to Germany I realize how the once familiar becomes unfamiliar, which often leads to funny situations. A few years ago I wanted to bake an American cheesecake. At the grocery store I paced up and down the cooler section several times looking for eggs and eventually asked a sales clerk. He stared at me, then walked me to a different part of the store with a shelf fully stocked with eggs. I stood there perplexed and it dawned on me that in Germany, unlike in the United States, eggs are often not refrigerated.

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German Culture in Chicago with Erika Neumayer of Rare Dirndls

Photo courtesy Rare Dirndl

Photo courtesy Rare Dirndl

Normally designer, Erika Neumayer is busy creating fashion forward dirndls, menswear, and blouses, but lately she has been changing her focus to create new and innovative German-inspired accessories for the holiday season. She has added jewelry to her line, Rare Dirndl, as well as purses and winter items.

“One of my favorite new pieces is the Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet. Simply put, it is the most comfortable bracelet I’ve even worn,” says Neumayer. Alongside her own pieces, she also carries another local Chicago artist’s jewelry collection. German jewelry designer, Kristen Hunger is active in the Chicago German community and her husband is the president of the German American Police Association (GAPA). She is working closely with Erika to create jewelry that compliment Rare Dirndls and can also be worn with everyday clothing.

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Berlin Lichtgrenze: On the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

by Arthur Yatsenko

Photo courtesy Travels in Germany

Photo courtesy Travels in Germany

At the beginning of November, Berlin celebrated an unprecedented event–the 25th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall. The event was highlighted with a great lighting installation that marked the border of the former Berlin Wall. The installation stretched for around 15 kilometres and featured 8000 helium-filled, white balloons clipped on stands that use battery-lit LEDs to illuminate the balloons like street lamps.

The event took place on from November 7th to the 9th.  The 9th November is the day the Wall ceased to exist–not physically, but in people’s’ minds.

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Spoonfuls of Germany: The Truth About Hänsel and Gretel

by Nadia Hassani

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

We had several inches of snow at Thanksgiving. Our house with its lit windows created a winter wonderland look – like the gingerbread house in Hänsel and Gretel. It put me in the mood to make a gingerbread house.

As I looked through recipes and assembled ingredients and patterns, it hit me that I do not know much about the origin of the gingerbread house tradition. I vaguely recalled a witch’s gingerbread house as the crime scene in Hänsel and Gretel, a fairytale by the Grimm Brothers.

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Student Accommodation in Germany: Kitchen Catastrophes

by Jay Malone

Photo copyright  Kai Remmers, dpa

Photo copyright Kai Remmers, dpa

I moved to Germany to study for my Master’s degree around three years ago, and I enjoyed it so much that I convinced my friend Phil to enroll at the University of Siegen last year. When he arrived, he stayed with me in my WG until he found his own place, which he thought was perfect. It wasn’t until he signed the lease that we saw the truly dark side of the German apartment world and the horrors that can lie in German kitchens.

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German Cuisine: Holiday Bread

by Nadia Hassani

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Sweet German Christmas specialties are the only area that seems to be untouched and untainted by the stereotype surrounding German cuisine.

Every Christmas season, German producers ship their goods all over the world, in wooden boxes and colorful metal tins embossed with winter village scenes. During GDR times, Salzwedeler Baumkuchen, the famous tree cake consisting of a mass of layers, was nationalized and the cake was produced solely for export. This not only brought in Western currency but it eventually ensured the survival of that unique tradition.

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