Category Archives: German Culture

The Week in Germany: Sausage, Translation, and Science Fiction

Photo copyright dpa

Photo copyright dpa

The Ultimate Guide to German Sausages, Part the First

Brought to you by Frau Dietz on Eating Wiesbaden.  “Think of Germany, and many a stereotypical image – probably of beer, Lederhosen and Schnitzel – springs to mind.  But there’s another image that probably gets there before the rest, and that’s of a lovingly grilled, mustard-slathered sausage.  And not without good reason: the Germans each consume an average of 60kg of sausages per year, some 18kg more than the rest of us (source). Boiled for breakfast, curried for lunch, sliced for supper, there’s almost nothing they won’t do with a Wurst.”  Read the entire guide right here.

Literal Translations of German Words

Are almost always hilarious.  Itchy Feet’s presentation of these is great.  They are right here, waiting for you.

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German Cuisine: For the Love of Chestnuts

by Nadia Hassani

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Nothing says fall for me like chestnuts do. On my way to school as a first grader I filled my pockets with them on crisp October mornings, a habit I continued as an adult. Those were the inedible chestnuts from the horse chestnut tree, Aesculus hippocastanum.

The best moment for me was always taking the chestnuts out of their thick, fleshy burrs and let the cool fruit with a surface like polished mahogany slowly warm in my cusped hand. After a few days the chestnuts lost their luster but how many times until then did I run my fingers over them and marvel at their color before the chestnuts eventually shriveled and hardened and I had to discard them with a heavy heart.

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Reading Science Fiction in Germany: Finding Your Tribe

Dortmund SF Convention Logo

Finding your people quickly is key to settling into a new place. Particularly if you are an English-speaking someone who moves to a country with a new language, maybe even on a new continent. The language barrier can make finding your tribe hard. Maybe you can’t figure out what words to google to find the people you think you’d like to hang out with, or maybe you can’t speak “normally” (fluently, or as you would in your native language).

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German Cuisine: Hungry for Handkäs

by Nadia Hassani

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

I was born in Frankfurt and spent the first 18 years of my life there. But, I never quite identified with the city as my hometown. My parents were both transplants from somewhere else. Except for the ubiquitous Frankfurter sausages, I rarely ate typical Frankfurt foods growing up. Some of them I even dreaded, in particular Handkäse, the pungent sour milk cheese usually marinated with oil, vinegar, onions and caraway.

Frankfurt’s signature drink, Apfelwein (apple wine), was a different story. My parents always had a case in the basement. It would have never occurred to me to refer to it in Frankfurt vernacular as Äppelwoi or Stöffche. In that respect, I always remained an outsider. I learned foreign languages without much difficulty but was never able to pronounce a single sentence in authentic Frankfurt or Hessian dialect.

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German Food: What a (Kinder) Surprise

by Vanessa Abel

Photo courtesy Leather & AbelToo good to be true?

Just when I had thought I had seen everything Kinder Surprise could offer, I spotted this mini egg carton in the aisle of the local supermarket. Oooooh, something new to try! Jason raised his eyebrows as I put it into the shopping basket, but he was quickly reminded it was for our blog research.

It’s a good thing I saw them really. It’s actually better than the real thing! How is this possible I hear you ask? Well… let’s take a look inside.

Photo courtesy Leather & Abel

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Fürst Pückler: The Man Behind the Ice Cream

by Nadia Hassani

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo courtesy Spoonfuls of Germany

Long before ice cream flavors such as latte macchiato or crème brûlée appeared in German grocery stores, there was Fürst Pückler ice cream. With its layers of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, it is similar to Neapolitan ice cream except that it usually comes in the shape of a loaf cake so that it can be served by the slice.

In my childhood Fürst Pückler (Fürst means “Prince”) ice cream was a typical dessert after a Sunday lunch at Grandma’s, or on other special occasions. I never cared much for it; to me, the pale layers all tasted the same. But when a slice of Fürst Pückler was put in front of me I would eat it because I could never say no to ice cream.

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