Monthly Archives: July 2017

Cliché 12 – Aber bitte mit Sahne!

“Let them eat cake.” (As the famous quote, commonly misattributed to Marie Antoinette, goes.)

And cake we shall eat!

 

Let’s talk about German cake. Your first thought was probably ‘German cake? Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!”

 

Cake2

 

Yes. The Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is probably the most famous German cake, but is it the only one? The answer to that is absolutely and unequivocally – no!

Cake is an incredibly important part of the German culture. Although this tradition is not as common with younger people, the daily (or weekend) ritual of ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (coffee and cake) is something you’ll find throughout the entire country – whether you’re in München, Köln or Bonn!

There is no official count of how many types of cake there are in Germany. There are some classic recipes which have been around for centuries, however, although the ‘official’ recipes which bakers learn may not have changed, every family will have their own recipe. This means that for every cake there is you have hundreds, if not thousands, of slightly different recipes! That’s a whole lot of cake!

 

Cake1

 

What kind of cakes do they make in Germany? All kinds! There are cakes with chocolate, biscuit bases, fruit fillings, cheesecakes, jam, nuts, cream… you name it, Germany has it!

One thing you will find whilst you travel throughout Germany, is that every region has its specialties – no two bakeries have the same assortment of cakes! We strongly suggest doing a Torten/Kuchen-Reise (cake tour) throughout Germany!

 

Overall, the myth that the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is Germany’s only cake is unquestionably

busted

 

Images retrieved from:

http://germanculture.com.ua/baking-recipes/black-forest-cake-2/

http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/2011/10/01/german-flag-layer-cake/

 

 

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Cliché 11 – You’re in my way!

If you have been to, or lived in, Germany, you may have experienced one of the following scenarios:

  • You’ve parked your car at the shopping centre and get out of the car. Someone standing by tells you that you did not park very well and should probably straighten up.
  • Your hedge is growing over the fence into your neighbour’s yard. Your neighbour tells you that you must cut it immediately, otherwise they will hire a gardener and you will receive their bill.
  • You accidentally stand on the wrong side of the escalator. Someone taps you on the shoulder and tells you to move over because you’re in everyone’s way.
  • You throw your trash into the trash can. An elderly lady scolds you, as if you are her grandchild, because you threw your paper into the general trash can, instead of the specially marked paper trash can located 50m away.

This is not because Germans are rude, they are simply direct.

 

UK Train Travel

 

If you have just arrived in Germany from Australia, it can sometimes be shocking that people would tell you things like this to your face with no regard for your feelings, but the simple fact is that Germans live in a society where they are able to express these thoughts. If you are standing in the way, they will tell you. If you throw your trash into the wrong trash can, they will tell you. If you’re taking too long on deciding what kind of bread roll you want at the bakery, you guessed it, they will tell you!

Whilst you may get a brief shock the first time you are told off for doing the wrong thing by a complete stranger, don’t take it to heart – they aren’t trying to upset you, they’re simply stating what’s on their mind. So if someone is standing in your way in Germany, don’t be afraid to tell them so, and if someone tells you that you are standing in their way, simply move aside (if you really want to confuse them, say ‘Entschuldigung’ (sorry) with a big smile on your face as you move aside).

Overall, the myth that Germans are direct is absolutely, 100%:

confirmed

 

 

Images and information retrieved from:

https://www.german-way.com/germans-the-notoriously-direct/

http://www.macleans.ca/society/why-the-escalator-etiquette-of-stand-right-walk-left-is-wrong/

 

 

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Cliché 10 – Ordnung muss sein (there must be order)

When you go to a German house you will likely find that the garbage is separated into at least 4 different bins. People do not cross the road when the pedestrian light is red. There is a government office called the ‘Ordnungsamt’ – literally translated to ‘The Office of Order.’

It’s no wonder that Germany is known for being a highly organised, and as a result of this also highly efficient, country. The real question here is, where did all this order come from?

Well, many have speculated. Some suggest that it is due to the climate – in areas where the four seasons are very pronounced, people tend to become more organised, as they must systematically grow, harvest and store their food if they want to survive. Another suggestion is that their tendency to be organised comes from their punctuality – if you want to be on time, you must be organised. Finally, it could be due to Prussian times – Prussia, a German kingdom many years ago, was most famous for having a highly organised army. Whilst there may be no single answer to this question, it is definitely true that Germans are, in general, highly organised.

 

Ordnung

 

Is there an exception to the rule?

Of course!

Whilst Germans love order in most aspects of their life, there is one time when there is total chaos. Whether you’re waiting in the bakery on a Sunday morning to order fresh bread rolls or whether you’re waiting for a bus, you will soon come to realise that Germans do not queue. Don’t be surprised if the sweet old lady pushes right in front of you, even though she arrived a good 5 minutes after you.

 

Queue

 

Although this is one MAJOR exception, overall we’d say the myth that Germans are very organised is:

 

confirmed

 

 

Images and information retrieved from:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-if-there-is-one-the-historical-reason-why-Germans-are-so-disciplined-and-organized

http://www.fluentu.com/blog/german/german-stereotypes/

http://www.livhambrett.com/2015/11/08/germany-why-cant-you-queue/

http://sei-erfolgreich.ch/2015/05/ordnung-muss-sein-auch-im-networkmarketing/

 

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Cliché 9 – Jokes about Germany are the Wurst

When most people think of German food, they tend to think about sauerkraut, potatoes and sausages. They think of tables at the Oktoberfest filled with heavenly foods which may be delicious, but not fabulous for the waistline!

 

Bavarian white sausages

 

These three ingredients are definitely a favourite in some regions of Germany, but food throughout Germany is much more versatile than this stereotype would have you believe. In fact, nowadays it can be hard to determine exactly what “German food” is.

In the south, such as Bavaria, the cuisine is quite heavily influenced by Austria, so you will find a lot of dishes with potatoes and schnitzel here. However, the north, such as Hamburg, is heavily influenced by the sea and by the Scandinavian cuisine – here you’ll find everything from herring and grilled fish to meatballs and pork! So whilst the different regions throughout Germany have very distinct cuisines, it is almost impossible to define the overall “German cuisine.”

In addition to the regional influences, it is difficult to imagine Germany without a Döner Imbiss on every other corner, or takeaway pizza available 24/7. Like in so many other European countries, having many different cuisines available is becoming the norm, so you can have your Weisswurst and Brezel for breakfast, a Döner for lunch, and sushi for dinner!

                                                                          

Doner

 

Overall, we’d say that the myth that Germans only eat potatoes, sausages and sauerkraut is most definitely

busted

 

Images retrieved from:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/386535580498332156/

http://andberlin.com/2015/06/30/doner-macht-schoner-6-of-the-best-berlin-kebaps/

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