Vegan Mofo: BBQ and Cupcakes

People constantly ask me what the difference is between Germany and America. I usually say that its not all that different, that socio-economic and cultural factors make more of a difference than the actual country you are living in, bla bla bla until the person gets bored and walks away. But if really pressed, I'll talk about the food.

First off, we've got the bread. Americans don't have one standard, but in general we like it relatively soft and fluffy with a crust. Germans, on the other hand, like bread that is as healthy as humanly possible. I'm talking coarse brown, sour bread with 15 different kinds of seeds and grains so big you can make them out from across the room. Just try to give a slice of Wonderbread to a German, I dare you.

The second thing is, Germans (and Belgians, and Dutch...maybe French too) think its totally normal to eat chocolate for breakfast. As a kid I sometimes indulged in Cookie-crisp cereal or the like as a treat, but in general chocolate is more a dessert thing to me... not so with the dozens of breakfast products here created with chocolate. You've got spreadable chocolate, chocolate flakes to sprinkle on buttered bread, even muesli at health food stores contains chocolate. Dream come true, right?

Anyways, there are many other scandalous food habits of the Germans that I could expose for you today (bread and cheese at every meal! 6 cups of coffee a day! beenkuchen!) but I don't want to ruin the mystery. I, meanwhile, steadfastly maintain my American way of life as best I can. This week, that meant BBQ'd soy curls for lunch (above) and chocolate cupcakes with no proper icing. (Shortening is apparently not a part of the daily diet. Will bring back 6 tubs after Christmas...).

As I always say, Germany isn't better or worse than the US, just different. And they both have something to learn from one another. For instance, let's introduce icing to Germany, and they can teach us about chocolate for breakfast... pretty soon, we've got inter-cultural breakfast cupcakes. Ah, a world without borders. :)


Jessica said...

Hi, I really like your blog and have been reading it for a while. I'm also American and would like to visit or move to Berlin next year, and I was wondering if you could tell me a little about living and working there/being vegan there. I'm hoping to find a job in the arts there.
Thanks so much. My email is hammyt8140@aol.com
I don't know anyone in Berlin so it would be so so helpful if you could give me some advice and just to know someone when I get there.

Anonymous said...

I love the bread here! It is so good. My husband always tells me about the custard Danishes he used to eat for breakfast as a kid. We would never have been allowed to eat that as kids in Australia and I still can't do it :D