Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Cooking and Baking in a New Country

I love wandering down the aisles in the grocery stores here because each time I go, I discover something new. I was aware that when I moved to Germany, they wouldn’t have all the foods that we do at home, for example sliced bacon. For the most part, I have learned to accept this and am happy to find new alternatives. However, there are just a few things that I am failing to understand, and without proper internet (which is another story) I cannot look up various stories that may sell them.

The first item is bread crumbs. I figure this would be one of those things that are in every grocery store, one of those things that are always kept in stock, considering the popularity of schnitzel. I have yet to find pre-crushed bread crumbs. We have taken to leaving a few slices of bread out over night to let them dry out, breaking them up by hand, and then crushing them with a potato masher, which usually takes 3 different goes. But what happened to modern day conveniences? I just want some bread crumbs that are sold pre spiced because I just cannot get the right flavor, something is missing. Any suggestions on either the location of the bread crumbs or good schnitzel spices?

The second is measuring spoons and measuring cups. I have literally searched almost every store; Real, Euro store, grocery stores, a number of kitchen stores and none of them sell measuring spoons or 1/4 , 1/3, and 1/2 measuring cups. They do however all sell various flour sifters. I mentioned this to my mom and she had them in the mail the next day, unfortunately they haven’t arrived yet and it feels like it’s been a while. She reminded me I could have checked IKEA, but I had forgotten it was here. I guess I’ll find out if the German IKEA sells them if these ones never arrive. In the meantime, I have taken to buying muffin mixes. Not that I have anything against mixes, it’s just that, the last two I bought (Chocolate Chip and then Plain Chocolate…the only options) both tasted the same and lacked distinctive flavor. I did not find a cookie mix, at least not in Edeka. So I am anxiously waiting for these measuring tools to arrive. In the meantime with our limited internet, I tried to do a search of German recipes and instead was directed to other European recipes where they measure in spoons and cups as well.
HOW do the Germans bake? Clearly from the variety of flour sifters available, it’s popular but...HOW?

As I am only here for 7 more months, I guess I can do without the casserole and Pyrex dishes and the loaf pan. Our land lady mentioned that if there is anything else we want or need, she would reimburse us for the cost but I just can’t ask for them for just 7 months considering the cost. The German pans are all €10 and up and I realize this is because they’re better quality but I miss being able to buy baking pans in the dollar store.

And lastly, while this has not been 100% confirmed yet as I have only looked in one store, no Ziploc bags? Just bags and chip clips. Does that keep it fresh? Does it keep everything from spilling out? To be safe, I asked for some Ziploc bags for Christmas.
I think I will see if I can find a German cooking class in English and learn how they do things over here.


A week after writing this, we found sliced Bacon in the grocery store. Things are looking up!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. All german recipes are usually in Grams I think. You'd have to get yourself a little baking scale and weigh everything. :)