Where’s the Bread?

Where’s the Bread?

Germans love their bread.   And for good reason.  It’s baked fresh daily.  There’s an endless choice.  I had no idea there were so many names for buns and rolls until I moved to Germany.  Bread is available everywhere, almost anytime. While most stores are closed on Sundays, bakeries are often open on Sunday mornings.  When I asked my German husband (J.P.) why, he looked at me as if I had asked Why does a car need gasoline?  Because, he replied, we HAVE to have our bread.  Couldn’t you just buy extra on Saturday and eat that? I inquired. Yeah…..but nobody wants to eat day old bread.  It was rather obvious to him, but not so much to someone who doesn’t come from a carb obsessed culture.

I guess that explained his horrified expression when he came to Canada and I showed him all the bread in the supermarket.  All of it in bags, and let alone a day or two old, probably weeks old!

Despite being single for a long time, J.P. never learned to cook.  I found this perplexing.  But what did you eat for dinner until I came along?  Brotzeit, came the reply. Translated directly it means bread time.  In reality,  it’s a bun or a roll, spread with some jam, and perhaps some cheese or chocolate shavings.  In Germany that passes as a more than acceptable dinner.

So given the loved of bread, that’s why I was so surprised to see what appeared to be severely lacking.  I couldn’t help but scratch my head and ask: Where’s the bread?

Meat on a stick with a very small bun.

Meat on a stick with a very small bun at the Esslingen Christmas Market

A schnitzel sandwich at Oktoberfest.

A schnitzel sandwich at Oktoberfest.

In Canada, it’s usually the opposite.  The bun is huge and then there’s a tiny little piece of meat inside.

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.


  1. Christopher October 21, 2011 at 7:25 am - Reply

    The only thing i miss about not eating bread anymore is a fresh Butterbrez’n.

  2. Laurel October 21, 2011 at 7:38 am - Reply

    @Christopher – Those Butterbrez’n look good. I never was much of a bread person, but I really miss garlic nan bread (not German I know) but still so tasty.

  3. Michaela October 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    LOL! Where IS the rest of the bread? That schnitzel looks YUMMY!

  4. Renee October 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm - Reply


    I don’t see Mr. Linky……

  5. Laurel October 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    @Michaela – I know, it doesn’t make sense, does it?

    @Renee – Oops, thanks for letting me know. I’ve just added it.

  6. Cathy Sweeney October 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Funny and yummy! Especially the top one — but what kind of sandwich is that??

  7. Laurel October 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    @Cathy – It’s some kind of meat on a stick, stuck with a little bun 🙂

  8. Sabrina October 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Oh, I miss my German bread!! I finally was able to find a place here in town where I can find an approximation to Broetchen, but it’s still not the same…

  9. Laurel October 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    @Sabrina – Every German I know living in North America says the exact same thing 🙂

  10. amandapoverseas October 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Haha well, I guess they figure you only need enough bread to hold it with? This Food Friday thing looks fun. I think I will participate when we get over to Germany.

    • amandapoverseas October 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Ha I just realized the Mr. Linky is a widget. Cool. I thought you were just giving a cute nickname to where to put a link lol.

  11. Sue October 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    All those great photos of yummy snacks are making me hungry! Such a carb craving time of year here.

  12. Sabrina October 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Wanna hear something funny? I actually once asked somebody why his “toast” wasn’t toasted 🙂 He promptly informed me that what I thought was called toast and clearly had to be toasted before being eaten because of the non-crusty texture was actually just called “bread” and that people ate it as sandwiches without toasting it. I couldn’t believe it!

  13. Turkey's For Life October 22, 2011 at 6:22 am - Reply

    I remember the Christmas markets in Manchester when we were in the UK and the bratwurst sandwiches were always a tiny piece of bread with a huge sausage poking our at either end. The schnitzel sandwich looks yummy!

  14. Zhu October 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Maybe it’s the local low-carb diet? 😆

    I like my sandwiches with more bread and less meat though!

  15. Laurel October 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    @Amanda – You might be right 🙂

    @Sue – I always crave carbs this time of year too!

    @Sabrina – I love it! 🙂

    @Julia – Interesting that it’s the same in Manchester, in North America it’s usually the opposite. There was actually an advertising slogan for a fast food chain that was “Where’s the beef?” since the buns were so big.

    @Zhu – LOL! I’m used to more bread than meat and prefer that as well.

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