Moving to Germany from Canada was full of changes and admittedly it wasn’t much of an adjustment to German food and drink. Nonetheless, you do notice the differences.
There are many similarities between food and drink in Germany and in Canada but the longer I stay in Germany, the more subtle differences I notice. German food and drink, in some ways, is impressive.
Here are my top ten food and drink differences that I’ve noticed after living in Germany for just over six months:
1. Potato salad in Germany is really good.
In Canada, I could take it or leave it, but in Germany, I’ve been known to eat half a plate of it at a time. Fun fact: they often add dijon mustard, sugar and vinegar into the sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
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A combination of Coke and Orange Fanta is a popular drink in Germany and even has a name “Spezi.” I was so excited to hear this as it’s my favorite soda and I always get weird looks when I order it in Canada.
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3. Daily Bread and Cake
Germans eat bread every day, and delicious homemade cakes frequently and still manage to weigh less on average than the average person living in North America. So much for the low carb theory of weight loss.
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4. Hard Ice Cream
Hard ice cream is really hard to come by in ice cream shops in Germany. Delicious Italian gelato can be found everywhere, but I really miss tiger icecream and have yet to meet anyone in Germany who has heard of it. Hard ice cream is available in the grocery store but only comes in a few flavors and besides, we don’t have a freezer.
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5. Only 1 Salad Dressing?!
Normally in restaurants in Germany, there is only one type of salad dressing – a yogurt type which I have yet to acquire a taste for. I miss the days of being offered a variety of options, but as I’m not much of a salad person anyway, I’m sure I will survive. This is one of the German food and drink quirks that do not really have that much bearing unless your a salad fan.
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Germany has a much smaller selection of chocolate bars than found in North America. No Caramel, Mirage, EatMore…I’m not much of a chocolate eater so this doesn’t bother me but I have some friends who really miss this type of chocolate. In fairness to Germany though, they do have a lot of very high-quality chocolate that most Germans choose to eat over the cheap chocolate bars. What can I say, German food and drink is all about quality.
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7. Snack Less
Snacking while watching t.v. is not popular in Germany. In over 6 months of living with J.P. (my then-husband), I have yet to see him snack while watching t.v. The first time he saw me eating popcorn while watching t.v. he was truly confused and still shakes his head every time I do it. Perhaps the absence of mindless snacking is how Germans eat so much bread without getting fat.
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A combination of apple juice and mineral water (“Apfelschorle” in German) is a popular drink in Germany, much more so than soda. I frequently see my German friends ordering this for their children and themselves alike – so much healthier than soda and completely acceptable to do so even at dinner in a fancy restaurant. Something you wouldn’t likely see in North America. Some of the German food and drink I have encountered have been, well different.
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9. Eating Seasonal
People in Germany eat much more in season than we do in North America. When I first moved here I was shocked that I couldn’t readily find produce such as spinach that I eat regularly in Canada. It’s being generous to say that my cooking certainly wouldn’t have won any awards my first few months of living in Germany as I got creative with substitutes – green beans for broccoli or cabbage for spinach….you get the idea.
But I am slowly learning to eat more in season and am finding that by doing so the produce tastes so much better and it’s much better for the planet. I’m not sure how excited J.P. was when in October we ate squash and pumpkin something or other for two weeks straight, but then again I’m sure it was an improvement over my previous improvisations. As I get used to German food and drink and the nuances, I find myself getting better at navigating the ingredients.
10. Beer and Wine in the Movie Theater?
Beer and wine are available in movie theaters in Germany! I love going to movies anyway, but this gives me another incentive – too bad the English movie theater in Stuttgart doesn’t have butter for its popcorn.