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 hiking, cycling and wildlife vacations 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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