Thursday, September 27, 2012

Germany For Tourists - Shopping and Eating

There are two simple things to remember. When shopping, ignore the clothes and go for the toiletries, shoes and the food. Clothing by our standards is generally expensive unless you happen to be a "second hand store" shopper. Yes indeed, these stores exist, are fairly easy to find, and have some remarkable bargains. "Aldi" is a grocery store which also sells toiletries and some clothing like tshirts, pajamas and underwear. A great place for essentials, drinks and snacks. I picked up a pack of 8 batteries for 1.69 Euros.

Shoes are reasonable. It is affordable to buy brand new, great quality brand names in German footwear. Birkenstocks for example, begin at 29 Euros.

Food is a huge bargain as are the drinks (see blog 8/27/12 "Water and Other Libations")

German people have become more concerned about their health. I learned that the food revolution began in the 70's when classic high carb fare started to be replaced by better choices. A chef named Eckart Witzigmann, is credited with introducing the new cuisine. Fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available and inexpensive.



Here is one of my favourite restaurant meals. It's called an "Exotischer Salat", exotic salad. The skewers have turkey (puten) skewers.

Having said all this, portion sizes are often large enough for two persons. When I remembered to do so, I would order a meal without sauce, since restaurants often drown food in gravy.

Rouladen, veggies and boiled potatoes
Smoked salt cured pork (Kasseler) with kale (Grünkohl) and fried potatoes...hubby's choice

Trout (forelle) with noodles
Another one of my favourite things...schnitzel (2 too big pieces) with spätzle (and beer)
Here are a few of the menu offerings.

 A three Euro breakfast (left) included juice, a boiled egg, a basket of rolls and a tray of meat and cheese...more than enough for two people. The lunch menus offer schnitzel, noodles and salad for 5.90 Euros or frikadelle...seasoned hamburger type patties with carrots and mashed potatoes for 5.50 Euros. Of course, everyone knows about the delicious breads, pastries and pretzels.


Coffee drinking is just as much of a custom in Europe as it is here. Coffee and cake or torte in the afternoon is even more popular. To distinguish between a torte and a cake, count the layers. More layers, torte. No layers, cake. Again, these treats are quite inexpensive.

raspberry cheese cake and cappuccino

Ice cream or "Eis" in Germany is usually homemade by the proprieters of the parlors and stands. There are many delicious flavours and ornamental sundaes. An ice cream cone in a waffle, costs between 70 cents and one Euro. Sundaes cost bit more.

Finally, a dessert which I found incredibly tasty and different from anything I'd ever eaten was called
"Rote Grütze". Grütze is German for grits, but have no fear, there is little if any resemblance to that sandpapery cereal. Rather, it's a combination of red currants, raspberries, strawberries and cherries  topped with custard or whipped cream. Yummy.

One recipe can be found at this site and requires 24 hours of chilling after assembling. It doesn't include the traditional currants and I prefer the custard topping rather than the cream in the recipe. Perhaps I'll try to make this myself one day and report on the outcome.

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