Saturday, September 30, 2006

German food

Germans make the worlds finest cars. They make the worlds most comfortable shoes. Where they do not excel is in the making of food.

Berliners should be on their knees thanking their Turkish neighbors every day for bringing them flavorful, scrumptious Doner and Kabap. In recent decades thousands of Turks have immigrated to Germany and many have settled in the bustling Kreuzberg neighborhood where we’re staying. You don’t have to walk more than a block from anywhere to find a stand or restaurant selling gyros and kababs. Some are better than others, of course, but they are all good.

I think Berliners must eat at the Turkish joints a lot, as well as at the many Italian places and other ethnic restaurants we saw. Because if they ate anything like the schnitzel I ate last night on a daily basis, we would see a lot more fat people in Berlin (we’ve hardly seen any) – or maybe just fewer people, because they’d all be dying of heart attacks. Schnitzel is breaded pork with cream sauce, and it often comes with French fries (which they call here by their French name, pommes frites). It is quite bland. And no one seems to be interested in serving fresh veggies or anything healthy with it.

That said, the Germans make wonderful breads and pastries. There are backeries on every block, selling rolls, loaves, danishes and big pretzels that are almost crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are soft, delicious rolls at our big breakfast every morning, and we can slather them with fruit compotes or make them into little sandwiches with deli turkey and swiss cheese slices.

We can sustain ourselves easily on the big breakfast buffet that’s included in the price of our room, the cheap, yummy and large Turkish gyros and the bakeries – including Dunkin Donuts.

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