This is the companion post to one I put up last summer, about my usual diet while in the United States; like the next one I will post, however, it is sparsely illustrated. This is because I was waiting for “a typical week” to take the series of photographs, but between frequent moves (4 times in 10 months, not counting traveling to and from Germany) and a changing schedule depending on my research, it never seemed to work out. Instead, I decided to practice my vocabulary by making up a typical Tagesspeisezettel (daily menu) and offering it to you in German and in English.
1. Frühstück (immer mit Obstsaft)
Winter: Haferflocken mit Birnen, Rosinen, und Milch gekocht + Zimtzucker und manchmal Nüsse
Sommer: Joghurt und Müsli + Obst oder Beeren
Wochenende: Eierkuchen + Obst + Zimtzucker oder Rühreier + Gebackenes + Obst
Banane + gekochtes Ei
Gebackenes + Obst (gewöhnlich eine Apfelsine)
Belegtes Brot: 1 oder 2 Scheiben Brot, Senf und Käse oder Frischkäse, Gurke, Fleisch
+ Möhren + Etwas Schokolade (besonders Ritter Sport) + Chips (ab Berlin)
Apfel + Butterkeks mit Erdnusscreme oder Nutella oder Studentenfutter oder Salzstangen oder Keks
Gebratene Kartoffeln oder Reis + Gemischte Hülsenfrüchte oder Linsen + gefrorene Mischgemüse
Nudeln + Tomatensoße (manchmal mit Kapern) Gemüse
Dosenfisch + Reis oder Kartoffeln + Salat + Rotkohl
Gebratene Kartoffeln + Kirchenerbsen + Kokonußmilch + Curry + Gemüse
Apfelmus (nicht gezuckert) oder Gummibären oder Reiskeks mit Apfelmus (oder Nutella)
1. Breakfast (always with fruit juice)
Winter: Oatmeal cooked with pear, raisins, and milk + cinnamon-sugar and sometimes nuts
Summer: Yogurt and muesli + fruit or berries
Weekends: Pancakes + fruit + cinnamon-sugar or Scrambled eggs + baked good + fruit
Banana + hard-boiled egg
Baked good + fruit (usually an orange)
Sandwich: 1 or 2 pieces of bread, mustard and sliced cheese or spreadable cheese, cucumber, deli meat
+ Carrots + Some chocolate (especially Ritter Sport) + Chips (as of Berlin)
Apple + Butterkeks with peanut butter or Nutella or snack mix or pretzels or cookies
Pan-fried potatoes or rice + Mixed beans or Lentils + Frozen mixed vegetables
Noodles + Tomato sauce (sometimes with capers) + Vegetables
Canned fish + Rice or Potatoes + Salad + Red cabbage sauerkraut
Pan-fried potatoes + Chickpeas + Coconut milk + curry + Vegetables
Applesauce (unsweetened) or gummy bears or rice cakes with applesauce (or Nutella)
The Gebackenes (baked goods) sometimes included treats like Mohnschnecken (poppy seed spirals) and Pfannkuchen (jelly donuts, aka Berliners), but usually I bought some kind of roll and either made a peanut butter-jelly sandwich with it or spread it with mustard and cheese or maybe butter and Lachsschinken (prosciutto?). To illustrate how serious the Germans are about their baked goods, the rolls I could choose from included plain wheat, whole wheat, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, mixed seeds, something with carrots in it, rye, and Dinkel. Dinkel—as one of the ladies at the German Cookbook Museum in Dortmund explained to me—is unripe wheat. It’s a common enough result of trying to grow wheat this far north that it often can’t fully ripen. So someone decided to market it as a specialty product that is supposed to be particularly good for you. I don’t know if the health claims hold up under scrutiny, but it’s yummy enough.
You may notice that the dinners are largely meatless. I was trying to eat vegetarian for reasons of health, finances, and environment. I had a hard time getting enough calories while bringing my meatless dinners to the library (to eat and then keep working), so I introduced canned fish, mostly for the sauces, which are a tasty alternative to the Kräutersalz (herb-salt) and Basilikum (basil) that has been my main seasoning here. Here’s an array of fish dishes:
The produce selection has been quite good. Italy and Spain are to Europe what Florida and California are to the United States, although some fruit also comes from as far away as South Africa and Peru. I have tried to buy German and/or organic where possible. When I lived in Kreuzberg I had the option of joining an organic co-op, and if I had been living in the area longer than a month I would have. But I didn’t think it was worth the trouble for so short a stay and just tried not to look at the difference between the member and non-member prices.
Basically, my diet is very similar to what I ate in the United States. I still graze throughout the day, and I eat mostly the same variety of foods. What is different is that there have been more baked goods and less meat and variety at dinner. I have also started eating some foods that I didn’t used to, like kiwi, eggs sunny-side-up (Spiegeleier), and tomatoes (especially cherry, grape, or other small varieties). I also now know I like some less common foods, like rote Grütze (basically a sweetened mixture of various red berries like Stachelbeeren), calf liver, and blood sausage. Probably what I eat back at home won’t change very much, but I am definitely looking forward to a change in how I eat, namely sharing the cooking and eating of dinner with DH!