This Week's Blog
is offered by Jennifer Rogers, who has been here since February, an exchange student from the University at South Dakota. Jennifer is taking courses in English.
Commentary and interaction will be welcome...
Blogs to Come
April 26, 2007, Oldenburg
I have to decide yet again what I want to eat. I had enough trouble deciding what I should eat when I lived in the States, but the decision is even harder now that I’ve tried German food. My cooking abilities are limited to noodles and maybe heating something up in the oven, so cooking is out of the question. Usually in the evenings, because I haven’t bought anything beforehand, I go wander around in a grocery store until I get so hungry that I just grab a chocolate bar to stop my stomach from complaining. Then I’m full, so I don’t really need to buy anything else. Sounds healthy, right? Healthy for Milka business, maybe.
The chocolate bars are just so good here. I’ve had to ban myself from buying them on a regular basis, just like I’ve banned myself from buying Oreos or chocolate milk in large quantities. If I buy them, they disappear too quickly for them to be worth how much I spent on them. Plus, I should try other German foods as long as I’m here.
Some of the German food I’ve liked right away and some I can’t believe people actually eat here. For instance, the Mensa food. I’ve always thought that school food is the typical food of the region, but if it is, I feel sorry for the people who live around here. A popular food around here seems to be French fries. I always find it amusing when I see a long line at a French fry stand downtown. In America, you can get French fries with pretty much every meal, so they aren’t so exciting anymore when you have them all the time. Then the Germans put mayonnaise on them. That’s just disgusting. Fries are already fried in fat, why would you put more on them? Why not just put a load of butter on them instead? I don’t think I’ll ever understand it.
I have noticed, in the adventures of eating German food, that most German dishes use more vegetables and less meat than American dishes do. In an American dish, one will probably receive a side salad, and for the main meal, some sort of pasta and a chunk of meat. Here, I’ve rarely seen a place where one will get just a chunk of meat for their meal, unless it’s bratwurst and I don’t consider that meat so much as random animal parts. The times I’ve ordered something with meat in it at a restaurant here in Germany, the meat is usually mixed with vegetables or with a sauce of some sort. And there are the same vegetables in every dish – cucumbers and tomatoes. I never really liked cucumbers, but I have no choice but to eat them here, unless I pick apart every sandwich or dish. I’m beginning to get used to them though.
Like a true American, I visited the fast food places almost as soon as I got here. They’re a little bit different from the American ones. McDonald’s doesn’t have as many kinds of burgers here, but they have a McCafe. In the States, Subway doesn’t serve cream cheese, salt or pepper, or as many sauces as the Subway here does. There are more kinds of cut cheeses though, in the Subways in the States. That surprised me a little, considering how many different kinds of cheeses there are here. In America, there are maybe 5 or 6 regular kinds (cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack, pepper jack, grated parmesan and American) and a few that are considered “gourmet” (feta and gouda)(yes, gouda).
There are a couple other things that don’t exist in the States but I absolutely love here. Shorle is one. I always wondered why no one tried carbonating juice and I thought I’d be rich if I invented it. Coming to Germany, though, ruined all my plans of becoming a millionaire. There is no banana nectar either and I always wondered why. They have strawberry-banana drinks, but absolutely no plain banana drinks in the States. I was amazed that such a thing could be made when I came over here. Then there is the milk here. I am completely and utterly in love with it. In the States, you can only get skim, 1% or 2% milk. Here, you can get 3.5%! That’s like cream! And I don’t have to feel guilty about drinking it, since there is more fat in it, because there’s only one other kind! It’s like heaven.
One last thought: eggs are supposed to be refrigerated. I was blown away around Easter when I looked for eggs and saw them just standing on a shelf, un-refrigerated. I’ve grown up knowing that if you leave eggs out of the refrigerator for more than two hours or so, they go bad or start growing bacteria. Either way, you don’t want to eat them after that. But here, nobody refrigerates eggs. That’s just disgusting! Why hasn’t everyone gotten sick yet? No one may get sick from un-refrigerated eggs, but I still don’t trust them.