Sunday, March 31, 2013

German Breakfast 101

One of my favorite meals has to be traditional German breakfast. While most of that is probably caught up in the memories that surround my German breakfasts, it really is an extraordinary meal.

My German II students have a unit on traditional German mealtimes, and I like to devote most of that to German breakfasts.  We always eat a German breakfast at the end.  I turn my classroom into a restaurant, and I grade them on their etiquette.  Most of my students rarely eat a meal at a table with others, so I use this as a teachable moment.  (Tragic, I know.)  They wait until all have been served to start eating.  They have pleasant conversation with their dining companions.  They eat German style.  Left hand (not elbow) on the table at all times.  And they love it.  And most of them love the food too. 


So what exactly comprises a traditional German breakfast? 

The cornerstone is das Brot. You will receive a basket of various rolls (Brötchen), warmed in the oven. 


You take one, slice it open, and always, I repeat always, start off with a thick spreading of butter. 


Do not, under any circumstances, use margarine. You must use real butter, and you must use a lot. I use European-style butter. It is creamier (see also: fattening) than American-style. 

Next, up you can get creative. If you want to go a savory route, add a slice of Käse or Wurst, or better yet, both. You will need several kinds of both Käse (Gouda, Emmenthaler, Brie, perhaps) and Wurst (Prosciutto, Salami, ham, perhaps) to try. 


So you have enjoyed your 1/2 Brötchen with toppings, and now you're ready for something else.

That is what is so wonderful about a German breakfast. You enjoyed that? Awesome, do it again. Not so much, go a different route this time. Perhaps something sweet? Try a Konfitüre. If you're lucky, they'll have red currant.

Nutella? Honey? Quark? It's all there too. (Quark is a spreadable cheese that can either go savory or sweet, depending on toppings. Think cream cheese mixed with ricotta cheese mixed with yogurt.)
Need a break from all the bread? It's time to eat your boiled Ei. Serve as such: 


Müsli and Joghurt will also be available


If you want to have a real Schlemmerfrühstück (gourmet breakfast), you'll need Fleischsalat or KrabbensalatFleischsalat is made with bologna, mayo, and pickles. Krabbensalat with crabmeat, mayo, and pickles. Might sound not so hot, but on the vessel of the delicious German bread, anything can be good, and these two salads do not disappoint. 


To drink, KaffeeTeeOrangensaft, and if you're lucky, Sekt



And there you have ein traditionelles deutsches Frühstück. 

Guten Appetit!