obese women as statue
Non Recipes, Nutrition

The shocking truth about public health in Germany and North America

Every year the Bloomberg Global Health Index ranks the countries of this world in regard to the health of the overall population. There are several factors that make up the final score of a country, for example: Health risks (eg. smoking, obesity, high blood pressure) Availability of clean water Life expectancy Malnutrition Causes of death Every ranked country gets a score between 0 to 100 with 100 being the top score. It is no surprise […]

Duchess Potatoes
Baked, Basics, Potatoes, Sides, Vegetables

Duchess Potatoes (‘Herzoginnenkartoffeln’)

In German cuisine, duchess potatoes are a traditional way to use up leftover potato puree. I don’t think my mother ever made them with intention. Instead, she just saw a large pot full of leftover potato mash that she thickened with egg yolk and maybe some flour and then piped into small mounds. That being said, I love duchess potatoes. They are lighter in texture than potato puree and go great with anything saucy. But […]

Food Waste And Loss
Non Recipes

Who is to blame for food waste?

The agricultural and food industry constantly makes an effort to blame consumers for the huge amount of food waste in Western countries. It’s always the consumer who buys an oversupply of food and throws away a lot of it even though it might still be edible. Yes, there is a lot of truth in these statements. In Western countries and industrialized Asia consumers are wasteful. I won’t deny that. But if you look at the […]

Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream
Salads, Sides, Swabian, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream (‘Gurkensalat mit Schmand’)

There’s nothing more refreshing than a chilled cucumber salad in summer. There are two ways to prepare this dish in German cuisine: with a traditional oil and vinegar dressing or with schmand. Schmand is a German dairy product that is similar to sour cream and can easily be substituted with crème fraîche or American-style sour cream. The most important thing to pay attention to when making cucumber salad is that the salad doesn’t turn out […]

Poppy plant
Cooking History, Non Recipes

A story about persistence and repetitiveness

On May 3rd, 1915, the Canadian officer John MacCrae was looking at the grave of his friend Alexis Helmer. Helmer was killed the day before in a devastating battle in Belgium during World War I. The dead soldiers have been buried in a mass grave on a former battlefield. The soil had been bombed but now blood-red poppies pop up everywhere. Inspired by this picturesque view, he writes down the first lines of his famous […]

Sweet Potato Waffles
Baked, Dessert, Potatoes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Waffles (‘Süßkartoffel-Waffeln’)

Sweet potatoes aren’t native to Germany but they are nowadays frequently used in German cuisine. I don’t like to use them as a substitute for regular potatoes because I think they don’t have much in common in flavor and texture with the original. However, they are perfect for sweets and desserts. These sweet potato waffles are naturally sweet and delicious. It’s a pity I don’t have a post up yet in my basics series about […]

Women eating Abendbrot
Cooking History, Cooking Knowledge, Non Recipes

Why do Germans eat a cold supper?

If you’ve been to Germany you might know that one of the strangest things foreigners encounter in Germany is the tradition among older people to eat bread in the evening. And no, this bread is not served with a soup or stew. It is just bread with some butter, cheese, and sausage. Depending on the region where you are from in Germany this meal goes by names like ‘Abendbrot’, ‘Vesper’, or ‘Brotzeit’. A lot of […]

Pork Rib Soup
Pork, Potatoes, Soups, Vegetables

Pork Rib Soup (‘Rippcheneintopf’)

I love hearty soups that contain all the elements of a wholesome meal. Just as for example the Swabian beef soup (‘Gaisburger Marsch’), this pork rib soup has it all: Potatoes, vegetables, and meat. All cooked to perfection in a savory broth. Spare ribs used to be a very cheap cut of meat in Germany. They were not used as barbecue meat in traditional cuisine. It was typical soup meat that was boiled in water […]

Asparagus Dumplings (Spargel Schlutzkrapfen)
Dumplings, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Asparagus Dumplings (‘Spargel Schlutzkrapfen’)

Schlutzkrapfen are a special kind of dumpling that originated in Tyrol, Austria. They are usually filled with vegetables rather than meat. These asparagus dumplings are a real treat in the springtime and my last asparagus recipe for this year as the asparagus season in Germany is about to end in a few days. It’s undeniable that Schlutzkrapfen were inspired by Italian ravioli. However, they are not the same. As you might’ve noticed from the recipe […]

Stir-fried asparagus
Pork, Sides, Vegetables

Stir-fried Asparagus with Bacon (‘Gebratener Spargel mit Speck’)

Stir-fried asparagus with bacon is a simple side dish that can be whipped up in less than ten minutes. It’s very common in German cuisine to pair vegetables with some kind of cured pork product. Without a doubt, asparagus is already delicious by itself. But pairing it with the savoriness of bacon takes this humble vegetable to the next level. For crisp and vibrant asparagus, it’s necessary to blanch it before stir-frying. The actual stir-frying […]