Saturday, March 24, 2007

Die Bäckerei...

When it comes to making great tasting things with wheat, the Germans got done messing around a long, long time ago. We remember this almost every morning when we (usually in the royal sense of the word: I) go to the bakery to buy bread. As I've mentioned before, this is a habit B grew up on and I become accustomed to in Brazil. However, I must admit that the German bakery experience is better.

As you can see in the pictures below, there is a wide range of breads and rolls one can buy, both sweet and not so much. In most places, you can also purchase jelly, pasta, milk etc. We tend to stick to simple baguettes, both “regular” and whole wheat. Sometimes I’ll buy croissants, both chocolate covered (decadent, no?) and not.

Most bakeries also offer a selection of cakes that give you a sugar rush just looking at them. Eating cake on the weekends is an institution in Germany. It’s quite common to see folks on Saturday and Sunday afternoon drinking coffee or expresso and downing large plates of delicious-looking cake.
We still haven’t figured out what determines what bread/rolls are available on what day. The rotation in selection seems random but gives one a good excuse to try new things.

By far the busiest day at the bakery is Saturday. I guess people have more time to prepare meals and most bakeries are closed on Sunday. We have at least 3 bakeries within 5 minutes or so of our house. One of them even opens on Sunday. It’s interesting to see people buy a section of a large (and I mean large) loaf of bread. I’m assuming one orders by the centimeter (or inch if you really want to confuse the baker).

While we’re on the subject of great-tasting German wheat concoctions, Hefeweitzen, or wheat beer, is my favorite. It is now the only beer I drink. As the good book says, man cannon live on bread alone. I, unfortunately, tend to compensate for the lack of variety with volume. This is a dangerous endeaver as this beer is a bit deceptive: its slight sweetness belies a powerful punch (albeit with a velvet glove). It doesn’t help that it’s typically served in half liter glasses.

Although the glass pictured below is a bit banal, Hefeweitzen or Weisbeer (white beer) is usually served in really beautiful tall glasses (with a half liter mark to remove any doubt about its capacity). This post has inspired me to begin collecting pictures of said glasses. It will certainly be hard work, but somebody’s got to do it.

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