Friday, June 3, 2011


Germany is a land of alcohol, meat, cheese, and chocolate.  If I wanted to gain weight I wouldn't do it in America (no matter how efficient and cost-effective it would be), I would move to Germany buy out the cheese and chocolate sections.

In a typical Publix, I can imagine the candy isle.  It has sugary treats of all sorts: lemon drops, caramel, hard candies, fruity chewies like starburst and skittles, a dozen different candy bars, and a couple dozen other brands of flavored sugar.  Most of this isn't worth your time more than once.  Some people have a favorite (like snickers) they'll go for, but this is not what you reach for when you think of quality chocolate.  And yes, Publix will probably have a small secluded section for the high-quality imports of chocolate (Godiva).

In even the smallest German grocer, you see an immense relative reduction in the flavored-sugar candies and a lot more chocolate.  In their candy section, there are a dozen different brands, each with a dozen different flavors--there is full spectrum of German chocolate.  Milka (good), Aero (good), Sarotti (great), Ritter Sport (good) and others all have a wide range of chocolate measured by %Cocoa (going from what we would call White to Bitter Dark) each combined with either different kinds of nuts (hazelnut, peanut), or fruit (raisins, strawberry filling), caramel, corn flakes, coffee, marzipan (a personal favorite), nougat, praline, and flavors of yogurt.
Germans seem to be less strict about alcohol in chocolates, I've seen some incredible liqueur filled chocolates on the cheap.
I think, if you showed a German a Hershey's Bar, they would just stare at you and ask, "Why did you put cocoa powder in this wax?"
Actually, they do sell American candy bars--for two and three times the price of the (better) German chocolates.
I've also seen strange things, like the German Twinkie--a [get this] individual cheesecake snack (which tastes about as awesome as you'd imagine).

The cheese has been equally spectacular in its own way.  I'm enjoying Castello with some honey right now.  As Andrew no doubt remembers, it's actually cheaper to buy rounds of Brie (and other unpronounceable creamy cheeses) and cut squares of them onto your sandwich than to buy sliced cheeses.  The President camembert and the veritable chaumes has been especially good sandwich material, and I've got some slices of I-don't-know-what from the K&K down the street.

As for alcohol, Dr. Figura treated me to some Quakebruck Pils when I first arrived, but I've been concentrating on wine since.  I mostly get things in the 1.99E range.  The Dronfelder Rheinhessen was ok, I was disappointed in the Lambrusco (I must have gotten the specifics wrong, but I remember it from last year),  the Portugieser Weissherbst was all right and so was the Gerwurztraminer Tramini.  But the Stand UP and Shout 'Awesome' has been the Ume-Pflaume
which was an incredible experience in and of itself.  


  1. What I read about Ume is it is an oriental fruit that kind of crosses plums and apricots. Sounds delish! The link also says the Netto has it for 1.29 Euro? I can't wait to get to Germany!

  2. I promised your Aunt Alice that I would bring an empty tote bag to Germany with the express purpose of returning laden with quality chocolate.

  3. I sent your Castello remark to the Cheese Please guys. I hope they order some for the store!

  4. Blue Castello is a triple-cream blue cow's milk cheese from Denmark.
    It was developed in the 1960s by the Tholstrup cheese company (established in 1893 by Rasmus Tholstrup) of Denmark. The washed rind hosts various moulds that add to the cheese's mildly spicy flavour. It has a smooth, rich texture much like Brie.
    Within the Castello range, there is also a white and black variation.