One of my favorite things about my new home is that it is in walking distance of a place to sit and sip a good coffee. A couple days ago I sat down at one of their tables outside in the sun, the weather was just too good to pass by without enjoying it and I had some work to do. Well, I had a hard time to get my thoughts together, three ladies nearby were so engaged in their conversation, that they didn’t realize, they were entertaining the whole place.
Although my mom taught me not to spy on others (actually no she never did that, so I am excused) I was curious and working was no option anymore so I listened for a while. I was amazed to hear they were talking about Germany. One of the ladies was planning her next vacation in Germany and she was raving about all the nice things she is going to do and buy there. And that was the point I started rolling my eyes, she was talking about the Schwarzwald Kuckucksuhr, Lederhosen and wood carvings for Christmas from the Fichtelgebirge. I was hoping for some new shopping inspirations for my next trip home to Germany, which is coming up very soon. I already started to make a list. I am the kind of person who wouldn’t survive without lists, I make lists to reminding me to make lists, the only way for me to manage literary everything. If you are around here for a while you already know about my chaotic me.
Vacation time is coming up and I thought you might also visit Germany and need some inspiration for stuff to bring home or try out while there. I am sure nothing of this will be mentioned in your ordinary traveling guide.
stuff you should bring home from your trip to Germany
Please check in advance for customs restrictions of the country you are living in, I don’t want you to face some jail time just because you are “accidentally” smuggling a bag full of Bratwursts on your way home.
Pul Biber (paprika flakes)
This is not really German but very well available. Germany has a huge population of people from Turkey. They came with their culture and food is a big part of that. When I had been living in my old hometown grocery shopping sometimes involved a stop at one of the small Turkey shops for flavorful tomatoes and the biggest and sweetest watermelons. Their spices are worth a glaze too, especially the pul biber: spicy but not really hot, a little tangy and full of paprika flavor. I use it on nearly everything and it is especially great for stews and soups, on scrambled eggs… And it is my go to life saver if I screwed up the seasoning of something.
I didn’t like black tea for the most time of my life, turned out I just had tried the wrong kind. The Ostfriesentee (East Frisian tea) is a dark and strong Assam blend. This tea is great to enjoy with some cream, rum (nice on a cold night) and is usually sweetened with rock sugar (Kandis or Kluntje).
Curry Gewürz Ketchup
My family calls it slimy ketchup and my American friends love this stuff. It is very different from your usual tomato ketchup. Their spice mixture is based on the famous sauce for the Currywurst in Berlin. Pouring it over spaghetti had kept me from starving a couple of times in my early grown up days (rather not so grown up), this is definitive not a gourmet tip. I still love it but don’t go by a bottle a week anymore. If you are flying consider buying a small bottle, the big bottle could be too heavy for your bag.
Chocolate is my daily bread and I prefer the dark one, a few pieces melting in my mouth is another way of experiencing heaven. Growing up my uncle used to bring me milk chocolate with hazelnut and raisins, still love this combination but it is hard to get here in the states. There is also milk chocolate with whole almonds and a dark chocolate with marzipan that I love. Although German chocolate is available in stores in the US, it can be hard to find and is always pricey. Also, I am missing out the seasonal variations like the one with speculoos cookies at Christmas time or summertime specials with fruits. And what kind of genius put salty cracker into milk chocolate?
Gummies and licorice
This is Mr. F’s must have, he is totally into all the gummy goodness and licorice. I like to chew on one or two from time to time.One big exception is the grapefruits from Haribo, they are like crack for me (I think I mentioned it already). Now this company sells some without gelatin, which is suitable for vegetarians. Again they are available in the states but just a few variations, there is so much more out there!
There are some things which are not necessary on my list of stuff you should bring home from your trip to Germany, but worth mentioning:
Knoedelmix (I like homemade better but wanted to remind you about that)
Birkenstocks, the selection is much larger in Germany, might be (but not always) cheaper
Stabilo, my favorite fine-line pens
Müesli, bigger selection and better taste
Blätterkrokant, another heavenly sweet thing: brittle, covered with chocolate (it’s somehow hard to explain?!)
Kaiser baking pans, my springform pan never leaks, easy to clean and is non-stick.
Quark, unfortunately, I can’t bring that home with me. It is the main ingredient for a good German cheesecake. I love it on a fresh crispy roll with homemade jam. But try it while you are there.
German wines: Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Dornfelder. I don’t know why, but most available German wines in the states are sweet. I think they keep the good stuff for themselves.
Sahnesteif, a white powder comes in little envelopes. You add this while you are whipping cream, it makes it firmer and keeps it this way for longer, great for cakes. I am not a big fan of whipped cream but I didn’t want you to miss out.
Erdnuss Flips, it is a total mystery to me why it is not available in the states. Peanuts are loved by so many people here, give this flips a chance.
This is a long list of stuff you should bring home from your trip to Germany. You can say I am writing this list for a while… But I am sure there is something I didn’t think about, so please leave a comment to continue this list.