Sunday, November 15, 2009

breakfast, but not as you know it

Surprise surprise, the Germans take their first meal of the day seriously (as they do everything else) so seriously in fact that the first long piece of writing I had to do for my current Goethe language course was 200 words on my typical breakfast...that was a struggle!

To the English breakfast is only ever (apart from high days and holidays) toast or cereal, it's a quick meal that is somehow meant to sustain after the night's fast until lunch time (no wonder the English invented 'elevenses').

For the Germans breakfast is a complete meal, involving salami, ham, cheese (of many varieties) bread (of many varieties) jam, yoghurt, musli, eggs (poached, boiled or scrambled) croissant and so on.

Of course on a normal work/school day a lavish breakfast is just not possible timewise, but they've developed a canny system to get around this minor problem - they have 2 breakfasts.

Seriously, I'm not joking.
School kids will have a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast before leaving home (a normal English breakfast) and then take food for eating during 'Frühstück Pause' - this could be a ham brötchen (bread roll) chocolate croissant, sandwich made with spreadable sausage - whatever the child wants really. Many offices with their own canteens will lay on Frühstück for staff and work stops as the collegues take their time to have their second breakfast.

Cafes and restaurants around here all offer Frühstück during the morning, in fact when I would expect to call in to a cafe for coffee and cake they actually haven't got any cake (shock, horror, gasp) because I guess they know that their morning business is all Frühstück, so I have to make do with just coffee - I don't want a second breakfast.
Note to self; go to a different cafe next time, one that can be relied on for a decent cake selection!!

Today is Sunday and we would usually, as a family, have a relaxing breakfast of either fresh croissants (the bakeries here are open EVERY day) or occasionally English bacon (smuggled in and frozen during the summer - German bacon is pants) today however we're doing brunch with friends at a little bar here in Kettwig which is what really inspired me to today's subject matter - so I'm looking forward to lots of bread, ham, cheese, eggs etc etc.

Motto of the day - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

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