Spoonfuls of Germany


Gluten-free buckwheat, once a poor man’s grain in Germany

Gluten-free Buckwheat Cake with Lingonberry Filling

In recent years, the gluten-free diet wave has swept through Germany like through so many other industrialized countries. It catapulted the book Wheat Belly by US physician William Davis to the bestseller list (its German title, Die Weizenwampe, is even more colorful than the English – “Wampe” means fat belly in German). And, with the gluten-free wave, scores of gluten-free products have been washed onto supermarket shelves. Continue reading


Folding German roots into California cuisine

Rye Bread shaping

“Whenever I go out to eat at a place with great bread,” writes German-born, Los-Angeles-based chef Hans Röckenwagner about his Sourdough Roggen Brot, I always stash a little nub by my napkin so it’s safe from the servers dutifully cleaning up the table. No matter what I’ve had for dinner or dessert, I must end my meal with one last bite of bread.”

I don’t do exactly that but I am equally obsessed with real, good bread. All of my German expat friends are too. The love for good bread must be in our genes, no matter how far away from Germany we live, or how long we’ve been away. Continue reading


The truth about Hänsel and Gretel

Gingerbread house

We had several inches of snow at Thanksgiving. Our house with its lit windows created a winter wonderland look – like the gingerbread house in Hänsel and Gretel. It put me in the mood to make a gingerbread house.

As I looked through recipes and assembled ingredients and patterns, it hit me that I do not know much about the origin of the gingerbread house tradition. I vaguely recalled a witch’s gingerbread house as the crime scene in Hänsel and Gretel, a fairytale by the Grimm Brothers. Continue reading