Spoonfuls of Germany


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German-American gingerbread magic

German food, I wrote in the introduction to my German cookbook 15 years ago and keep repeating, is the Cinderella of world cuisines – overshadowed by her pretty sisters, looked down upon and underrated. But come along Christmas season, it’s payback time. Even people who usually turn up their nose at German food are charmed by German Christmas traditions. “German” Christmas markets spring up everywhere in the United States, and I have not seen anyone who does not delight in a plate of Christmas stollen, lebkuchen and other German Christmas goodies.

For The Year of German-American Friendship, I want to introduce you to Ryan Berley of Shane Confectionery, and Sandy Lee of Leckerlee, two American entrepreneurs who are following in the footsteps of German gingerbread tradition, each in their own, special way. What comes out of their ovens in New York City and Philadelphia is unlike the other, but each equally top-notch and delicious. Continue reading

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German food on the go, made in USA

There are numerous claims about who invented the first hamburger and when, and whether its origins are in the German city of Hamburg, or in America. What is certain though is that ever since Germany’s first restaurant with the golden arches was opened in Munich in 1971, food on the go has mostly crossed the Atlantic Ocean in one direction, eastwards. Today numerous American fast food chains populate the German fast food landscape.

For The Year of German-American Friendship that started last month, I took a closer look at the two most popular German foods on the go that have traveled the other way, from Germany to America, namely Currywurst and Döner. Continue reading


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A tiny pear kicks off “The Year of German-American Friendship”

Friends and families from Germany have often remarked that rural northeast Pennsylvania where I live looks just like Germany, and they jokingly ask me, “Doesn’t it sometimes feel like you’ve never left?”

The answer is yes, … and no. In my more than 20 years in America, I have experienced America as a country that is very different from my native Germany in many aspects but I have also found a lot of common ground between the two countries.

Showcasing and exploring how closely Germany and the United States are linked together through deep historical ties and shared values is what The Year of German-American Friendship (“Deutschlandjahr USA”) is all about. And I am excited that Spoonfuls of Germany was chosen as one of 200 partners participating in this major initiative. Continue reading