Nothing connects people as food does. And it’s a great conversation starter, too. I have often found myself talking with total strangers at a grocery store about a German ingredient or a recipe. The last time this happened was at a Christmas market outside of Philadelphia, where I overheard a conversation in German about making your own Eierlikör (spiked eggnog). I boldly jumped in, and before I knew it, my friend Gabriele and I found ourselves debating with half a dozen other German-Americans whether sweetened condensed milk or heavy cream makes the better Eierlikör. Continue reading
For most of my 21 years in America, I have been baking my own bread. If you have lived in Germany with its tremendous variety of wholesome breads, you just cannot be without it. As a wrote before, baking German breads in America can be challenging, and I am always on the lookout for suitable flours and grains. In the case of Castle Valley Mill in Pennsylvania, the grains and flours include a German-American connection – and also a slice out of American colonial and industrial history. Continue reading
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