Spoonfuls of Germany


Sealing the year with a pretzel

New Year's PretzelThis morning I made a sweet yeasted pretzel, a German Neujahrsbrezel. While waiting for the dough to rise, I checked my e-mails. Every single one from friends or family in Germany wished me “Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr”, literally a good slide into the New Year. It occurred to me that I have said that all my life myself yet I have no idea where the expression originates. Continue reading



Stollen meets bread


It was butter that made the city of Dresden the home of Germany’s most famous edible Christmas tradition. In 1491 Pope Innocent VIII gave in to the request of the Saxonian rulers to lift the ban on dairy products during the days of fasting. After he sent the legendary Butterbrief (“Butter Letter”) the bakers in Dresden started to use butter in their Stollen, and the sweet bread that we know today was born.

I love a good Stollen and frankly, in the time leading up to Christmas, I could eat it every day – if only it was a little less rich. Continue reading


German food basics: How to make vanilla sugar, vanilla pudding and and vanilla sauce

Vanilla sauce

In a recent podcast with my friend and fellow blogger from Phoebe’s Pure Food I talked about the diversity of German cuisine as opposed to the common stereotype of sausage, sauerkraut and beer. Phoebe asked me whether there is a condiment that’s used all over the Germany. I had to think hard for a moment, then I said, “Vanilla sugar”. Continue reading