Spoonfuls of Germany


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American professor in Philadelphia adds gusto to German-American friendship

Sausage vending machine in Hanover, Germany, 1931 (Wikimedia Commons).

This is my last blog post for The Year of German-American Friendship. Over the past thirteen months I have profiled people in the US from very different backgrounds and professions: a butcher, a miller, a gingerbread baker, a candy maker, a German food truck owner, the two founders of a döner restaurant chain, a food historian, and a fruit grower – all with a link to Germany.

I am wrapping my series up with Elliott Shore, who epitomizes German-American friendship and is professor of history emeritus at Bryn Mawr College. Shore is an American academic who combines in-depth study of Germany with a strong personal connection to the country. 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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Refugee Canteen: Helping refugees in Germany find their way into restaurant jobs

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Last Saturday I woke up to snowfall. It was pretty to watch from my friends’ fifth-floor apartment in a quiet residential street in Berlin. Yet my mind was elsewhere. More than 80,000 refugees have arrived in Berlin, and I wondered how they managed in this weather. In the newspaper I had just read about a scuffle in front of a warming tent at a refugee camp, and about the controversy surrounding new temporary container housing for 7,000 refugees near the former Tempelhof Airport. Continue reading