Germans do have a sense of humor.

We have moved into our house and we’re back online. It is so nice to be back in touch with all of you.

For some reason, people seem to think that Germans aren’t very funny – that they’re just ernst (serious) all the time. That’s not true at all, but I would say that many of the Germans I know tend to have dry sense of humor.

The other day, I was buying Aufschnitt (cold cuts) and cheese for our deutsches Abendbrot.  I’ll explain what that is in a moment.  We are currently without a car, so sometimes Rosebud and I have been walking to our local grocery store, a Tengelmann store (http://www.kaisers.de).  It’s one of the national grocery stores here in Germany.  I enjoy the walk, and often someone will stop and talk with us.  Having a cute baby along often gets people to talk with you.

When I stopped at the deli counter, the gentleman waiting on us had a great sense of humor.  Bear in mind that I was wearing Rosebud in our carrier so that she could see what was going on.  She was fascinated by everyone and everything.  I first asked for four Bratwurst.  The gentleman joked, “Ah, two for you and two for baby.”  Then I asked for Schinken – smoked black forest ham.  By black forest, I really do mean the black forest, the Schwarzwald.  He held up the whole block and said with a big grin, “You want the whole thing, yes?”  Then he laughed and sliced off what I requested.

First, I must extol the virtues of Schinken.  It’s a truly unique ham product, and it is one of those foods that I invariably associate with the German-speaking world.  It’s thin like bacon, and it’s smoked so the texture is slightly dry and it has a nice salty taste to it.  Schinken is really wonderful stuff.

Schinken

Schinken

So, deutsches Abendbrot: most Germans eat a light breakfast, have their main meal of the day at lunchtime, and then have a lighter dinner which they call Abendbrot (evening bread).  I guess you could say we are going native and enjoying our Abendbrot at least a few times a week.  Usually it consists of bread and/or rolls, cold cuts and cheese, and salad, fruit and yogurt, and maybe Quark.  Quark is possibly my most favorite dairy product ever, like a thick and creamy yogurt.  And of course, one might enjoy a beer or glass of wine with their Abendbrot.  Traditionally, each member of the family would have their own little wooden board (like a small cutting board) on which to prepare their Abendbrot.

In these pictures, you can see some of the yummy bread.  We’ve got two types here – the rolls are called Laugenbrot.  I haven’t seen this kind outside of Bavaria.  They’re basically pretzel dough turned into rolls, and they’re very tasty.  Then I have a loaf of Roggenbrot, a rye bread with lots of sunflower seeds.  This particular loaf has a cute label – it’s called a Hedgehog bread because the shape makes you think of a hedgehog.  And then you can see our Abendbrot spread.  That’s basically Abendbrot!

I have lots more to say in the coming days, and lots of pictures to upload.  We received a lot of snow shortly after we moved in, we’ve already made friends with several neighbors and we’ve taken a few short trips to towns near where we live.

By the way, you may be wondering why I capitalize so many of the German words – it’s because in German, all nouns are capitalized.

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10 responses to “Germans do have a sense of humor.

  1. Mary Ann Verkamp

    Hallo Melinda,

    In paar Tagen werde ich noch mehr schreiben, aber ich beneide dich/euch so! Wie schön da zu wohnen und die deutsche Kultur zu erleben.

    Es wird momentan etwas wärmer, mindestens bis Sonntag; Frühling ist ‘um die Ecke’.

    Mary Ann

    • bowmansinbavaria

      Hallo Mary Ann, hier gibt es immer noch viel Schnee und es wird noch länger dauern, bevor der Frühling kommt.

      Wir geniessen sehr das Leben in Deutschland und fühlen uns hier sehr wohl.

      Übrigens: wir werden am Anfang Juni nach den Vereinigten Staaten reisen (3. bis 18-20 Juni oder so). Natürlich möchten wir euch sehen. Denk daran, was ich dir von Deutschland mitbringen kannst!

  2. Ahh, yes, Abendbrot! I don’t think I ever ate off an actual plate the entire time I ate with my host family. We had little “cutting boards.”

    • bowmansinbavaria

      Emilia, neat! If I recall, two of my families out of four had the little Abendbrot boards; but in one of the those families, we didn’t consistently have Abendbrot as the mother was from Barcelona.

      I should look around and see if I can find some for us, but I haven’t actually noticed them in any stores. I’m sure they must be somewhere!

  3. Seems like you are definitely ‘going native’!!! Lots of bread and meat and cheese…that’s what I remember from Germany!! So glad you’re posting again. Can’t wait to talk with you soon! Give Ronni a kiss for me!

  4. Love the report! Schinken is awesome–it’s like prociutto but better. Another German food I loved was Butterkase (sp?). Did I ever point you to my Germany photoblog?
    http://www.happybeagle.com/shelbysblog/text/hamburg.html

    • bowmansinbavaria

      Shelby, I forgot to mention that we indeed had Butterkäse on our table to go along with the Schinken. Yum, yum! Thank you for the link to your photoblog, I am going to love looking at the pictures. 🙂

  5. Hi, hope you don’t mind me correcting you: can it be that you mean “Laugenbrot” instead of “Laubenbrot”? You mean the brown pretzel-like rolls, don’t you? They are called “Laugenbrötchen” oder “Laugenbrot”. Like pretzels are called “Laugenbrezel”. You can omit the “Laugen-” part when you order a pretzel, though. Lauge = lye; that’s the fluid these rolls are soaked into. Btw, they sell them here (Berlin area), too… My kids love them ;o).

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