Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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324 words

Germany may be a strange place but if there’s one thing people are getting right it’s the bread. Of course industrialisation has ruined quite a bit in breadmaking as well but with a bit of looking around and paying extra you should be able to get some traditionally made breads pretty much everywhere.

Of course your standard German loaf is a bit different than breads you get elsewhere. I guess that’s mostly because of sourdough bread being the standard rather than worth mentioning or even hyping as it is elsewhere. As a consequence, breads are heavy and and hard. A general rule of thumb seems to be that if you couldn’t kill a person by hitting him with the bread, it’s probably not a good one. This doesn’t mean the breads are hard, but just that they’re solid and crusty. It also means that there are certain things German bakers don’t get right. Fluffy sandwich bread, for example. In fact, that kind of stuff is usually just called ‘Toast’ around here as people have the idea that such inferior bread can only be taken in after toasting (I disagree with that, but you get the point…).

It turns out that there are even bread museums in this country, one of which isn’t far away (but I haven’t been there). And I was quite amused to see that – taking into account regional expressions – there are gazillions of expressions for that hard last bit of a loaf of bread. Or rather, there is no fixed word for it, so everybody comes up with their own silly one. Quoth wikipedia:

Knerzel, Anschnitt, Knust, Mürgel oder Mürgeli, Aheuer, Ortstückel (im Sudetengau) und Bödeli oder Gupf (in der Schweiz), Bugl, Scherzel oder Scherzerl (in Österreich), Riebel, Riebele (in Süddeutschland, besonders Baden-Württemberg), Stützle, Knorzen, Knörzla, Kipf oder auch Kipfla (in Franken), Knäppchen, Knüppchen, Knippchen, Knust, Knüstchen, Krüstchen, Kniesjen, Knäuschen, Knörzchen, Ranft, Ränftl, Knäusperle oder Kanten (in Deutschland).

March 4, 2008, 1:24


Comment by Dave2: User icon

Best bread on earth is Hawaiian Sweet Bread. Hands-down my favorite.

Though the German Spritzringe donut is a contribution to culinary perfection that is pretty much unmatched!

March 4, 2008, 2:05

Comment by Christian: User icon

Living in Vancouver it was a real struggle to find a place for “good old” bread I’m used to. I even had to figure out that what I’m actually missing is sourdough (and not the simple yeast) bread. It’s so common back home that I never thought about it. Fortunately there is a bakery that comes close (http://www.labaguettebakery.com). Nevertheless I’ll be happy to bite into a Vollkornbrot again soon.

March 4, 2008, 7:01

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