I was in Rewe today looking at cereals, trying to find one I would actually be willing to eat (me and cereals are not a good combination) when I realised that half of the names I know don’t actually exist in Germany. Not that most of them are a big loss – I can’t say I’ve found myself craving wheetos (do they even still make those?) or crunchy nut cornflakes recently! It did get me thinking about all the English stuff I do miss over here though. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a list of tasty stuff from the UK that you just can’t get in Germany:
1. Decent crisps. You can get Walkers crisps here, but only in Irish pubs where they cost a gazillion euros. And you can’t get any of the interesting stuff, like Skips and Hula Hoops and Monster Munch. German crisps just don’t cut it. For a start 99.9999% of them are paprika flavour. It’s got to the stage where even the mention of paprika flavoured crisps makes me lose the will to live. Then they have something called “Erdnussflips”. Thy’re shaped like Wotsits, but instead of being cheese flavoured they’re a weird concoction made from corn and peanuts. They smell awful and taste like mushed up peanut flavoured cardboard. Not good.
2. Galaxy chocolate. It is sort of available here, but only in boxes of celebrations where it goes by the name of ‘Dove’. I’m hardly going to buy a whole box of celebrations just for the Galaxy though am I? And anyway, there’s only ever about 3 pieces in there. The rest is all Mars bars which I hate.
3. Pasties, pies, sausage rolls. Why have no Germans ever thought of taking some pastry and shoving something savoury in the middle? The closest they get is something called a “Geflügelrolle” which is sort of like a sausage roll except the sausage meat stuff is made from some kind of bird instead of pork. It’s very tasty but there are about 2 bakers in the whole of Karlsruhe that actually sell them.
4. Ready Brek. An odd thing to miss, I know, but it’s one of the few cereals I can actually eat a whole bowl of. Currently I have to give half of my muesli to Jan or throw away the leftovers. (It’s chocolate muesli by the way – I’m not that healthy!)
5. Malt vinegar. No wonder the Germans think we’re weird for putting vinegar on our chips – the right kind of vinegar doesn’t even exist in this country! And chips with white wine vinegar is just wrong.
6. Baked potatoes. You can get them in restaurants very occasionally, and I did recently manage to find some potatoes that are actually big enough to make my own, but it just isn’t the same over here. On the few occasions that you manage to find a place that serves baked potatoes it always comes with either sour cream or herb quark. There is one place that does one with bits of fried chicken, but even that comes with a huuuuge dollop of sour cream all over everything. I long for a nice baked potato that’s piled high with yummy cheddar cheese. (To be fair to the Germans I did spot a baked potato cafe/restaurant thing during a weekend in Hamburg. It’s probably the only one in the whole country though.)
7. Spaghetti hoops. Or actually any kind of pasta shapes in tomato sauce.
8. Brown sauce. If they had brown sauce here I would put it in my non-existent spaghetti hoops.
9. Proper gravy. They have something similar to gravy here. It’s called Bratensoße. It’s pale brown, incredibly runny and tastes weird. Give me Bisto any day (yes, homemade gravy is better but I’m lazy and only know how to make instant Bisto gravy)
10. Squash. You cannot get squash in Germany! What they like to do is take some fruit juice, half fill a glass with it and top it up with fizzy water. It’s called Schorle. It isn’t actually bad and I do drink it but it’s just not the same as a nice glass of apple and blackcurrant squash, or dilutey juice as my sister and I would call it when we were little.
So there you are. A list of 10 things I wish were available in Germany.