Couple of years ago, I used to order one brötchen (bread rolls) at the neighborhood bakery and that seemed to baffle the lady at the counter so much that she kept on pushing me to buy some more, saying it was not enough for one person.
I had never thought much about it until I had to spend 24 hours at the hospital and finally got it. Bread is a key component of a German family meal-plan! This is the main ingredient for breakfast, lunch (sometimes) and dinner.
At the hospital I was served the traditional German dinner meal Abendbrot literally evening bread. It’s basically rye bread or black bread with cheese and cold-cuts. The next day for breakfast we were served exactly the same but with a coffee this time. At the hospital they were serving a warm meal for lunch but for most kids and professionals they also pack a Brot Dose (bread Box) for lunch containing guess what?… bread cheese and cold-cuts!
Hospital food is never the best option to discover one countries cuisine but over the year I got to experience Abendbrot at friends places and got to taste the large variety of bread and rolls available in Germany along with fancier topping like smoked salmon and trout, Meerrettich (horseradish) or beetroot spread etc.
To be honest I cannot eat that much bread, usually I only eat small quantities and not even every day. In France you always eat small pieces of baguette (white bread) to sauce up your plate and with the cheese at lunch and toast for breakfast but it’s more a side of your meal rather than a full dish. I prefer to have warm meals with lots of fruits and vegetables for dinner but still german Brötchen were actually what I missed the most during our year in the US and one of the first thing I went to buy once back.
There are also more elaborate dishes in the German cooking repertoire (some of my favorite include Maultaschen and Spätzle ) but Bread is the easy food that all eat regularly wether they are busy parents on the lookout for quick meal solutions or young professional to lazy to cook after a long day at work… germans need their daily breads!