Being American, I have been very fortunate that Germany has a lot of the big “American foods.” Germany has McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, and I am sure a plethora of other fast food joints that would satiate your American junk food needs. There is even a restaurant in Überlingen called Pizza Jung where they sell not only pizza and burgers, but wings, jalapeño poppers, mac ‘n cheese, and other heart-clogging American deliciousness.
I will admit, there are some occasions where the burgers are a little dry, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Anyway, it’s hard to not find a taste of ol’ Americana here in Germany. There were enough American soldiers stationed here long enough that it created a market that needed to be supplied. Soon enough the Germans also adopted it into part of their culture as well (at least culinary culture) and thus the market continued even after the number of American soldiers dwindled. Granted there are a few of the more specialized meals that you can’t get here (like my Louisiana Creole food from Yats), but that’s VERY exact and there’s yet to be a market for it (unless it’s in one of the bigger cities….I haven’t experimented there yet, I am only working in mid-size Germany cities.)
But what I do miss: Peruvian food. The kind my Mama makes.
But of course, everyone misses their mother’s cooking, but what adds insult to injury is that it’s hard to find certain ingredients to make the delicious yummies. Fortunately, thanks to my mother having paved the way of ingenuity, I have figured out ways of making some Peruvian dishes without using the more traditional Peruvian ingredients.
So what have I made?
Papa a la Huancaína
Tiradito de Pescado
Causa de Atun
Just to name a few. Of course, I sort of cheated on the last one. My friend MELO, if you recall that she is also half-Peruvian like me, made the Causa when we did a Peruvian dinner night at their place. I do know how to make it now so there’s that.. Eventually I would also like to experiment with Chupe de Camarones….but there’s still time 😀
As an Expat, you do have to learn how to improvise. When my mom first started experimenting with Papa a la Huancaina in the States, she had to come up with her own version. One of the key ingredients is Aji Amarillo (yellow chili) and only within the last 15 years or so can you find it in the States (usually in your local Mexican store). My mom still makes her “American ingredient” version because it is just that damned good and luckily I can also make that version here. Another important ingredient is Aji Panca (Panca chili). I need that for Lomo Saltado so I usually have to bring some from the States. But I make it work! But if I do need some emergency ingredients, my Peruvian connections here tell me that Zurich and some places in Belgium can get me the hook up, but my mom keeps me well stocked up.
The only thing I really miss that is really hard to bring to Germany? Inca Cola!
What food do you miss from home? Or what have you found in your expat country that comes pretty close to it?
Bis nächste Woche!
3 thoughts on “Taste like Home…”
The only food I miss from Wisconsin is string cheese. Nothing like it. I found “Cheese String” in the store once, and my husband encouraged me to toss the rest in the garbage after he watched my face while I forced down two pieces. I enjoy other types of cheeses here, but the new routine with family when they visit is to go to the Baker’s Cheese factory store, buy a pound or two of their fresh string cheese, freeze it wrapped in tin foil and in a ziplock bag, and just before, departure slip it into the suitcase.
Luckily for me I really like German/Swabian food, which makes it easy not to miss much from my passport country. Your photos made me hungry, even though I just ate lunch!
I found that I also really like German food so I don’t always miss food from home, but Peruvian dishes are quite unique and there’s an emotional connection to them (i.e. my mother). The last few times that I have been home, one of my aunts from Peru would also be around and usually brings me a ton of stuff from Peru (my favorite being my banana chips) as well as the chilies. Today a lot of the Peruvian sauces are actually sold in vacuum sealed envelopes so it makes them very easy to transport with a luggage without a problem 😀
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