I have never been in Germany and want to try authentic/ traditional German food.
Please make some specific recommendations for pastries, snacks, candies, beverages and other items.
If you also happen to be familiar with the Dusseldorf Airport and can recommend one of the restaurants, I would love to hear your suggestions.
I am just going to have about five hours there but I want to spend most of it eating and buying edible souvenirs!!!
A CH from NYC on her way to France
My condolences on your layover. Maybe you can catch a couple of hours in Dusseldorf - it is very close by train. We walked and walked around the airport for our own 3.5 hr layover (Air Berlin) last week and I cant say the food options were great. There is a supermarket in the basement where we bought some nice german bread to bring home as a souvenir but given the restrictions on carrying liquids, bottles etc onto a plane and the US restriction on meats etc, we were very constrained. If you like checking out the different food in supermarkets, that might be an option - you might be able to buy sausages, etc... All the way at the end of the C terminal was the first place I really saw guys happily drinking beer. We had spent the first part of our trip in Munich where there is a lot of joie de vivre and beer drinking - not really evident in the Dusseldorf airport. We wound up eating some turkish chow in the basement rather than at Movenpick, etc upstairs. There are a couple places offering what looked like decent cakes, you might want to sample and a Northsea fish place - there was also a cafe selling coffee in very large cups but I cant remember where.
Sorry I'm not familiar with Dusseldorf - I only changed train.
I'd suggest some chocolates - that you can find everywhere.
Rittersports - various milk, dark, white with almond, hazelnut, cornflakes, raisins, yogurt, marzipan, etc. They come in regular, mini and large sizes.
Hanuta - it's made by Ferrero. Crispy wafels layered with nutela.
Choco Crocies (by Nestle). Crispy chocolate, not as fine chocolate as Rittersports, but quite addictive.
Bread and/or buns. There are many bakeries.
German bread is filling/hearty They are not made of refined flour and definitely not softy fluffy. You don't have to buy the whole loaf. Ask for a half or sometimes one third of a loaf is allowed.
Bauern Brot (farmer's bread) is good, its texture is similar to north american rye but taste different. Roggenbrot is real grainy bread.
Buns: try the Laugen Brotchen - crispy dark brown outside - very moist inside.
Fresh Bretzels (Pretzels) - very common.
"Feinkost" is a deli store. Try the Bierwurst, Schinken Westfalien, Schwarwalder (black forest ham). I like Leberkase. It is ground liver and perhaps some meat. The texture is not like pate, firmer. Lightly fried with onions and serve with potato salad.
There are very good cheese varieties as well. My favourite is soft cheese with walnuts.
German cheeses in Toronto $25 - $35 per pound.
"Konditorei" is a pastry shop. Bienenkuchen (honey cake), Schwarzwalderkirchtorte (black forest cake), Kasekuchen (cheese cake - quite different than NY cheese cake).
Dairy: Quark. There are plain quark and quark with fruits (like yogurt with fruits).
"Wurst" - "Schaschlick" - are sausages.
Guten Appetit !! und viel Spass.
Yes, there are cheesecakes made with quark. There are no-bake cheesecakes as well. I don't remember how to distinguish between the two. I remember being served the non-bake in the summer. At first I thought 'wow this is a heavy dessert for summer' - but I was pleasantly surprised that it was light.
Edit on Leberkase. I think I can safely describe it as fine meatloaf. The texture is far smoother than meatloaf but coarser than pate.
By the way, German cakes have real cream though not necessarily whipped cream. Theirs is called Sahne and there are susse-Sahne (sweet) and saure-Sahne (tangy).
I dont think leberkase is much like spam, not nearly so sweet and hammy - in its lightness it reminded us more of some of the southeast asian (vietnamese) meatballs and cold cuts. Since then I have looked at some recipes but they are all over the map - do you know of an online recipe that produces something like the real thing? Lots of the recipes seem to use ice.
I saw a hideously dried out block of leberkase on display at one eatery at the Dusseldorf airport - most of the food on offer seemed to be "healthy" sandwiches with ostentatiously whole grain breads, fruit cups, etc, not much really good looking cooked german food was evident. but maybe someone has spotted some gems there that I missed. The homogeneous international airport mall culture together with our disappointment at not being able to return to the spirit of our munich visit got us down. Do shop the grocery store - its on the bottom level at the very end, past the C concourse.
re: jen kalb
I think the ice (or ice water) is typical..the meat apparently needs to be close to freezing to get the texture right. Don't know anyone who would bother to make it at home though. For parties you would just buy an unbaked loaf from a butcher.
I guess the better description would be like the inside of a hotdog. That doesn't sound too appealing either though..