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Oct 29, 2012 02:09 AM

Baking soda in Germany

I asked my father to buy me baking soda on his trip to Germany (well, the quality of baking soda in Vietnam is not to be trusted) but he didn't find it in the supermarket. I know this sounds silly, but does German use baking soda for baking?

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  1. bicarbonate of soda.............Pharmacy item in much of the world

    1 Reply
    1. There is a bewildering array of mysterious white powders used for baking in Germany, but good old baking soda should be pretty easy to find. The common name is "Natron" and it comes in little packets like this (that you buy 5 or 10 at a time):

      It should cost approximately nothing at the supermarket. It'll probably be way more expensive from the pharmacy, but then you can get it in this funky container (be sure to ask for the Pulver "powder", not the Tabletten "tablets"):

      2 Replies
      1. re: DeppityDawg

        Oops, I just noticed I gave a link to Dr. Oetker's Austrian site there. Here's the product as it should appear in German supermarkets:

        And here's another well-known brand:

        1. re: DeppityDawg

          Thank you. I finally bought it. So the bastard is called natron.

      2. Backpulver should get you what you want.

        4 Replies
          1. re: DeppityDawg

            Ah. See, that's why I don't bake '-)

            I didn't even know there's a diff.

          2. re: linguafood

            Yes, I'm pretty sure that backpulver is baking powder, not what I'm looking for.

            1. re: pearlyriver

              Yes, "Backpulver" ist "baking powder" - the best brand to be found in the supermarkets is Dr. Oetker.
              To come back to your original question: We don't use baking soda here in Germany for baking, we only use "Backpulver". Natron - as mentioned above- can be found in the supermarkets, but usually it is not used for baking.

          3. and bicarbonate of soda is very likely at a pharmacy,even in Vietnam

            2 Replies
            1. re: lcool

              It is always great to learn something new.

              1. re: suzieq4

                There were decades when many canning supplies,oils and extracts had fallen off the urban,suburban US grid.In 1960 my French mother wanted some ascorbic acid powder.Not wanting to go looking for it 20 miles or more away,simply went to our neighborhood pharmacy,just like she would have in France.Oil of Pennyroyal and a few other insect,tick repelling botanicals I use were still sourced at the pharmacy until the late 1990's.The international strength of the internet has really changed things for the better.

            2. This is kind of anecdotal. Yes baking soda is "Natron" in German. I also found it in a supermarket after some searching. When asking for it, a lot of the staff didn't know what it was. I'm half-German and grew up speaking it, and had to look up baking soda in an English-German dictionary as I didn't know how to say it in German. As an item, it just isn't common or "normal". However, it exists. They don't bake with it there.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Wawsanham

                That's not true, I've come across it in several cookie recipes. Staff in Germany probably don't know because they live on frozen pizza and Knorr tütchen. Now that advent is upon us, it should be much easier to find Natron in most supermarkets. The typical baking aisle triples around this time of year.

                1. re: Behemoth

                  Mmmmmmmmknorr tütchen.

                  That made me giggle.