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Typical Foods Eaten in Germany - New ? Post #7

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I have a german teenager coming to live with us for 6 months.  I'd like to make sure I have stocked the house with foods that are familiar and "typical" in Germany so that it is not too much of a culture shock.  I've asked her what she likes but she hasn't been at all specific (she says she likes anything).  I think she doesn't want to inconvenience me by asking for anything special.  I'll push her a bit more on it once she's here but I'd like to make the first few days as easy as possible by having things she's likely to like to eat.  Does anyone have any suggestions about typical foods for different meals?  In Germany is it typical to have three meals a day?  Which is the main meal?

Here typically breakfast would be cereal, toast and/or fruit.  Lunch would be a sandwich and some more fruit.  Dinner is usually the main meal of the day and is usually a hot dish (although less so in summer).  In between we would have morning and afternoon tea which only sometimes actually involves the drinking of tea.  It's usually a small snack (fruit, yoghurt, cake) and some sort of drink.

I'm not planning to attempt any traditional German recipes (hopefully she might teach me a few) but I'm thinking more along the lines of having the right kinds of foods available for her to prepare her breakfast, that kind of thing.

I figure that it's got to be pretty tough for a teenager to travel to the opposite side of the world to live with a family she's only met via her computer, so any advice you can give to make her transition easier, would be very much appreciated. 

Hello, German here. :D
It's not really a great difference to your usual food, I think (of course, it always depends on the individual family's preferances).
What you definitely should know is that in Germany, we are very fond of bread and eat it in a large variety of shapes and flavors. So it might be good if you could provide more than one type of bread for her to choose. I suggest white bread (for toasting) and a nice brown rye bread, maybe with a few seeds on top.
Popular toppings for bread are mild cheese, bologna, salami and sweet spreads (like Nutella, honey and jam).
She may or may not prefer to butter her bread.
Popular fruits are mostly bananas, apples and strawberries.
Popular vegetables are tomatoes and cucumber.
I hope this helps.

Thanks. I can definitely do all of that fairly easily.  I usually make my own bread so hopefully she will be a keen bread-eater as it will give me an excuse to try some new recipes.

I'm an American who has spent a lot of time in Germany. 

You might see if your library has the "Culture Shock" book for Germany.  Meant for Americans going there, but probably still helpful.  I remember it had a joke:

"Do you know what the trouble is with German food?  ...  In a few days you are hungry again."   I love German food, but that cracked me up.   

Main meal is in the middle of the day.  People seem to automatically adjust to whatever for the main meal. 

Lettuce salads seem to always have cucumbers or a sour salad dressing. 

I've got some German friends and would agree with the PP who mentioned a variety of bread.  My German friends like a combination of fruit tea or what they call black tea (in England that's just normal tea I think).  Whenever I've had salad with them it's normally just been lettuce with dressing, maybe with some sweetcorn. 

We also tended to have our main meal during the day (around 2.30pm), especially at weekends.  I believe this is because of the way the school system works over there - kids are normally home around 2pm so tend to have a cooked meal or cooked leftovers for the middle meal of the day.

My German host family always made me and their daughter porridge with chopped fruit for breakfast but the two adults usually had coffee and cake or nothing at all. 

You might also need to speak to her about water - my German friends never drink water out of the tap, they always drink bottled water.  I think this is a combination of them being worried about the water quality in their area and because they prefer the taste.  Germans as a nation seem to like fizzy water too so it might be a good idea to have some on hand when she arrives.

I would advise you to get a few things in the house and then take her shopping to find out what she likes.  This is what my friends and host family always do for me and it makes it easier for both of us.  Maybe ask her to pick out ingredients for a certain amount of meals that week, or find something she likes to have for breakfast?


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