Can I be alone in finding german supermarkets and food generally dull and uninspiring?

(107 Posts)
diyxyz999 Mon 14-Apr-14 10:39:00

Having to cook everyday, nevermind think what we will eat and hence what I need to shop for - bores me rigid, but goodness do find german supermarkets boring and uninspiring. I have been here nearly 3 yrs and can I find a potato big enough to bake? I cannot find fish stock cubes - just some liquid in a jar for 3 euros!

Fastfood - always a variation on a sausage and fries with a spicy salt mixture on them. No chance of a baked potato.

I do like the germans and I like living here but goodness their cuisine leaves a lot to be desired.

Having just returned from a frustrating trip to the supermarket, rant over!

IdealistAndProudOfIt Mon 14-Apr-14 11:28:47

I don't live in Germany, sadly, but have visited a Couple of times and found their bioladen fantastic. Wish we had had them in the uk. It's easier being veggie in Germany than it is in belgium, that's for sure.

You do find other places have different food products, just little differences can throw you: in belgium for instance they really like long life milk, fresh milk is more difficult to find. God knows why. They like dill, I can't find fennel easily. And they love their chicons.

diyxyz999 Mon 14-Apr-14 11:43:58

what is a chicon?

PetiteRaleuse Mon 14-Apr-14 12:22:53

I live on the French border with Germany and often go to Germany to do food shopping. I love the food in this area maybe the French influence

I have never seen fish stock cubes though. I get baking potatoes from Lidl.

PetiteRaleuse Mon 14-Apr-14 12:24:27

Chicon is endives
<boak>

efeslight Mon 14-Apr-14 12:26:33

I also miss big jacket potatoes...pleased we can now get baked beans and some cheddar cheese slices sometimes.
I find shopping and planning meals incredibly dull too, on the positive side, this morning I bought milka mini eggs for the first time - they are wonderful, very similar to mini eggs in the uk, if you like those.

diyxyz999 Mon 14-Apr-14 12:39:58

I would not know what to do with an endive smile

I will try Lidl - normally go to Aldi.

I know I should stop trying to use british recipes, I have got some german recipe magazines - too many variations of wurst type recipes for my liking....

I am just bored with the whole faff of shopping, cooking, meal planning (do not do and know I should) and I know I sound like a whinging Brit but the choice of stuff and the tasty morsels in british supermarkets - I am slavering at the thought... On the other hand I know the ridiculously large range in the UK is bad for food miles and the environment

what is "bored to tears" auf Deutsch. smile

diyxyz999 Mon 14-Apr-14 12:41:15

I do like mini eggs smile

I am the main buyer of cheddar in our local supermarket and I clear the shelves of baked beans....

efeslight Mon 14-Apr-14 12:47:49

I have eaten the whole packet of eggs since my last post - they are good

Gremlingirl Mon 14-Apr-14 12:51:38

Our local Real has an international food section which is pretty good for stuff you miss - baked beans, lemon curd etc. or are you anywhere near a British army base? You could befriend someone with access to the Naafi for a fix of UK food. The things I really miss being able to get in the German shops are individual packets of crisps (and not paprika flavoured ones!) and Cheddar cheese.

hm32 Mon 14-Apr-14 12:55:02

When my parents lived in Germany they grew the veg they couldn't buy, and stocked up on English 'staples' once a year when they came back to the UK to visit family.

LillianGish Mon 14-Apr-14 13:03:03

Your thread title made me lol - I just had to post. We used to live in Berlin and you have reminded me how poor the supermarkets were. I should add that we absolutely loved Berlin and everything about it, but oh those supermarkets! It used to make laugh that the car parks would be full,of the most expensive top of the range BMWs and Mercedes then the inside of the shop would resemble a poorly stocked warehouse - so many budget chains! The funny thing was that when we eventually moved back to Britain and I set out joyfully to do a big shop in a local Tesco superstore I practically had a panic attack - 30 varieties of tomato, and entire aisle of olive oils and vinegars. I was actually unable to cope with the choice - it took me hours to decide what I wanted. I subsequently discovered a branch of Lidl near the school and popped in with kids - they both said it was like being back in Germany and they recognised many of the brands. We go there after school sometimes when we feel homesick for Berlin.

drinkingtea Mon 14-Apr-14 20:23:20

I shop in Aldi ... but proper big baking potatoes (called "Dick Ding" or something like that grin )are always available in Kaufland, if you have one (supermarkets are regional it seems, even Aldi is not the same everywhere...). There is a lot of choice at Kaufland - but it would be easy to spend €200 a week in there, so I do Aldi for the weekly shop and Edeka or Kaufland for the stuff Aldi doesn't sell...

We also have a really good farmer type market in the town square of the nearest large town, where OK you can't get cheddar, but you can get all kinds of very good locally made cheeses, and we have a very good local butcher.

I think far fewer people do one big supermarket shop, people still use small shops and get things in different places, partly as there are far more SAHMs so more time to do so...

drinkingtea Mon 14-Apr-14 20:25:13

If you want 30 different olive oils and vinegars you can find stalls that JUST sell that - and olives and the like - at the farmer/ bio market...

drinkingtea Mon 14-Apr-14 20:28:43

All I really miss nowadays, after 7 years here, are good Indian take aways, and golden syrup for flapjacks and chocolate fudge cake making grin ... its almost an hour's drive to our nearest Indian restaurant - only take away options are pizza and Chinese...

BertieBotts Mon 14-Apr-14 20:31:30

I feel your pain!

All we ate for the first few months here was pasta with those little cartons of flavoured tomatoes and cut up hot dogs. Bleurgh.

There are a million kinds of salami which DS loves but I find it hard to get variety to make things.

I miss baked potatoes too smile I end up baking several smaller ones which isn't quite the same but almost works. But I can't get the hang of which varieties are fluffy and which are waxy so sometimes it's disappointing and you can't make a decent mash with the wrong potato. We don't have a Kaufland.

Whereabouts are you on the border Petite? I'm on the German side and some of my friends here regularly pop over to the French supermarkets, but we don't have a car at the moment.

Stock cubes are a pain in the arse and I stock up on Knorr ones when I'm in the UK. They're small enough to fit in a suitcase. I miss bacon, and fish. The sausages are good but they're not like British ones. And I bought a whole chicken the other day for a roast but it was so fatty, it had barely any flavour, just grease. confused I don't understand why all the meat is so fatty here.

BertieBotts Mon 14-Apr-14 20:32:34

We've got a couple of Indians but haven't tried them. They don't have Chinese food here, just "Asian" which is usually concentrated MSG with some unidentifiable vegetable and meat in. I did find a great Thai place though.

heather1 Mon 14-Apr-14 20:35:48

Try living in Switzerland. I actually drive to Germany because the supermarkets are so much better and actually have cheaper and more variety of food!

NorbertDentressangle Mon 14-Apr-14 20:38:41

I've spent a few weeks in Germany as a veggie over the years and I really struggled when eating out.

I found food very beige, unless you specifically ordered a salad.

Supermarkets seemed OK-ish but we found you had to be a bit creative planning what to make and also be prepared to go to a few places to get ingredients.

BlingBubbles Mon 14-Apr-14 20:39:28

Oh OP, I totally agree. I love cooking and I feel totally uninspired in the supermarkets. Plus, I end up having to go to loads of shops to find stuff. It's taking a while to get use to the shops over here (we have only been here 8months) and don't get me started on not being able to shop on a Sunday... My Saturday morning is spent rushing around doing groceries confused

BertieBotts Mon 14-Apr-14 20:41:11

I have found it easier now I've found a few ingredients like spices etc. And I order curry paste in from the UK to make curries. I find them good with ingredients like coconut milk and the vegetable choice is incredible in our local edeka and real, but the meat is terrible everywhere unless you want cured or sausage.

Gremlingirl Mon 14-Apr-14 20:42:46

drinkingtea They sell golden syrup with the ice cream toppings in our Schenke if you have one near you. Otherwise you can get six bottles on Amazon for about £12!

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 14-Apr-14 20:47:56

Oh I hear you!
I've discovered Turkish shops have a better range of vegetables, including baking potatoes. But I also stock up on things in the UK - bicarbonate of soda, cling film that clings, marigold stock, golden syrup...my list goes on and on!

And yes, what is with the Sunday closing - yeesh!

But then again, you can get some good kuchen here...

BeginnersLuck Mon 14-Apr-14 20:49:54

Oh and crisps - don't get me started! What is with the ubiquitous paprika flavour?
I was over the moon to find a pack of salt and vinegar...then I realised they tasted funny. A quick check of the ingredients showed they not only had parsley in them - they also had sugar! Bleugh!

BertieBotts Mon 14-Apr-14 20:52:31

We can get Pringles in salt and vinegar, we also have a big edeka with a million flavours of crisp including onion and chilli. And our aldi do a good thai chicken flavour which are great, and balsamic vinegar which are a bit like sensations balsamic vinegar (not really, though) and a salt and pepper. Those are all acceptable.

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