It’s been a quite a while since our last post on the Leibspeise blog. Not because there are no more interesting German food places around the world, but because we finished our world travels and settled for a somehow more steady life in Berlin. So … this is to all German food culture lovers out there: We reckon this blog is a great idea. Please help us grow it and send in your favorite German food story to Leibspeise.
For this story, Leibspeise didn’t have to travel that far: London – the home of the Herman Ze German sausage stall. It’s the story of a German couple that owned a little stall selling German sausages. Traveling from one festival to another they just had one dream: settling down and opening their own shop in London.
So they did: End of 2010 Florian Frey and his girlfriend Azadeh Falakshahi, both Germans from the Black Forest, opened their own shop right between Charging Cross and Embankment tube station. Florian, originally a hairdresser, says: “When we moved to the UK we both missed German sausages and started to bring them over for us and our friends.” The couple still imports their sausages from a small producer in Germany, from the village the couple grew up in. Needless to say that what Germans consider a sausage and what English consider a sausage are completely different. Thanks to Florian and Azadeh you now can enjoy a real sausage in the underdeveloped sausage city of London.
The couple is not only selling the normal Bratwurst in their shop, they also offer Bockwurst, Leberkäse, sandwiches and German bakery products like berliner, pretzels or German farmers bread. Their bestseller is their yummy Currwurst. The little shop runs well and so the couple started to offer shirts with their logo on it and already have a bit of cult following.
Although not too far from Germany, Leibspeise likes Florian’s and Azadeh’s little shop and certainly could see that they both love what they are doing. Guten Appetit!
Check it out @:
Herman ze German
19 Villiers Street
Leibspeise would like to thank Karin Leppin for her contribution to our site. Here’s what she wrote about Schroeder’s in San Francisco. According to her report and the video below it looks like an appropriate spot to encounter some authentic Oktoberfest action this coming October…
Searching for a place to watch the final game of the European soccer championship in summer 2008 (Germany vs. Spain) we found a place in San Francisco called „Schroeder’s“. Located downtown in a street busy during the week and quiet on weekends. We almost didn’t find it, but then followed the German flags and T-Shirts. Inside we found public viewing with almost no difference to any Biergarten in Germany. Many German fans, but also the Spanish – who unfortunately won the championship and hence drunk more beer than the Germans! The food was ok. Classical mostly Bavarian dishes such as Bratwurst and Sauerkraut or Spätzle.
This is Ralph. He could be Leibspeise’s role model: the self-proclaimed “baker nomad” is a passionate baker from Munich and helped to set up bakeries around the globe for many years. Fortunately for all expats living on the Sinai in Egypt, he ended his nomadic life in 2006 to do his own thing: running a true German bakery in Dahab.
As the story goes, a German hotel owner missed her German bread so much that she looked for an adventurous baker. At that time, Ralph was thinking of a place to settle down and open up his own bakery, so the match was made. Some years later, Ralph now owns three bakery shops in Dahab and is about to open a German restaurant.
During our time in Dahab, Leibspeise made several repeat visits to his bakery because the bretzels, nut rolls, cakes, bread rolls and strudels were absolutely amazing. Part of this is due to the fact that Ralph meticulously takes care of the baking process, ingredients as well as training of staff. Further, he only has two machines in his kitchen (an oven and a kneading machine) and still does most by hand.
The three German Bakeries can be found at Alf Leila’s B&B on the corner of Main Street and Al Fanar, one close to the Lighthouse, and one on the main street in Mashraba. n
Link (click on ‘bakery’ in the navigation bar):
Since 2008 India’s capital, New Delhi, has its own true German Bakery: The German Bakeshop in Vasant Kunj. The bakery is the brain child of Helmut Schmidtmann who is a real entrepreneurial gypsy having worked in the field of engineering across Asia Pacific for many years. Currently he is Chairman of the ITA-Group, a company that helps German companies to set foot in Asian markets.
So why has he opened a bakery? It just happened to be that he had cravings for a true German Brezel and opening his own bakery was the only way to satisfy his longing. The German Bakeshop was set up with the help of a German baker master and offers a wide range of German breads and buns. There is a small shop in Vasant Kunj, but a lot of customers choose to pre-order online or over the phone.
Most of the ingredients are imported from Germany, but Mr. Schmidtmann is currently exploring options to source more ingredients from India. Interestingly, he considers a cooperation with Micha from the Brown Bread Bakery in Varanasi (read our article about this bakery here).
The German Bakeshop can be found in the ITA-Group building on Main Road in Vasant Kunj. Future plans are to add a Delicatessen section and bistro to the shop. Self-evidently, the sausages and meat products will be produced in-house as well.
Leibspeise sampled a deliciously tasting Apple Strudel while we were invited for lunch at Mr. Schmidtmann’s house. Judging from this we can only recommend to stop by the German bakeshop.
Quite frankly, if you are in search for good German bread and food in India, the subcontinent can be considered quite a disappointment. Although “German bakery” signs are abundant in India’s touristy places, the likelihood of encountering real German bread is very slim (unless you consider croissants, cookies and soft white bread typical German).
Leibspeise therefore was quite happy to find the Brown Bread Bakery in Varanasi. This bakery / restaurant was opened by German Michael Schmid in 2006. Michael is not really a baker by trade, but he spent quite some time learning how to bake in his uncle’s bakery in Mühlacker, Southern Germany (This is probably why you can find such dishes like Spaetzle and Fondue on the menu). The Brown Bread Bakery is committed to offer as many organic products as possible and formed relationships with local farmerswho produce organically grown fruits and vegetables. The bakery also sells different cheeses that come from the mountainous areas in India’s North and South.
At a breakfast visit in Varanasi’s old town, Leibspeise tested two “belegte Broetchen” (see picture), one with organic cheese and the other with salami (yes, even in India this is possible as the salami is imported from Italy). Both bread rolls were served on organic brown bread and were quite nice. If you enter the bakery and walk up to the first floor (shoes off), there is a very cosy restaurant where you can relax and chose from the restaurant’s enormous menu. In addition to the typical India backpacker menu items (including Italian, Thai, Chinese), you can order such German delights like Schnitzel, Cordon Bleu, Kaesespaetzle, Bratapfel, Laugenbrezel. Leibspeise didn’t want to have a Schnitzel for breakfast, so we can’t tell if it tastes nice, but if you happen to be there, please order it and let us know!
As another project, Micha also runs the Charity Learn for Life that works to provide free education and medical assistance for the poor in Varanasi. 20% of the bakery’s profit goes to this NGO.
Finding the bakery is a relatively easy task. Just open your eyes when walking through the small streets or along the gaths and look for the “Brown Bread Bakery” sign on the walls. Also see our map for the exact location. The bakery is close to the Dashaswamedh gath.
Although not quite German, the Austrian Hospice in Jerusalem is a must if you should ever make it into the Holy City. In the buzzing, noisy and narrow streets of the Old City this place of German cleanliness, order and precision is outstanding in many ways.
Besides the beautiful rooms that should be booked long in advance, it features a Vienna style Kaffeehaus on the entrance level. Under the views of the Austrian Kaiser on the wall you can enjoy some truly great filter coffee in style. Try it together with an Apfelstrudel and you’ll understand why the Hospice has to be part of Leibspeise. For the real hungry ones they usually offer some proper food as well, like Kässpätzle.
Take your drinks and the paper slip with your order number outside and make yourself comfortable in the beautiful garden, they will bring you the food later on. Sit on one of the two towers in front of the entrance (like on the picture) and enjoy the food, the beautiful view and the silence.
If you enter the city through Damascus gate in the north, try to keep going straight through the dirty market roads and past the obtrusive shopkeepers until at the intersection with the famous Via Dolorosa you will see a huge walled building on the left with a massive metal door. You have to ring the bell and they will usually let you in.
Leibspeise thanks Mario for this contribution to Leibspeise and agrees with him that although not German an Austrian tavern also belongs to this blog.
It came as a surprise to Leibspeise that each Nepalese country village had nearly as many “German bakery” signs as a small town in Germany (see pictures). Hence, it was quite a challenge to find a German bakery that truly is German and doesn’t just put a German sign over the front door.
We discovered Pumpernickel bakery in central Thamel, Kathmandu and of all fake German bakeries this is the only one that actually lives up to its name. It offers a variety of bread rolls, fantastic sandwiches and cakes which all do taste like real German bakery products. Yet, an interview with the friendly Nepali owner Norbu revealed that while Pumpernickel has been around for almost 30 years, it has no connection to Germany: all ingredients are from Nepal (organic), and all staff is Nepali.
Interestingly, all recipes are developed based on a trial and error approach, customers are given samples and asked for their feedback. Norbu is currently creating a rye and sourdough bread which will be available next year.
To portrait Pumpernickel was a tough choice for Leibspeise as it had no connections to Germany in a strict sense, yet, its products are very German, so it would be a shame to not let you know about this German food jewel in Kathmandu, Nepal.