1. swanpride
    June 3, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

    Roast beef? If you mean what Germans call roast beef – you can get that at every butcher or at the “fresh meat” corner of every more high end supermarket. Not at Aldi, Lidle and co., but Edeka aso. But yeah, it is pretty rare.

  2. Amanda
    May 31, 2012 @ 1:48 am

    I have noticed the pork thing too. My husband likes to get Doner kebabs. I can eat the salads made with the same ingredients occasionally, but the guy we go to also makes chicken sandwiches and I usually get that instead. He actually makes it with two pieces of chicken which is kind of a nice change from the States giving you one. For the most part, I like foods better over here. I don’t mind the lack of pre-packaged foods that much because most of them aren’t good for you anyhow. I do dislike not having packaged bread. We can get it on post, but it’s always ready to expire within three days. Buying fresh bread on the economy is a bit expensive so I’ve considered getting a breadmaker and making my own.

    • Andrew
      June 1, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

      Oo chicken sandwiches sound good. I find the Doner places here a bit hit or miss. And the portions are way too big for me. In that respect, I miss Turkey and their authentic places with reasonable smaller portions of doner rolls.

      Do you not have packaged bread in a loaf? The stuff I buy in our Rewe lasts for a week or so without any problem. It only costs a euro per loaf. What are you paying local? Fresh bread sounds nice, but insane from a time investment point of view.

      • Amanda
        June 1, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

        Yeah they’re way too big for me also.

        I have been getting packaged bread at the commissary, but it’s usually ready to expire in a few days. My husband asked a German he works with where to get similar on the economy and was told they don’t really have packaged bread the way we do, so I hadn’t looked for it. I haven’t bought any out on the economy, I just remember seeing some fresh bread in a bag that was a couple euro for a a few slices. We have a Rewe around here so I may have to check and see what I can find. I was looking at getting a bread maker so it wouldn’t be the time so much as finding a place to put the machine since it does most of the work for you.

        • Andrew
          June 7, 2012 @ 11:20 am

          Any grocery store will have loaves of bread like at home, just not in as many various flavors. Rewe has a few varieties of the toast bread. Even a bakery shouldn’t be that expensive, though I guess if it was a real specialty thing.

          • Amanda
            June 7, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

            Cool. I’ll have to look, then. 🙂

  3. Andy F
    May 16, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    I’ve had a hard time finding rootbeer in Germany and Austria, and Marzipan in Austria. Just about everything else that I love is there.

    • Andrew
      May 17, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

      Seriously, issues finding Marzipan in Austria? Are you sure you looked for the right stuff? It is in everything and Salzburg is the home to Motzart Balls which have a center of marzipan. I can’t imagine it is hard to find. Though I have not seen much root beer. I have seen it every so often, but not common.

  4. The Honourable Husband
    March 20, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    I’m a little late for this month’s food stammtisch, but you might like to check out teh link below on comment luv about the American Foods section of the local Edeka. Almost none of teh foods you mention are part of it, tellingly.

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

      Awesome article. We have a shelf like that in a newly built Rewe here. The stuff is so expensive though. I may go get a cake mix and frosting for birthday cake at some point though.

  5. Cat
    March 19, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

    As an American transplant in Spain, I feel your pain when it comes to food – especially the ham! My father-in-law owns a farm and raises pigs so there is NEVER a shortage in my house!

    When I have friends come over, I ask them for strange, strange things – last year, I got lemonade and cornbread mixes, after dinner mints, dried cranberries. Check out Lidl and aldi when they have American weeks – a bit pricey, but being able to have jelly beans this easter was worth the extra money!

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

      Oo Lemonade and Cornbread are a good choice. I have several visitors in May coming, so there may be some opportunities. I remember Aldi does American week, though often the stuff is not what I want. The Lidl is the other end of town, so I never go. Real, I think, is my next stop. Ooo jelly beans. Although we can get Jelly Bellies most places.

      • Cat
        March 22, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

        Ah, of course! I forget that Germany has all kinds of sweets I can’t get in Spain. While visiting a friend in Berlin, she took me to KaDeWe, and I spent way more money than I had budgeted on American foods I don’t normally like, just for nostalgia’s sake.

        Saludos from Spain!

  6. Scott
    March 19, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    If you’re really intense about American food you can start a business doing it. We make a moderately good living with it…

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

      That is good to hear, though I don’t think I am THAT passionate about it.

  7. Emily
    March 19, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    I agree, I still have not been able to find graham crackers. Anywhere. Alexandria – where did you find graham crackers?!

    Re: Chai Tea – try amazon.de I ordered some awesome stuff (powdered mix) from there, and they really have a lot of brands at reasonable prices!

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

      I haven’t thought about ordering food online, but maybe I will look.

  8. Alexandria Laws
    March 17, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

    I am sorry but this is such a load of rubbish.

    Can’t find Helmann’s Mayonaise or Root Beer, …….in every large supermarket, even in Bavaria, not known as the most progressive of regions, Chai tea, whole couscous, tahini, graham crackers, grape juice, condensed milk, evaporated milk, tinned pumpkin, grape jelly, apple jelly in every small supermarket even in out of the way towns.

    Reeces Peanut Cups no, only in large stores serving expats basically.

    Have lived in various towns and cities in Germany for the last 16 years and never had a problem, so sorry don’t know where this information is coming from. Before the fall of the wall yes these impressions would have been accurate, but not for a very long while.

    Surely none of this ‘feed back’ can apply to a ‘Grounded Travelers’ who are putting down roots and still seeing the world.

    • Andrew
      March 18, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

      I think Bavaria actually ends up with some more American influence due to the army bases scattered about. I have never been on base, but I can well imagine those products are quite easily found there. Maybe they bleed into the local economy as well. I have seen some stuff in my stores and some not.

      I definitely have not found grape jelly or graham crackers in Freiburg yet. The suggestion was made to check Real, which honestly I haven’t done yet. They may have some better selection of such things. The point of the post was less that entire groups of foods don’t exist, but the selection of flavors and brands as it is known in the US is far less here. Sure the comments have wandered into the territory was what specific thing we are all craving and looking for, but hey it happens.

    • Sherah
      March 18, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

      Hellmann’s mayo you can find but it’s way more expensive than we pay in Israel or the States and I’m not willing to pay it. I’d rather bring it. Root beer I have only seen in Kaufhof and again, I’m not willing to pay their prices for it so I bring it when I can. I have tasted every Chai tea I can find in the supermarkets here and none of them compare to the one we bring over. Never seen whole couscous in any of our supermarkets. It would be nice to live someplace like Bavaria where you can get anything you want, but that’s not the reality up here in no-where land.

  9. Andrea
    March 17, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

    I found the same thing when I moved to Australia – someone there even started a business called USA Foods because so many Americans wanted to import their favourite cereals and supermarket brands. So expensive though! I think the transition to German fare would have been much easier for me – I love all that pork and German bread and produce are to die for!

    • Andrew
      March 18, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

      Cool. I remember seeing a German butcher in the US too. He had a website and would ship sausages. We do get a few American brands, including poptarts, yellow cake and crisco, but way expensive. Like 3euros for a box of easy mac that is less than a dollar at home. 5 euros for pop tarts if I remember right.

      The general day to day eating is not an enormous transition. But the cravings for specific things come.

  10. Emily
    March 17, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

    I enjoyed your article. They have sweetened condensed milk though! It’s called “Milch Mädchen and it’s available at most stores with the coffee creamer 🙂

    • Andrew
      March 18, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

      I will have to look. If I can make graham crackers and find that Milch Maedchen stuff, I am nearly there to make my favorite unhealthy summer pie.

      • Emily
        March 19, 2012 @ 12:05 am

        mmmm. what pie is that? I agree that graham crackers are nowhere to be found, but if you are using them for a crust, you can substitute Leibniz Biscuits, those work well too!

        • Andrew
          March 22, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

          I like them just to eat, but mainly for smores.
          It’s called Triv Pie. Cool Whip, Lemon Juice, SweetenCondensed Milk in a crust. It sets up in the fridge a bit like a poor man’s meringue. Recipe is from a friend of my parent’s. It is nice and cool, sweet and light in the summer.

  11. Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead
    March 17, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    I think the cravings were worst when we first moved over. Some things have gotten better, but I doubt they will ever have the same convenience food availability over here. I do miss it sometimes, but at least you can get Oreos over here now. Now if only we could get Reeces Peanut Butter cups (although I hear they’re pretty easy to make at home). I’ve learned to make so much myself (which is way healthier) that I don’t care so much about all the stuff I’m missing out on. You can definitely make graham crackers yourself, BTW, and they’re super tasty.

    It’s a bit overwhelming to see all the pre-packaged foods in the US when I go back — no doubt a huge contributor to the alarming obesity problem there. And by the way, no only are low fat things higher in sugar, but you end up eating a lot more of them because your body doesn’t fill up on them as quickly. So they’re a double whammy 😉

    • Andrew
      March 18, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

      The cravings seem to be in proportion to how difficult life is at any one point. The more I wanted to feel ok, the worse the odd things from home kept coming up in my mind. Now that I have my routine and such I don’t mind the routine local food so much.

      Oo, graham crackers sound good. E-Mail the recipe if you come across it. I have a craving for real s’mores. Chocolate is no problem and marshmallows are easy too. Just haven’t seen the crackers. I do remember that a bit about the weird low-fat things. I still enjoyed a specific brand of low fat marshmallow things that used real sugar instead of glucose slime. Though you are right, one night I could eat a whole box.

  12. Lisa
    March 17, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    When I lived in Berlin I used to bring difficult to find items from the states. (Pumpkin, evaporated milk) Over time I learned where I could find some of the difficult to find items. Berlin being a huge city gave me options that you probably don’t have. Some times I would go to KaDeWe, but that was pricey and only for once every couple months splurges. I found some of the small ethnic stores would carry one or more items, such as fresh tortillas or baking soda or odd things that I loved finding. For the closest thing to graham crackers try Bahlsen Leibniz Butter cookies. I found them to be very good.

    • Andrew
      March 18, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

      There are a few places in Freiburg that I don’t go to often because they are kind of out of the way. It is a kind of game almost, seeing what I can find. Berlin is of course a different animal.

      I remember the butter cookies I think, but aren’t they really crispy?

  13. Laurel
    March 16, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    I’ve never noticed the lack of grape jelly, but maybe that’s because I don’t eat much bread. I’ve definitely noticed the lack of packaged stuff, but that’s not something I miss and as you said it’s healthier. I really miss Rootbeer and Ruffles chips, but again not a bad thing that they’re not easy to find.

  14. Sherah
    March 16, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    I have lived outside of the States for so long now that most things are just a distant memory. There are two things that we bring anytime we go for a visit: Helmann’s Mayo and Root Beer. From Israel we always bring a certain brand of Chai tea, whole couscous and Tahini. I’ve learned to make other things from scratch, like making pumpkin pie with real pumpkin instead of canned. I’ve found that it’s more fun to enjoy the things that I miss when I am home, or in my second home, visiting. There’s no way I can find good falafel here in Germany, so I wait until we visit Israel to get my fill, the same goes for Mexican food and the States.

    • Andrew
      March 16, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

      I’ve seen mayo, but as I don’t use it I haven’t noticed the brand. I have seen plenty of falafel at the Turkish places around. I don’t really like it, so no clue if it is “good”, but definitely plentiful. Mexican food seems to be one of the universal issues with American expats in Germany.

      • Sherah
        March 19, 2012 @ 12:01 am

        You can find Hellmann’s but I’m not willing to pay what they charge for it. We’ve tried lots of falafel here and there is only one restaurant that we have found where we liked it. Many of the dönner stands around here don’t fry it fresh and that makes a big difference. They fry it beforehand and then they fry it again when you order. I think the problem here is that if you want to find the good, you have to be willing to go out and look for it.

  15. Laura S
    March 16, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    I always miss British foodstuffs enormously when I’m in Germany for more than a few weeks. I know it’s silly and I should adjust – but I can’t get a decent cup of tea! The milk tastes different in these tetra-paks. And the Schwarze Tee is so weak. haha typical English….. I do love the Nussecken and Laugenbrezeln but… Anyway – I shouldn’t complain as it’s a wonderful country – with a far better quality of life than in the UK.

    Really enjoyed the post!!

    • Andrew
      March 16, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

      Thanks. I think it might be easier somehow to be from Britain. If I really wanted to get food, I could order it or just go home “real quick”. The US is harder. The only “solace” is that the big US companies do tend to try to export, so we see the stuff every so often even if it is really expensive.

  16. Jeremy Branham
    March 16, 2012 @ 5:38 am

    I love grape jelly! I don’t like PB&J sandwiches and I could care less about the PB. But if I am going to eat toast, I like grape. I also like apple jelly but I doubt you will find that either.

    • Andrew
      March 16, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

      I have seen apple I think, though I have found blueberry jelly. I don’t remember that from the US, but really like it.

  17. Sabrina
    March 15, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

    I think you’re right about grape jelly being an American thing. I never bought it here and the few times I had a PBnJ I used what I had at home (raspberry jam) instead.

    Regarding low fat/reduced sodium… I think you’re right about Germans trying to keep track of the ingredients more and staying true to old recipies. On the other extreme here in the US, you can’t even find full-fat yogurt: it’s either 97% reduced or fat free 🙂

    • Andrew
      March 16, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

      I just remember on menus where the little numbers show you want extra things are added to food. Seriously, if I order a pizza and a coke, I don’t want a disclaimer. It disrupts the taste. Definitely try grape jelly at some point though, classic.

  18. Michael
    March 15, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

    Sweetened Condensed Milk can be found as “Milchmädchen” (in a tube), made by Nestlé at my REAL in Ratingen. I guess all REAL stores have the same assortment of goods, so perhaps you can find that at one of the two REAL stores in Freiburg too (just search for it where the regular Bärenmarke stuff is located).
    As for Graham Crackers, I think the closest thing there is in Germany is Grahambrot,which usually can be found somewhere near Pumpernickel or Vollkornbrot in your local supermarket.

    • Andrew
      March 16, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

      Thanks for the hint. I’ll have to make a trek to Real at some point soon.

      • Frau Dietz
        March 20, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

        There’s condensed milk in my local Rewe as well actually, in the section near the tinned goods that has all kinds of Russian produce. My only trouble was choosing the right tin, because my Russian’s not that good 😉

        And I have to say I’m of the opinion that roast beef should be nothing BUT rare! 🙂

        • Andrew
          March 22, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

          I need my roastbeef to be cooked all the way through. Red bits in meat bother me. I don’t mean normal condensed milk. I mean sweetened condensed milk. It has enough sugar that is thick enough not to pour out of the can. You need to scrape it. It is a great Christmastime ingredient.

          • Frau Dietz
            March 28, 2012 @ 10:49 am

            That’s exactly the kind of condensed milk I meant 🙂

          • Andrew
            March 28, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

            I used to eat it with a spoon. I’ll have to hunt it down.