May 14, 2012

Kaffee und Kuchen

I can hear the mumbles already... "WTF is Kaffee und Kuchen?!" Here's the inside scoop: it's an age-old German tradition, and it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. Similar to the British who have their Tea and Biscuits, the Germans have their Coffee and Cake. Considered a Zwischenmahlzeit (a small meal between meals), Kaffee und Kuchen is usually eaten at, say... 4pm-ish?

André tells me it's just another excuse for people to get together in the afternoons, and he might just be right. On weekdays, between the times of 2pm-5pm, they're everywhere. You see them sittin' pretty in these fancy shmancy cafés, sipping on their lattés and indulging in big fat slices of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte... they're usually old folks. For the 9-5 crowd, Kaffee und Kuchen is more likely a friends and family, weekend-chillage-thang (Sundays being more common than Saturdays).


Last week was a tad hectic for me. I started teaching 6 new courses, 4 of them 20 weeks long! (on that note, watch out for an upcoming blog post entitled, "How to Become an English Teacher in Germany") By the week's end, I felt that a proper session of Kaffee und Kuchen was an utter necessity. Before your very eyes is a slice of Banane-Rhabarber Kuchen (Banana Rhubarb Cake) with a side of fresh whipped cream from Der kleine Vegetarier, a local vegan joint here in Braunschweig. Lecker!

What I love about the cakes at this place is that they all look chunky and rustic: just my style. Ain't no Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte up in hea. One will, however, find Streuselkuchen and Bienenstich (other classic Kaffee ond Kuchen cakes) at a local Konditorei (cake/pastry shop). The wonderful thing about this tradition is that the cake options are endless! It may be useful to know that Kaffee und Kuchen is also popular in Austria, Finland and Luxembourg. So come on, Canada! Get with the program already!

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