I like to eat more than apples and bananasBerlin, Summer 2011
When people think of German food, they typically think of meat and potatoes. In Berlin, however, it’s actually hard to find German food. Berlin is very multicultural, or “multi-kulti” as we learned in my Deutsch class so there’s a lot of food diversity. Just immediately around IES Berlin, there is Thai, Indian, Turkish, Italian, and Irish food.
Berlin, as well as the rest of Germany, has a growing Turkish population which is reflected in its food. There’s numerous of falafel stands, which is cheap and absolutely delicious. I don’t have a lot of falafel where I come from in Texas, so trying Turkish street food proved to be an adventure. While very tasty, falafel (which is fried chickpeas and spices) can be hard to eat because it comes in a pita pocket stuffed with veggies and sauce, which easily falls out. There is also schwarma, which is shaved meat as well as haloumi, which is fried cheese.
My friend from my program is vegetarian and he didn’t find it too hard to eat while in Berlin. In addition to falafel, he found many vegan or vegetarian restaurants and cafes in the Friedrichshain neighborhood, which had great food and a vibrant atmosphere. I met many Berliners who were vegetarian, which was surprising to me at first but certainly easier in a city like Berlin.
The German food I did find in Berlin was good as well… though a little more expensive, nothing can beat a good schnitzel. Typically made or pork, veal, or chicken, the meat is breaded and then fried to a golden crispy coating on the outside, and served with a lemon that you can squeeze over the top. I tried a Berliner boulette, which was sort of like a spherical hamburger patty that crumbles easily, and you can mix with a gravy sauce. I also tried two green soups: pea soup and a cold cucumber soup. While the former was good, I’m not so sure about the latter…
If you do like fresh fruit, every block or so has stands that sell cheap, fresh produce. Berliners are very into organic food, which they call “bio.” They even have bio and vegan ice cream! I’ve had ice cream nearly every day, or every other day because there are gelato stands also every block or so. And, you can get a large scoop in a cone for a Euro. The first few weeks in Berlin I lost weight from walking so much, but my discovery of gelato has counterbalanced this…
So, I can certainly say I’ve incorporated food into my holistic education while abroad.
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