I don't think this is unique to Germany (maybe a European thing?) but these people L-O-V-E bread! Seriously. I mean, I like bread- who doesn't? It's very functional for making sandwiches, soaking up the soup at the bottom of the bowl, holding Nutella. And fresh-baked bread is so yummy. But bread is like a way of life here. Our little town of 3,000 people-including surrounding countryside- has four bakeries. And they always seem to be busy! When I told Aaron's boss that we hadn't been to a certain bakery, the best one according to him, he just could not believe it. He said to me, "Bread is very important to us here." Yeah, I'm getting that. People go to the bakery every day. On his way to work, Aaron meets his colleagues riding home with bread for the family.
My parents and I spent an afternoon in Schleswig when they were here. There was a bakery on every corner. We chose a self-serve one (because why speak German to someone if you don't have to?) and loaded up a tray with various treats- pretzels with and without cheese, pastries with nuts, and even a plain white roll with a giant chocolate-covered marshmallow sandwiched in the middle. I couldn't resist. It was just so odd. It turned out to be the best thing I ate there. Which was good and bad, since I decided to start a quest for the best hot pretzel in Germany. I think I live in the wrong end of the country for this, though.
Anyway, the bakery must have been around the corner from the high school because teenagers started pouring in. We sat near the cash register and we couldn't believe that these kids could eat two or three rolls and call it "lunch." Student after student passed by with trays of carbs only. I don't think they have ever heard of Doctor Atkins over here. Or maybe he came over and tried to sell his diets and they just threw him out!
Aaron and I occasionally have the conversation about our favorite food/beverage item. "If you could choose only one treat, what would it be?" "Which food would you refuse to give up?" The tops choices are always cheese, coffee, chocolate or beer. We discussed this recently with our new friend Jan and you know what his answer was: "Oh, bread of course!" We looked at each other is disbelief. It's never even been a contender.