Roll over Beethoven

One of the most useful words in German - or at least the word I found most use for after the usual hellos and thankyous - was frühstück. This double-barrel umlaut of a word is a key ingredient of a successful B&B stay - it being the second of the B's and to my latearrival earlydeparture ways, the more important of the two. Last, not least, that sort of thing.

Now I had taken German lessons in college, but my focus was much more on lunch in those days (the classes were usually just before noon). Frühstück, on the other hand, is breakfast - lots of heavy-duty german-style snorting required to get the right sound - and it is a glorious thing in Germany. I used to be a frequent visitor to Deutschland, and my B&B hostess would wake up at the crack of dawn to buy bread for me (and her family). The smell of fresh bread would often be what I woke up to - fist-sized buns of sesame, multi-grain, poppyseed, pumpernickel all ready to be my friends for the day.

Not every culture has a big breakfast tradition. New yorkers gulp black coffee, the French dress it up a little bit more and throw in a croissant, America makes Kellogs happy and India just minimizes lunches or serves idlis. The Germans and the English, however, load up their plates early, and in somewhat different ways.

English breakfasts are all about sausage and bacon, sideshowed by eggs, bread, tea, sweetened with those wonderful jams and marmalades. Germans on the other hand, meat and potatoes at all other times, like their bread for breakfast. I personally think the Germans are the best breadmakers in the world, and breakfast (double umlaut and all) is when they choose to show it off. Bakeries open really early and fresh-baked rolls of different kinds  soon land up at your table. Every family seems to buy its bread daily, and some minimal brushing with butter, honey, cheese or a cold cut is all that is required for a satisfying wake-up call.

Frühstück. A big tonguetwister of a word; I miss it.


  1. My sister's bf is German and when I visit them - Saturday breakfast is quite the thing. Breads from the german bakery, poppyseed rolls, jams, caviar spreads, german cheeses, cold cuts, last night's Bienenstich. It is definitely double umlaut and all.



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