What I Ate: Germany

It’s not all sauerbraten and rouladen. I was pleasantly surprised by incredible salads, grilled fish, and lots of mushrooms while in Germany.

Not everybody’s idea of breakfast. German hotel breakfast offering. Photo credit: www.foodondrunk.com.

Let’s start with breakfast. I love European hotel breakfast (most of them). Most decent hotels have a pretty good spread at breakfast, and in Germany, that means aufschnitt – that would be lunchmeat and sausage to Americans. I love it. I’m not a great fan of sweet and bland in the morning, so I was thrilled to find smoked salmon, sausages and soft cheeses, rounded out with fruit, six kinds of granola, juice, and fantastic coffee.


From the cafe at K21 Art Museum, Dusseldorf.


Warm weather in Germany led to some great salads topped with grilled fish and crisp bread one evening…




and octopus and squid the next.

At the Golden Unicorn, Dusseldorf.

I did try out some heavier fare. At Brauerie Peters in the Aldermarkt in Cologne they had several mushroom dishes. After consulting the English menu and pointing out what I wanted in the German menu, a plate of slightly sweet dumpings with salty bits of cured ham within, draped in a chanterelle sauce, arrived at my table. (It turns out that Germans consume the most mushrooms per capita in the world, read here). And of course, there was Alt beer in Dusseldorf, and Kolsch in Cologne.

Mushroom dumplings with chanterelle sauce in Cologne.


Bakeries seem to be on every corner. My friend, Ms. S, hails from a town just across the river from Dusseldorf and I’ve heard her bemoan the lack of German bakeries in NYC.

This plum kuchen is for her.

Plum kuchen at the cafe at K21.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.

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