P1020925.JPGGerman Bakery

Ahh, Brot. Of all the things I remembered from my early years in Germany, it was the bread that provided the fondest memories. German bread is an entirely different species from American bread. One has to wonder how the flaccid, nearly tasteless loaves of which we make our toast and on which we spread our peanut butter ever became standard fare. Indeed, even among Americans, “white bread” is a derisive adjective.

German bread comes in dizzying variety, only a small fraction of which I have ever sampled, but it is with great anticipation that I buy a different type each time I visit one of the numerous bakeries in Immenstadt. It is quite obvious that Germans appreciate their baked goods as much as I do because bakeries are more plentiful here than Starbucks in Seattle.

Probably the most noticeable difference between German bread and the American kind is crust. Americans suppress crust; Germans glorify it. Haven’t we all seen American mothers who cut away even the pitiful amount of crust on their children’s sandwiches as if it were poisonous. Shame if you ask me.

That said, a fresh loaf of German bread can be a daunting object in which to gain entry. The crust might fairly by called armor and a sharp, serrated knife is a necessity. One needn’t worry about being accosted on the walk home from the bakery as long as an intact loaf is in your possession; it is a formidable weapon:

P1020934.JPGLethal Weapon

Perhaps I should approach Warner Brothers with a script for “Lethal Weapon V” in which Mel Gibson discovers the lethality of German bread loaves and dispatches villains with these bludgeons?

And then there is Hitler’s lost opportunity – baked body armor. Employing the German penchant for stringing together short words to make astoundingly long words, I have taken the liberty to create a super-word of my own: Brot + Kruste + Anzug = Brotkrusteanzug or “bread crust suit.” If the Wehrmacht had clothed their soldiers in body armor made of impenetrable German bread crust, the Germans would have won the war. Of course that would have resulted in Hitler ruling the world which means we’d all be speaking German and I wouldn’t be here taxing my poor brain trying to determine if der, die, or das should precede Brotkrusteanzug!

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