Whether as a tourist, spouse, or migrant – when a German first arrives in America, his or her excitement is immense. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for home-sickness to kick in. Usually, it starts with the first visit to the grocery store. Ironically, when away from home, the most basic things turn out to be those that we miss the most. Yet it is also beautiful, for we return with a brand new appreciation of things we previously took for granted. Learn about some of the foods Germans miss the most while visiting or living in the States.

German Breads

German Bread

Germans living in America are most surprised to find themselves missing bread from back home. In Germany, numerous bakeries are scattered across cities, towns, and villages. For most, bread isn’t exactly considered a delicacy, but rather associated with the “bread and water” prison food myth – that is, until a German has spent some time in America. While the white flour, milk, and butter concoction makes for great hamburger buns and offers great shelf life, real bread should be baked fresh, crispy on the outside, and contain some rye flour and seeds. Lucky for German ex-pats, the long-standing German bread baking tradition is catching on, as evidenced by German bakeries slowly popping up in larger cities across the USA. Try a quick search on Google for your city – you might get lucky and find some “real bread”, as we Germans like to say.

German Bratwurst

Meat Treats from Germany

When you live in Germany, sourcing your meats from a local butcher is about as common as buying freshly baked bread from a bakery. At the top of the list for any German are brats – the German Bratwurst. Although the term refers to a variety of sausages, most Germans understand it to mean Weißwurst – a thick, white sausage best prepared on a grill. All the more shocked they are when they order a Bratwurst in America and receive something, well, strange.

The only way to experience a true Bratwurst is to get one at a food truck or concession stand in Germany, as it really ought to be eaten together with a somewhat stale bread roll and delicious German mustard. But amazing sausages aren’t the only tasty German meat treats Americans are missing out on. Leberkäse, Sauerbraten, and well, a good Döner Kebab, as invented by a Turkish migrant from Berlin, are also among the first things Germans are guaranteed to rush to eat after returning home from the States.