Questions about Germany, the UK and food

1. Why is quark in the UK always fat-free? What happened to the 20% and 40% stuff?

2. Why is Dr Oetker advertising on British TV? They were driving me mad in Germany in 1967, when there was no such thing as baking powder you measured yourself, only Dr. Oetker sachets.

3. Why are we to believe that a native speaker of English bought ‘Werthers Original’ in a ‘caramel shop’ as a little girl?

4. But I should have got used to this kind of thing since Dr. Oetker invented a cake called Russischer Zupfkuchen and had people with Russian accents reminiscing on how Onkel Michael had always served it in the garden. Marc at Bake to the Roots is not deceived:

Russischer Zupfkuchen – a classic cake here in Germany. Sorry, but I don’t have a proper english translation for that. Could not find any word for “Zupfkuchen” ;)

You get it in almost every bakery in many versions. If you ask a person from Russia or any other Eastern European country you will probably get everywhere the same answer: WTF?! ;)

Jakob Hein in a taz blog actually got an answer from Dr. Oetker, to the effect that Dr. Oetker created the cake in 1993 following a competition – there was nothing Russian about it, but the chocolate blobs on top reminded them of the spires of Russian churches. At that link you can actually see a video clip of the Onkel Michael advert.

5. Why are the Hairy Bikers allowed to tell us that a recent Swiss invention that is sold to German bakers in a kind of franchise (Pain Paillasse) is a typical example of wonderful German bread?

6. What is the Latin name of the Easy Peeler tree? I can’t identify it.

7. Zimmermann Feinste Kalbsleberwurst – English slogan apparently ‘There is calf’s liver sausage and then there is this one!’ – contains 50% pork, 20% pork liver and only 10% calves’ liver. Why is this? Is it like Leberwurst, which is known not to contain any liver?

8. Finally, who was Dr. Oetker and what was his doctorate in? Botany, apparently, and he lived from 1862 to 1918. He did invent a kind of baking powder, called Backin, and his success came from selling it in little packets for domestic use.

LATER NOTE: I was devastated when I had to buy Dr. Oetker baking powder, not in a sachet, at Tesco.

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2 thoughts on “Questions about Germany, the UK and food

  1. “Russischer Zupfkuchen” is translated as “Russian (chocolate) cheesecake” most of the time: http://linguatools.com/deutsch-englisch/?lang=auto&q=zupfkuchen
    I didn’t know that it isn’t actually a Russian cake. But you’re right: the name in the Russian Wikipedia is just the transliteration of the German “Zupfkuchen”, and it is described as a “traditional German cake”.

    The British Werther’s Original ads can also be watched at their website http://www.werthers-original.co.uk/TV-Ads# .

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