Munich Greeter

Bavarian food culture in the USA – Oh my god!

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Coincidentally I stumbled on the website of “Hofbräuhaus New York City”.

Maibaum/Maypole

Maibaum/Maypole

And what shall I say… I am speechless.

What is sold and shown there to the Americans as “typically Bavarian” shows why many Americans believe that  Bavarians jump around in Lederhosen eating sauerkraut all day long (both is not true).
Let the Munich Greeter show you what is really “typically Bavarian”…

Every Bavarian would faint when reading the Menu of the Hofbräuhaus New York. And not only because of the extraordinary prices. A mug of beer (1 liter) for 16 $ (about 12 €) is more expensive than on Oktoberfest (10 €/13,50 $).
And a big pretzel costs 9,50 $ (about 7 €). It’s little comfort to know that the pretzel is served with a selection of mustard (Urks! Why do people in the US think, Bavarians eat their pretzels with mustard?)

And the cacophony of horror goes on… There is a “Haus Dog”, a Hofbräu-Hotdog with Wiener sausage topped with sauerkraut (what else!), onions, pickles and swiss cheese (whichever one – Emmental cheese?).
And if you think this side of the menu is only to match the taste of the locals and you’re happy about reading “Traditional Items” in the hope to find real bavarian cuisine you will be disappointed. There is “Halbes Hendl” – half a roasted chicken (well, that’s quite traditional), but served with Spätzle! A Bavarian will have to take an extra sip of his extraordinary expensive beer. Spätzle! Well, ok… somebody who’s dipping his pretzel into mustard won’t have any problems with Spätzle and roasted chicken…

Now for all Americans who believe this is Bavarian food: It is not! (maybe parts of it…)

The truth about the Bavarian pretzel:
The Bavarian pretzel is soft. It is eaten as a side dish e.g. with “Weißwürste” (white sausages) or roasted chicken. Or it is eaten as a main dish with butter or Obazdn. It is allowed to dip the pretzels into mustard, but you will never ever get a pretzel, served with mustard in Bavaria!

Hotdogs
have as much to do with Bavaria as Chop Suey with the USA. Hotdogs (moreover with sauerkraut, onions and swiss cheese) do not exist in Bavaria! This hotdog is a local (New York?) invention such as the “Baguette Americain” in France, a baguette, filled with fries and ketchup.

Roasted chicken
Traditionally, roasted chicken is served with potato salad and/or pretzel. But never never never with Spätzle! Spätzle (sing. & pl.!) are a traditional accompaniment for dishes that have sauce (such as roasted meat) or they are eaten as a main dish (for example Käsespätzle – cheese-Spätzle). Spätzle with roasted chicken is a kind of dry food. But this makes me wonder: Do Americans put sauce over the roasted chicken? – I don’t hope so!

Sauerkraut
Wow… stereotypes are alive. Only three traditional dishes served with sauerkraut come into my mind:
– Nürnberger Rostbratwürstl (roasted bratwurst)
– Roast (not necessarily pork but, more roasted goose or duck)
Schlachtplatte
I would not count Schupfnudeln as part of the traditional bavarian cuisine, but more as part of the traditional cuisine of Baden-Württemberg (-> what is Baden-Württemberg?)

And if there is sauerkraut served, then it is cooked and not “lightly battered, golden fried”! (fried sauerkraut… urks…)

Dear Americans… if you want to taste the real Bavarian cuisine, register for a greet and ask your greeter to have a traditional lunch/dinner. And you will soon notice what is sold in “Bavarian restaurants” in the USA is far away from real Bavarian food.

PS: Beer-mugs (steins) made from tin/metal as shown here in a “bavarian restaurant” in the USA, were used in Bavaria until the end of the middle ages. Nobody has these here… not even at home!

PPS: The liquor “Killepitsch” on the menu of Hofbräuhaus New York City has even more nothing to do with Bavaria – it is from Düsseldorf in Northern Germany!

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  1. Pingback: Bayerische Esskultur in den USA – Sie können es doch! | Munich Greeter

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