Let me tell you about one of my favorite food staples, bread. In its purest form this rising wonder is nothing more than flour and yeast. Luckily, humans have been endowed with creativity and…forget this fantastic diatribe until I post about it at some other random point in time. Instead, let me interrupt you with another one of my crazy observations: German Bread Strategy.
The Germans are strategic; I am not talking about War, Eurozone banking, or Water Dependency here either, I am talking bread strategy (BS); careful handling of the carb-filled delicious food staple we so heavily rely on for gravy cleanup. As an Ausländer, I am enamored with the bread in this country. Most practical people will have one or 2 thin slices of bread with a meal; I usually eat about a half loaf. The same practical people are experts at using one paper-thin slice to clean their plate. Again, I use about a half loaf to clean half my plate. The Germans are notorious for dishwasher clean plates at the end of a meal. Maybe dishwasher clean is a little over the top, a CSI cleanup is probably a closer description to what happens at a German dinner table. I have quickly carved out a niche for myself, my nickname is, The Sloppy Ausländer.
A little background before we foray further into this matter; Europeans, eat with fork and knife in hand. Meanwhile, The Sloppy Ausländer eats with one hand in the lap and I push my food around the plate with a very dull fork. Don’t quote me on this but we probably adapted our etiquette rules from the British. I seriously doubt the Indians were scolding their children for using both hands to eat corn. God have mercy on you if peas are involved, as it takes nearly 30 minutes to round-up 10 peas on a fork.
Snap back to Europe; my wife having spent 10 years in the U.S., is admonished by her mother for not using two hands to eat. Yeah it’s serious here when a 32 year-old woman is called out by her mother for not eating with a fork and Bowie Knife…. Say what? Oh, I didn’t tell you? A common ritual here in Germany, is to first shave with your Bowie knife using only soap and water, and then eat with that same Bowie knife. This is not a Sissy culture. I haven’t yet figured out the BS…update, I have figured out how to clean my plate with one bread roll. And let me tell you, my body is forever grateful.
Here’s the intel I have extracted so far: an insider tip when eating gravy soaked meal, tear off some small satellite pieces of bread and sprinkle them in the gravy. Use the satellites to attract the gravy, thus making dull fork-use tangible. I discovered that a majority of the sauce is slurped from a fork. Even ze Germans eat gravy with a fork and knife. Imagine eating Chicken Noodle Soup with a fork, it is exactly the same..painstakingly slow. Speaking of slow, I need someone to pass me another slice of bread my gravy cleanup theory is not working.