The Authentic German/American Apfelkuchen Experience | Teen Ink

The Authentic German/American Apfelkuchen Experience

October 2, 2018
By SKIUSA SILVER, Nashotah, Wisconsin
SKIUSA SILVER, Nashotah, Wisconsin
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

My flight landed three hours ago, and now I walk the streets of Munich, Germany. I hear the German language. I understand bits, however, I am not able to communicate fluently. Astonished by the historic architecture and the rich culture passed down from generation to generation, I notice the bakeries.  

Nearby, I spot a bakery; I walk up to the local baker and say, “Ein apfelkuchen bitte [one apple cake please].”  Trying to piece together proper words, I listen closely to the baker. I hand over five euro and hope it's enough. I observe the honey bees flying around the sweet baked goods. The baker doesn't seem bothered.  

My parents stand beside me, eagerly awaiting our European adventure. In America, I would have ordered a piece of apple cake; a piece of cake possibly frozen and made in mass. In Germany, the local baker started to bake early that morning. In America, the baker might be in the back baking; yet, in Europe the baker is the face of the store.  

Seconds later, the baker says, “Hier ist dein apfelkuchen und deine veranderung zwei euro; vielen dank [here is your apple cake and your change, two euros; thank you.].”  

Out of gut reaction I say, “danke schoen [thank you very much].”

Apfelkouchen here is served cold; on a small plate with a fork. In America, the apple cake would be served in a brown bag, ready to be eaten on the go. In Germany, the custom is to stay and enjoy the bakery.

But rather than enjoying the atmosphere, my parents tell me we must hurry. Always having the next day planned, we catch our train to meet my aunt and uncle in northern Germany, but the memory of the apfelkuchen remains.

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