I wish I had more time.
That is a must be. You know those lovely, fluffy, just right crunchy crust bread rolls that you used to be able to find everywhere; freshly baked by a Baker that got up at four in the morning to make sure that Germany had fresh bread when it was time to wake up? Unfortunately this might be six in the morning during the week for most. So handymen insist on a second breakfast time around ten, when they can seriously indulge in the art of breakfast. During the week-end and thanks to late sleep-ins, having breakfast in bed, or with the whole family around the table, letting it last for an hour or even going to a café, which offers abundant breakfast, is a luxury treat which everybody can afford.
The problem is that the Brötchen usually is not so fresh anymore, because factories replace the Bakeries one by one. It is hard to find people who are willing to face the hours of this trade and when they do, they find themselves overwhelmed by the competition from the factories.
Despite these changes, you still acquire your bread in a Bakery. The choice is great and it used to be that anybody that knew the names of the Brötchen (signs are a later development) or bread they wished to buy, and did not have to point at it instead (like me) was treated with a lot of respect by salesperson and fellow-buyers alike. Know your bread.
You also will always find the non-queue at the Bakery. As soon as more than three people are waiting to buy, you can feel the tension growing. Who came after you, who was immediately before you? Will somebody, usually the frail elderly looking person, suddenly display signs of unexpected vigor and push you aside and ignore your disgusted looks as she buys her bread ahead of you and possibly some little kid that the salesperson cannot see behind the high counter? Why don´t they form a line, so it will be evident? Maybe it is part of some secret initiation to being German? I haven´t seen it on the questionnaire for new Germans yet, but I will suggest something.
Once you have found one of the rare remaining real bakeries or an acceptable replacement nothing should come between you and your german breakfast. It is not hot except for the tea, coffee or boiled egg. You get Wurst and Cheese and Marmalade. If you are at one of the many student cafés that offer breakfast until two o ´clock in the afternoon, they will add joghurts, muesli and fruit to the choice. I can see many a student living off breakfast alone.
Nowadays I have very little time for week-day breakfast and the kids get tired of anything “new” within two days, so it is back to cornflakes and toast. As a child I remember the breakfast on holidays. We would stop off in Austria, on a little farm, and there were the delicious Brötchen, with butter that was served in little curls, a glass of orange juice, home-made jams, meats and cheese and eggs fresh from the hens: It was a great way to start a holiday and a day.
Later I would indulge in the german style breakfast at my boyfriends house. When we split I lost 4 kg without trying.
I could go on and on about the breakfast I remember. When I am on holiday nowadays, one of my special treats is to try the local breakfast. In Italy that is not a lot of fun for me, because it is coffee and a croissant and you stand at a bar. No, I am more into the british, irish or german way. In Scotland this includes haddock, in britain hot tomatoes and in Germany the Brötchen and last but not least taking it easy.
I like that.