German cooking habits

144 posts in this topic

I am sure we have all seen new things here, I hope others will add theirs as well.

 

Two things have really stuck out to me.

 

1. Cooking in the morning and leaving the food sitting out all day. Just heating if needed before dinner. I see this even with meats. I have no problem cooking in advance putting things in the cooler and later reheating, but is this not a cesspool for bacteria and food borne illness? I also see people do this with leftovers some even for days, just sit there in the original cooking pan on the stove until eating.

 

2. Putting food outside on the balcony. I understand if its winter in theory. But 1 does this also not encourage bacteria if it is not cool enough and 2 you would think it attracts animals. My mother in law does it religiously.

 

Am I paranoid? Do you do this?

 

Also have you found any weird or rather different cooking or kitchen techniques or habits that threw you for a loop? Do you reject it or welcome it in your home :)

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It's the size of the fridge/freezer, SJ1.

You know how minuscule they are. :rolleyes:

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Perhaps the fact I have worked in the food industry before has affected me, we were forced to learn about all the scary stuff like botulism.

 

Katrina- I had someone laugh at me once and say I was doing it wrong when I peeled potatoes with a peeler before boiling them. My husband had also never eaten potato skin, now he is used to it.

 

I hate the fridges here. I am waiting for a good sale on combis, or at least a separate freezer.

 

I leave out condiments, or veggies. But meats freak me out.

 

Helles- I always thought it was fun. They said it made it taste better.

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Spot on Katrina - I never figured out this illogical peeling hot spuds either.

 

Hellie is correct about there being loads of bacteria in the fridge. To rid it of bacteria properly it must be completely emptied regularly, the shelves washed in the sink, then the inside of the fridge and afterwards smeared with "Essig Essenz". Cleaning out a fridge is a pain in the arse, and should be to keep food clean.

 

Serena: they actually laughed at you peeling spuds? What a hick.

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Peeling new potatoes after they are cooked by using a little fork and a knife. The potatoes are burning hot and eating the skin of new potatoes isn't even horrible.

 

I will never adopt this.

It just doesn't make sense to me and so if cooking for people likely to do this, I won't serve new potatoes.

 

This isn't just a German thing though, the Swedes do the same.

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Jeremy- That I do.

 

Its defrosting the damn freezer that pisses me off. That I need to do, ha. Apparently they lied when they said it was frost free.

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When I was a kid, my mother would cook a meat stew then leave it, with a lid on, on the hob, to reheat the next day. She would boil it for a couple of minutes on the re-heating.

 

She grew up in a house without a fridge, and used the techniques that presumably generations have done- her rules of reheating were: beef and lamb can be reheated, birds and pork cannot, but can be cool stored and eaten without reheating on the 2nd day.

 

If I make a beef chilli in the morning, I'll leave it covered on the stove to reheat later in the day. If it's for the next day, I'll bung it in the fridge.

 

I recently got a really fascinating book called "The Forgotten Skills of Cooking" by Darina Allen.

She was prompted to write it after she noticed one of her students (she runs a cookery school) throwing out some cream that she had over-whipped so it had seperated into a watery liquid and a solid lump. She had to explain to the student that the lump they were throwing away was a perfect pat of butter. She also comments on my pet peeve, people who keep jam in the fridge.

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See also: only eating the inside of a baked potato when the outside is all crispy and yum.

 

 

Thats not really a german habit.. I don't find baked potato skins to be very tasty either and I've seen plenty of others that hollow theirs out.

 

Never seen someone peel a new potato though.

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Peeling new potatoes after they are cooked by using a little fork and a knife. The potatoes are burning hot and eating the skin of new potatoes isn't even horrible.

 

I will never adopt this.

It just doesn't make sense to me and so if cooking for people likely to do this, I won't serve new potatoes.

 

See also: only eating the inside of a baked potato when the outside is all crispy and yum.

 

 

I grew up with a mum who survived the war and would throw hardly anything away. I find it criminal how much gets thrown away here, even if it is potato peelings, which they almost always do with a knife. This often leads to a third of the potato being thrown away. A lot of the east Germans I know still have the 'pre-fridge' habits that my nan would employ.

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This isn't just a German though, the Swedes do the same.

 

This post works for 90% of Toytown. American or at least 'anglophone' habits compared to continental European. An exclusively German trait is pretty rare if you ask me. That is if you put all surrounding countries and northern Europe into the equasion. Toytown Denmark or Toytown Poland would come across rather similar.

 

Edit: And as noted before: Cooking something and then leaving the lid on is a good method. If you don't allow new air in, it's very hygienic from a microbiological standpoint. Fridges are a heaven for bacteria on the other hand. A result of the misconception that 7°C will kill bacteria.

It will only allow them to reproduce a bit slower.

 

You should actually clean your fridge every day. And who does it?

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was there not a thread similar to this about someone arguing with their mother-in-law over putting warm food into a cold fridge....

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Hey I agree with the mother in law. That raises the temp of the fridge, you should cool the foods before putting it into the fridge.

 

Or so I learned.

 

But again we also learned to wash meat and that was recently proven to actually increase food borne illness rates.

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Perhaps the fact I have worked in the food industry before has affected me

 

I'd say so. There totally different standards exist, and for good reasons. At home where it's easier to keep tabs on everything you don't need to be so particular, although it doesn't hurt.

 

Like some of the others I have a mother who has instilled post-war standards on me where nothing gets thrown away - I even have a pot of dripping in the fridge :ph34r: . It's distressing to see how much stuff gets binned for no good reason when all that's missing is just a little understanding about food.

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I grew up poor, I hate throwing away food, but also have contamination fear issues. But I am all about frugality.

 

Rather interesting my husband comes from the GDR, grandma eats anythings and throws nothing away even eats apple cores. But he will not eat anything once it hits the expiration date or has sat out.

 

Guess we are quiet the pair.

 

We should start a ww frugality tips and trick thread. I would be all over that :)

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I remembered exactly who it was when you wrote about it Deccie, that made it easy.

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