Sunday, July 14, 2024
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German cuisine: An apology


WHEN writing Tuesday’s piece about German food, I was confident it was so exaggerated that no one could possibly take it seriously. And indeed hundreds of readers gave it the thumbs-up, Teutons in lederhosen and all.


One commenter asked me if I was ill, or a Fawlty Towers tribute act. The latter I take as a compliment, and I’m in rude health, thank you very much.

Another remarked that ‘juvenile stuff like this supports the argument that Brexit supporters are xenophobic.’ This brought the heroic response from a chap named Steve: ‘It was tongue in cheek (to clarify, not a German delicacy), you numpty.’

I also received the following email, which I copy unedited and assure you I have not invented:

The article you wrote about what german food and drinks we will be missing is absolute ridiculous.I was born in Germany and live in London since 2006.It’s all down to taste preferences,but let me tell you this when it’s come to food the English food is the worst.What kind of food do they got?Fish and or stupid taste less meat pie.And when we talking about proper beer,it’s have to be the german beer ,and I amnot talkingabout the Bavarian beer,all you guys know is bavaria,you need to try as well Krombacher,Warsteiner etc…

To which I replied that, yes, the article is ridiculous. It’s a joke. 

Alongside my heavy-handed attempts to traduce traditional German cooking, I could have included the fact that I enjoy currywurst, and when in Mallorca make a beeline for Curry and Style in Port Andratx, which does an excellent Bratwurst (extra spicy, please), divine chips and even a veggie sausage for the Good Lady Wife. And that I am partial to a drop of Lowenbrau Oktoberfestbier when I can get hold of it. But that would have made it more of a balanced account, and I don’t do balance. If you want unbiased journalism, try the Guardian or the BBC (he types with almost a straight face).

A great deal of comedy is, or rather was, based on exaggeration and stereotypes. In the distant days of my youth, when everyone you met had half a dozen new jokes to tell you, you would willingly suspend disbelief and accept that all Irishmen were thick, all Scotsmen tight-fisted, all Scousers thieves, all Frenchmen had a bicycle and a string of onions, all Italians were cowards and all Germans were humourless.

Which is, obviously, not the case.

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Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth is a former national newspaper journalist now retreated to the Ribble Valley, where he grows cacti and tramps the fells. He and his wife Margaret run a website, A-M Records , which includes their collected TCW columns plus extra features including Tracks of the Day. Requests, queries and comments can be sent to

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