Why Germany Calls This Vegetable ‘White Gold’

It’s March now, and spring is still months away. German winters are a shock—the sun rises after eight and sets before four, the streets smell like coal, everything is chapped. I know that we must endure eight more weeks of this Central European cloud c…

It’s March now, and spring is still months away. German winters are a shock—the sun rises after eight and sets before four, the streets smell like coal, everything is chapped. I know that we must endure eight more weeks of this Central European cloud cover and pallid false sun before the dam bursts, spring comes, and spargel, or white asparagus, appears in every supermarket, street-corner stand, and Sunday-dinner plate in the country.

When I moved to Germany in 2014—25 and without a plan—I had very little idea of what to expect from my new life in my temporary home, let alone of the things I’d eat and come to love. I remember one conversation I had with a friend a few weeks before I left.

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Stollen: The Ultimate German Christmas Bread

It’s December, which means the holidays are nigh! Today, we’re celebrating with stollen—a traditional German Christmas bread, also known as Christstollen and Weihnachtsstollen (fun fact: Weihnachten means “Christmas” in German). Studded with nuts and d…

It's December, which means the holidays are nigh! Today, we're celebrating with stollen—a traditional German Christmas bread, also known as Christstollen and Weihnachtsstollen (fun fact: Weihnachten means "Christmas" in German). Studded with nuts and dried fruits then dusted with a generous coating of icing sugar, German stollen is a delicious way to celebrate these cold-weather months, especially when guests are coming in and out of your home. Here's how to make it.


Christmas is a time of elaborate fruit-and-booze-laden breads, puddings, and cakes. It is the time of airy panettone and fruitcake and brandy-soaked puddings lit on fire. It is also the time of stollen, a traditional German Christmas treat of yeasted bread stuffed to the gills with brandy-soaked fruit and marzipan, then coated with a shell of powdered sugar.

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