Blog

This blog page includes posts by Anne Thomas at Berlin by Food about food-related topics and other subjects of interest, such as literature and politics, as well as articles that she has written for other platforms in the past. It also features guest contributions from around the world. The posts are all in English.


Spring eggstravaganza

Trigger warning: This eggcentric post is written in Egglish. It’s not difficult to pick up and you'll surely hatch on fast, but be forewarned if puns and bad yolks make you run a mile like the smell of a rotten egg. Why do the French only put one egg in an om...

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The bells are ringing, it’s Pancake Day!

Mix a pancake, Stir a pancake, Pop it in the pan; Fry the pancake, Toss the pancake, Catch it if you can Christina Rossetti Happy Pancake Day! Britain’s unofficial national day is one that I am happy to observe religiously each year. There’s no reason not to. After all, this day ...

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In search of the lost feasts of childhood

“For her, as for me, the past had a sweet taste.” I made faux gras. Never again! Why bother is what I first thought when I saw the recipe. I’ve never been a fan of ersatz (perhaps under the influence of my maternal grandmother who lived through the Nazi occupation of France...

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Berlin is not Bologna but...

“Bologna! Bologna! Near the Porta S. Vitale there’s a bar called the Bocca d’Oro where they serve, if you insist on the one by the capo’s mother, the best limoncello you’ve ever tasted. It promises everything.” John Berger "You'll see," my film studies friends told me. "Bologna...

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"Anyone can be a refugee": Resisting racism in Neukölln

Today is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that US President Donald Trump is holding his first major rally since the outbreak of COVID-19. Unlikely to mention refugees, he will instead pander to the basest instincts of his supporters, stirring up hatred and inciting to violence, as he has always ...

© Lara Merrington
© Lara Merrington
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Guest blog by Allison Williams: The logistics of cooking in a double-lockdown

Lasagne is the answer, but the question was complicated. What is the best way to feed four people for a fortnight, with two self-isolating, without anyone leaving the house? It arose just over two weeks ago when my dad had an emergency trip to hospital, a trauma for all far beyond his ...

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Keep calm, love, and have a cuppa!

I've run out of Brexit Kimchi and it's raining for the first time in weeks. Of course it is - I've decided to write about Britain. After all, it was raining three months ago when Britain was officially on its own again, having freed itself from the clutches of the European Union. ...

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L'chaim! Remembering while eating

"A summary of every Jewish holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat!" said Alan King. This post provides a selective tour of Jewish eateries in Berlin, as well as an insight into the books, podcasts and shows that have been providing me with spiritual nourishment this past ...

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Yes we can! Keeping Berlin's small businesses alive

When Berlin started taking COVID-19 seriously just over a month ago, cafe and restaurant owners were faced with the difficult dilemma of what to do. If they shut down, their livelihoods would be on the line. If they stayed open, they would be putting themselves and their customers at risk. A terrible ...

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Guest blog by Jane Paulick: Sourdough and San Pellegrino

Food is what’s giving my days structure. Nothing fancy. But when every day is like Sunday, breakfast, lunch and dinner pin down the time, stop it floating away. I read recipe books in bed at night, with the skylight tilted open to let in cold winter air that’s unusually crisp and ...

© Anne Thomas
© Anne Thomas
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Summertime, snow and shemomedjamo

The clocks went forward on Sunday, to summertime. This summer is when I am supposed to launch my food tours in earnest. But now coronavirus has happened. Who knows what the world will be looking like this summer? Who knows whether restaurants and cafés will be allowed to open? Who knows w...

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Jewish cuisine in Berlin

One of the three themes at this year’s Jewish Film Festival in Berlin - alongside 50 years of German-Israeli relations and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two - was “Jews and Food”. The Holocaust and food might seem unlikely bedfellows at first glance but, as the event made clear ...

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The Bagelisation of Berlin

There was a time when it was impossible to buy a bagel in Berlin. Indeed, it was almost as impossible as sleeping a “bagel” in Berlin (the expression hails from New York yeshivas and means to sleep 12 hours straight) - an impressive feat in a town that parties 24/7. Today, there are whole chai...

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Azzam to Zula: Hummus in Berlin

Hummus is nothing more than chickpeas, sesame paste, lemon, soda and salt. Some argue garlic is also a vital ingredient; others swear on cumin; heretics might even add coriander. The disagreements on the flavours and ingredients of "real hummus" are no different to those provoked by any popular dish, whether ...

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Goodbye to Berlin's corner pubs

It used to be that there was a bar on every corner in Berlin, where workers would order a beer to wind down from the day. But these institutions of yore are close to extinction, as more modern watering holes take over. Every second shop on my street sells delicious kebabs, falafels ...

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