Just like French fries aren’t really French (they are Belgian), there are things that are called “German” when they really are not from Germany. The best example? German chocolate cake. I have heard things like “Sabrina, you’re gonna have the German chocolate cake, right?” many times. The implication being of course that since I am German, I must love all things German, and since they are offering German chocolate cake…
Well, I do like it, but let me tell you, it’s not German. And people seem genuinely sad when I tell them that it’s not really German. For the longest time I couldn’t even figure out why it was called German. First I thought it might be that people use actual German chocolate, but that would be a little expensive here in Texas. Finally, I looked it up on Wikipedia. The guy’s name who came up with the kind of chocolate used in German chocolate cake? Sam German. Thus, “German’s chocolate” is used in German chocolate cake. Voila. Mystery solved 🙂
And what about the supposedly German potato salad with bacon? I’ve never had a potato salad with bacon in Germany. Ever! The closest I’ve gotten to a potato salad without mayonnaise is a mean potato salad with cucumbers and a vinaigrette my grandma makes. Maybe Americans just added bacon to the original recipe? Who knows, but let’s face it, who doesn’t like bacon?! Anyways, my point is that most Germans eat their potato salad with mayo – just like Americans do.
And here is the follow-up post about some supposedly Italian dishes 🙂
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