Now, the Germans, Swiss Germans and Austrians among my readers who have lived abroad will know this issue. Where on earth do you find bread? When you ask a Brit for bread, what you often get is this, similarly with Americans. Whilst there is nothing wrong with a nice slice of toast with melting peanut butter on it (hummm…), there is no way in the world that I would eat toast if I wanted bread. Some English speakers call it “crusty bread” to make the distinction, but bread isn’t just about the crust. So, how do you find nice German bread in the UK?
There are numerous options. The first one that I came across when I moved to Buckingham years ago is Waitrose. Waitrose is a supermarket chain, markedly more expensive than Tesco’s but if you ask me, the fruit and veg are also slightly better quality. Waitrose also has Schneiderbrot, which is rye or sunflower grain bread. Very nice. Additionally, they sell what is called German extrawurst and German salami. Extrawurst is more known as Mortadella or Geflügelwurst at home. And, importantly, Waitrose makes quite nice rolls for Sunday breakfasts. So, if you have a Waitrose near you, jackpot!
Unfortunately, in Edinburgh there are two Waitroses, either of them about 45min walk in each direction from my house. Find them on Google Maps, I found Lidl in Nicolson St. Lidl does occasionally sell German rye bread which is amazing. Lidl also has rolls, which I haven’t tried yet but their bread is nice. No German extrawurst anywhere to be found 😦 Even worse, Lidl doesn’t always have German bread and it sells out quickly, which sucks, let’s face it.
About 10min walk down the street from Lidl (Nicolson St turns into Clerk and South Clerk St etc..) is the Wee Boulangerie. This boulangerie produces lovely French bakery, sourdough breads, macarons, pizzettas and so on. It is tiny, but lovely. The staff there are very friendly and happy to help you slice the bread in advance. I for once, do not have a bread knife, so…I’ve forgotten to take a photo of the Wee Boulangerie but they are just down Clerk St on the right side of the road if you are coming from North Bridge. One of their strong points for me is that they are very, very central because here comes my next contestant for the German bread award.
Yes, you read that correctly. Falko is a German, trained as Konditormeister (Master Baker) in Germany who moved to Edinburgh to bring to this island the wonderful gift of German bakery. Falko bakes all kinds of bread (his multigrain bread is my favourite), including genuine pretzels (*** Tesco and *** Mr Pretzel even more!!!) and MANDELHÖRNCHEN (almond horse shoes). They are my favourite type of cake at home and he brought them to the UK. Oh Falko, if only you knew how much happier you made my life. Falko is unfortunately very far from my house, a good 40min walk, near the Chocolate Tree. However, he brings his miracle bread to the Edinburgh Farmer’s market every Saturday. Needless to say, Falko’s employees speak German (many, anyway) and they were also happy to slice my bread when I asked them to. Because I sliced my thumb, slicing a simple roll. When at his bakery shop today I found something that just saved my Christmas time. Lebkuchen. Genuine, perfect, amazing Lebkuchen.
So, Falko wins. By far.