Cultural Differences: Advertising Edition

Where to begin?! There’s so much to say I won’t even bother to mention the advertisements for Hamburg’s professional handball team or the recent biathlon competitions! …or will I?

-the brand name of the special laundry detergent for color loads is ‘Pallor’
-there is nowhere near as much sex-sells advertising in Germany as there is in the U.S. This makes it especially striking when there is a picture of a sexy man in a tuxedo embracing a beautiful woman on the front of a package of… rye bread. Tobias explains that the bread, a thinly-sliced smallish rectangle, is often used for canapĂ©. Except that he didn’t say canapĂ©, he said ‘fish eggs and things’ (maybe thinking that caviar didn’t translate?) We bought some and our lives have been much more romantic since! Thanks, rye bread!
-Gum is oddly expensive in Germany but there are some pretty spectacular flavors, like Aloe. The ‘stronger is better’ idea has been taken pretty far: there is a gum labeled ‘Professional-Strength’. I have been strictly amateur-class thus far in my gum-chewing career, but I’m still hoping for an interview at one of the big gum-chewing firms.
-In the women’s hygiene aisle there is a product that is encased in seriously leak-proof packaging. It is remarkably expensive at 6.78 Euro for 8. I am only telling you about it now because, although they would make pretty awesome stocking stuffers, they will surely have caught on worldwide before the next holiday season, and it’s too weird to give anyone probiotic tampons for Easter. That’s right, folks, probiotic tampons. And here I am with my pregnancy-then-breastfeeding-induced amenorrhea! Who’s game to try them? I will happily supply the first package and space on this show for your review! Email me!

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A lovely quartet of Hamburg friends made very good dumplings last Sunday. We had a great time eating and rolling and steaming and eating them, and our hostess was an absolute whiz at coming up with combinations that sounded meh but tasted fantastic: my favorite were the turkey-mushroom. We made some steamed buns from an excellent Bao article in the LA Times, both curried chicken and BBQ pork. Over the course of the last three days, I ended up making a recipe of bun dough for some pork belly buns, two recipes for the BBQ and chicken buns, then another recipe the next day for the leftover filling. This may suggest that the bun dough was remarkably easy, that it was made with readily available ingredients, that its texture was satisfying and consistent, however this shouldn’t be suggested so much as screamed. MAKE THESE BUNS!
The fillings were a bit of a pain in the ass (chopping chicken into 1/4″ dice, making BBQ pork ribs and then cutting the minuscule amounts of meat off the bone,) but were totally worth it. The day before, I made a terrible mistake with some Japanese Steamed Pork Belly Buns. Knowing that the weekend was a bit of an Asian food marathon and that the pork belly buns would only be an appetizer for Saturday’s dinner, I made a half recipe. After frying, boiling, braising, soaking, pickling, and steaming for most of the day, we scarfed the resulting sweet-salty-meaty-crunchy-soft morsels in like 9 seconds flat. Do make these, they taste like a million bucks and the ingredients are dead cheap, but by all means double the recipe! Half a recipe made 8 measly buns’ worth and I think we could have pretty easily eaten 8 buns each.
(Mom, when you have amassed enough fresh side for us to open up a pork belly bun stand, give me the high sign!)

Squeaky McSqueaks a Lot just reminded me she’s the cutest baby in the world so I’m off to attend to her needs, including a little bit of playing ‘copy what my eyebrows are doing’ and then a pre-order of pea and pancetta pasta for tomorrow’s breakfast (as in, I eat it tonight.)

…and if you’re wondering why I was gloomy yesterday but cheery today, maybe it’s because I got a little exercise and a little sun today, or maybe it’s because I searched on epicurious.com for the total contents of my shopping bag after a series of impulse buys at the farmer’s market and totally BINGO’d!!

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