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Old 08-02-2014, 06:24 PM   #1
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Comparing high German vs. low German cooking

I am not exactly sure where this belongs, so I will let the admin people move it wherever. It is about comparing hoch deuch vs. platt deuch [high vs. low german cooking]. Suffice it to say they are very different. The recipe my mother gave me many years ago for potato salad was nothing like what I see in recipes now. It used no sugar or vinegar and definitely no mustard. It was not that complicated. The list was potatoes, hard boiled eggs, crisp bits of bacon [and you can cheat and add some bacon grease], onions, celery, mayonaise [no miracle whip]pickles and the list can go on, but no sugar and no vinegar, that's for low germans. I am not saying their food is bad, just a little strange.

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Old 08-02-2014, 06:41 PM   #2
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I'm not sure how to respond to your post. Is there a question or....?

The American cuisine has many geographical differences also.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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I'm not familiar with the concepts of high and low German cooking. I did a search and found references to high and low German language characteristics based on geography, but nothing about food.

My husband and I have hosted three German exchange students and one of the things I learned from them is that much of what Americans consider to be typically German food comes from Bavaria; I believe that's because most German immigrants came from there, fleeing persecution since they were primarily Catholic. That includes hot German potato salad with bacon and vinegar. None of our students was familiar with it; two were from Berlin and one was from Hamburg.

It was only about 130 years ago that Germany was unified from several smaller kingdoms into one state and there were, of course, regional variations in their cuisines, just as there are in China, Thailand, Italy, the United States, etc.

I too am wondering if you have a question
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:23 PM   #4
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In our family the difference in potato salad and many other things was country vs city.

The city folks used pickles, miracle whip etc.. and the country folks used celery, mayo etc...

It was simply a case of working with what was available, to my city cousins pickle relish was a vegetable!
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:08 PM   #5
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I spent the first six years of my life in Germany (Giebelstadt, Bavaria) and spoke German exclusively until we moved to the US. My mom was German and met my step-father U.S. soldier, married etc. We were a military family and we spent a majority of his service in German so my mom could be close to her family.

I remember the high/low German thing being a language / accent thing. But I was not cooking at that age so....

Anywho, My mothers potato salad did not use pickles or sugar. But I have a feeling that as in any other place... every one has their family recipe and "secret ingredient." I knew one lady that uses pimento's. (I'm not a fan of that one.)

I sometimes make a crab meat potato salad we like. I wouldn't read too much into potato salad variations. Potato salad has gone global.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I'm not sure how to respond to your post. Is there a question or....?

The American cuisine has many geographical differences also.
+1
I have no idea where you are going with this either.
Was your mother high or low? Where is your comparison?
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
+1
I have no idea where you are going with this either.
Was your mother high or low? Where is your comparison?
Since she says "low-German" food is strange, I'm guessing her family is "high-German."
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:06 PM   #8
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High and low German cooking may be high is the more fancy, upscale cooking used by the nobles and ruling class as compared to the peasant/working class of cooking. That's what I think of anyway.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:10 PM   #9
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High and low German cooking may be high is the more fancy, upscale cooking used by the nobles and ruling class as compared to the peasant/working class of cooking. That's what I think of anyway.
Is this something you know for sure? I did several Google searches and didn't find anything like that.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:12 PM   #10
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A long time ago, in German class with Herr McGlothlin, we were taught that high-German meant it came from the highlands and low-German was the low lands. Typically, we were told that low lands have a lot of farms.

Mind you, I'm quoting Herr McGlothlin who married Helga who made the BEST German potato salad bar none. By the time I got to German IV, I'd forgotten to ask for the recipe. :)
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