Political Awareness as an Expat   America Week at a Berlin...

What's in My Fridge? Berlin Edition

14 November, 2013 08:20  Erin Erin

Peter Menzel Germany photoI was intrigued by Peter Menzel 's book, Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. His project depicts a week of groceries for families around the globe. When I posed the question to our expats,

"What's in Your Fridge?"

Several expats shared their stories and pictures of eating abroad. From France to South Korea to Slovakia, expats shared their favorite foods and things they miss.

Looking at Mensel's Germany photo, I was curious what a typical German family actually eats. My expat dietary habits are a strange American/German hybrid and the few chances I've had to eat with German families have been fascinating. One family I stayed with had separate cheese and meat boxes that were filled with local goods from the farmer's market. Foodie swoon.

The German family above seems to have plenty of liquids (sparkling water, juice and even some beer and wine), lots of fresh vegetables, a couple frozen pizzas, and - of course - some wurst.

With this data, I wondered how my fridge stacked up. Returning from my last shopping trip I emptied out my bags and took a look at what I had. Behold!

expat grocery Berlin


A typical shopping trip for me looks like:

  • Can of kidney beans
  • Can of corn
  • Cat food
  • Bananas
  • Sour cream
  • Vitamin C tablets
  • Toastbrötchen (like the American version of English muffins)
  • Feta cheese
  • Loaf of bread
  • Bag of apples
  • Mix for Rahmchampignons
  • Chicken Breast
  • Yogurt
  • Granola Bars 
  • Pasta

And all of that found its way into the fridge where it accompanied groceries we already had like eggs, beer, pickles, mozzarella, milk and a variety of sauces like curry ketchup and Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce from America.


expat fridge Berlin

  Typical fridge pic for me


Anything surprise you? What would you have expected to find?

Clearly I have a (possibly?) unhealthy fascination with food so if you have stories, pictures, or food based comments - I want to hear them!



         EasyExpat on


Interesting! more so because we live in Germany too, we perhaps one would assume we have similar shopping habits. Although, we do not really buy anything packaged at all - except for milk and eggs I guess! We make almost everything fresh at home. Bread, yogurt, pasta, sauces, etc... we grow some herbs and veggies on our balcony or buy them fresh daily! We even make our own beer :)

  Eva   15 Nov 2013, 13:50


Yeah, where are the cheese and meat boxes with stuff from the deli? ;) A must have for every German fridge.
Love the Hela Curry Ketchup that you have in your fridge. We like to import it from Germany every time we come visit.

  Dan   15 Nov 2013, 20:38

Loving the feedback! [Reply]

Agreed that fresh is the way to go Eva! But we do occasionally still succumb to the packet. Love that you make your own beer.

And yes! Dan. We bring the curry ketchup back to American as presents for our friends & family.

  Erin Porter   19 Nov 2013, 09:46