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“The Cream Cheese Epidemic”

Flagrant misuse of cream cheese is common practice in Germany. It’s also what I’d come to identify as a public health problem for American expatriates living in the country. Unfortunately, many may not even realize the seriousness of this epidemic.

Let me provide an ordinary example of this former real-life expatriate’s experience of being manipulated (rather unsuccessfully) while confronting the issue of cream cheese exploitation in Germany. Take your seemingly unassuming tuna salad sandwich at an unnamed local sandwich restaurant in Frankfurt. You’d expect the basics, right: lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers or onions (pickles do not have a prominent seat in most sandwiches). But wait—that’s only if you weren’t paying attention to how most sandwiches are built in Germany. Right before that minuscule mound of tuna and “the basics” come together to form a sandwich, the haughty sandwich artist will menacingly sneak a large scoop of cream cheese onto the piece of bread. And wham. Just like that. You’ve been duped by the German cream cheese man (or woman), the culprit behind every one of your food orders that’s swimming in cream cheese.

Lethargy had taken me off my game on the Friday I ordered a tuna salad sandwich that came with an obscene amount of cream cheese. I must have looked too quickly at the menu, probably overlooking what was even in the sandwich, and somehow forgot that cream cheese is too often exploited in Germany. By the way, I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise, but tuna called my name that day so I had to answer, although I wasn’t prepared for mayo and cream cheese in the same sitting.

So after chalking part of my order up as a loss, I remained hopeful about my second request: a multi-grain bagel with cream cheese on the side. My only option was to move forward as a confident customer.

“Okay, so you want the cream cheese where?” she asked.

“I’d like it on the side. Not on the bagel,” I said.

“So you don’t want me to put the cream cheese on the bagel?” she said in disbelief.


“That’s right. Is there something you can put it in—so I can have it on the side?” And that’s when I got the funny look, like I had just asked that she take her shirt off so I can try it on.

“You can pay over there,” she said with a snicker. I slow-shuffled to my left while keeping a close eye on her and the bagel. Fortunate enough to make a cream cheese on the side request at the start, I wasn’t going to be bullied by this cream cheese peddler.


My order would soon pass and I would walk away with half my pride. Sitting there in a most unattractive state was a glob of cream cheese on my plate—on the side. Hallelujah. It should have been a moment for the history books, because I very well could've been the first man to have broken the mold and reached a new kind of expat life, one in which I would not be dictated by cream cheese but would be the dictator of how I wanted cream cheese to show up in my order.

In summary, rather than go on record and detail every scandalous cream cheese incident I faced, let me just say that it was a long and arduous struggle as an expatriate who had been exposed to the inner workings of cream cheese corruption in Germany. My fear, of course, is that there will come a day when German citizens will be seen wearing cream cheese on their faces. Sound strange? Perhaps. But I’m afraid there are no limits—no boundaries—to the Germans’ abuse and misuse of cream cheese. It's an epidemic of epic proportions, with American expatriates being the real victims.

However, I do have hope, because I know there’s at least something I can do to help the cause. And here it is, a promise made: the Germans will no longer be able to fool this American with their cream cheese shenanigans.

Comments

My adult daughter did several months alone, in exotic places in Europe. (but not Germany). Mostly France (not Paris)

I got in on the trip, vicariously. (and largely funded it).

Baquettes. She was telling me about the Baquettes of Barcelona. finding herself couch surfing, and on a sofa in a house where the roomates had not managed to pay the electric bill- a random Baquette is underneath the coffee table. Someone passes by, on a bicycle, a baguette is clipped to the basket in back.

My daughter is now an official ex pat living in almost southern latitudes. So I have been a vicarious ex pat for some time.

Peanut butter. We found the source of peanut butter- the kind without sugar, without additives - in other words not JIFFY. So you drive across the city, for the sole purpose of stopping at this one stall, where four jars of real peanut butter are displayed.

Creme cheese on the side please. Reminds me a bit of Five Easy Pieces. That famous jack Nicholson scene. He is there, ordering the sandwich without the bread, without the cheese without the meat, and the gals he is traveling with are there to find the Clean Snow.
 
How many of us have just decided to stop thinking and let the computer and the internet inform us of what to think, instead. Is it only me?

So I asked WHY on this German Cream Cheese business. And look what I stumbled into:

https://thediaryofsugarandspice.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/the-german-cream-cheese-phenomenon/

FULLY Illustrated: why is America, which we are sure is the Cream Cheese capital of the world, so cream cheese deprived? And aren't most of the bagels, produced here?

And oh Gosh I want the one with chocolate in it so very badly!
 
I’m sure that was a wonderful experience for your daughter!

this is the "My Only Child/Daughter" who never was in her bedroom, and wouldn't do anything alone: goes alone to Europe for three months.

Its probably the best thing she ever did for herself. I highly recommend it.

Someday, I am to decide if I"m doing this expat things, seriously. It seems I have to, if I intend to ever see my daughter....
 
How many of us have just decided to stop thinking and let the computer and the internet inform us of what to think, instead. Is it only me?

So I asked WHY on this German Cream Cheese business. And look what I stumbled into:

https://thediaryofsugarandspice.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/the-german-cream-cheese-phenomenon/

FULLY Illustrated: why is America, which we are sure is the Cream Cheese capital of the world, so cream cheese deprived? And aren't most of the bagels, produced here?

And oh Gosh I want the one with chocolate in it so very badly!
I’m glad you did your due diligence, Rufous. Indeed, there are a wide variety of different cream cheese flavors in Germany. And NY bagels are the best, of course. They say it has something to do with the water in NY, which is a main ingredient.
 
this is the "My Only Child/Daughter" who never was in her bedroom, and wouldn't do anything alone: goes alone to Europe for three months.

Its probably the best thing she ever did for herself. I highly recommend it.

Someday, I am to decide if I"m doing this expat things, seriously. It seems I have to, if I intend to ever see my daughter....
I lived in Germany for 3 years and traveled to most of Western Europe. Recommended, indeed.
 
And NY bagels are the best, of course. They say it has something to do with the water in NY, which is a main ingredient.

I've never managed to reach New York, altho my husband did. He worked for UPS during the Vietnam War, delivering bodies.

My mother- our cousins lived in New York back in the 1920s and 1930s and I posses of set of pictures of this remarkable place they lived.. I got the pictures from joining one of the Ancestor web sites and stumbling into a distant cousin.

and he got his hands on five photographs of my Great Grandmother I didn't know existed. My mother never bothered to mention anything about her psychic grandmother? EGAD.

The gift he got from me, is I told him how it was his own mother died. Because my mother told me. But he never knew his own mother, his father would not speak of it.

Decades later, we learn all this about the family.

I should blog about the Genealogy Project. Its sort of fascinating.
 
Sure, though just not today, I feel like I’m on my deathbed.

oh! don't worry, I don't currently work on the Project but my brother wants me to make some headway on the Germans. Well why doesn't he do it, his brain works!

I do have the parents names and locations so thats something.

I did all this genealogy stuff before I got the WORSE ME. and now its not organized any longer..

Getting organized seems to be just an unrealistic demand...
 
That explains it. I lived for years in Cincinnati, which has a large German population. Briefly, I worked at Marx Hot Bagels. It was always shocking to me how much cream cheese we were to put on each bagel, I'm guessing 4-6 oz. And if I remember right, the tuna and egg salad bagels were also loaded with cream cheese. It didn't occur to me, it was a German thing until now.
 
It was always shocking to me how much cream cheese we were to put on each bagel, I'm guessing 4-6 oz.

Ok: major news currently is tied to the North American Cream Cheese Shortage.

I'd heard rumors of that (from my husband who enters the store).

I don't tend to buy it by the pound, but did recently discover that if you mix a few chocolate chips in with some fresh blueberries along with, oh a spoon full of creme these, one gets VERY happy rather quickly!

The true supply chain crisis is centered on Cream Cheese...

https://www.newsweek.com/empty-shelves-leave-cream-cheese-fans-upset-i-cant-go-like-this-1671990

Oh the Germans must really be suffering...
 
That explains it. I lived for years in Cincinnati, which has a large German population. Briefly, I worked at Marx Hot Bagels. It was always shocking to me how much cream cheese we were to put on each bagel, I'm guessing 4-6 oz. And if I remember right, the tuna and egg salad bagels were also loaded with cream cheese. It didn't occur to me, it was a German thing until now.
Wow, what a coincidence. Well, I hope this provides you with some closure.
 
@Cloudyskies , @Rufous McKinney , @christiankatz ....

Fascinatin' reads, all of y'all !!!!

I was totally unaware of the German fetish for cream cheese, tho I'm familiar with one or two others :rolleyes::rolleyes:.


I feel much better informed ....

And forewarned ....

PS ... NY water isn't so much the primary ingredient in NY bagels, as much as it's the water that they're boiled in before baking, which apparently shifts the entire landscape ....
 

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