These contain some examples of vulgar language.

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Not much to write home about you might think but attitudes towards food have changed and the food has improved quite a bit. It used to be a big deal to stick to die Mahlzeiten, the correct eating times. Some families still insist on having lunch between 12pm and 1.30pm and the so called Kaffee at 4pm sharp. With longer and flexible working hours this is all changing.
Younger people often prefer a light fusion of European and Asian food. Vietnamese is quite popular and so are small diners. Sandwich shops are mushrooming all over.
Traditionally German food is based on potatoes and bread. You should definitely try a good hearty potato based meal in a traditional German restaurant. You might also have heard about or even had Abendbrot, dinner, consisting of bread and cold cuts.
So enjoy this chapter and Guten Appetit or Mahlzeit!

Tasty or not tasty

(* = familiar, ** = very familiar, *** = vulgar, s = slang, Lit. = Literally)


Mir knurrt der Magen (*) I'm hungry. Lit. My stomach is growling.
Usually a noise caused by an empty stomach like a dog's growl.

Ich bin hungrig wie ein Wolf (*) I'm hungry like a wolf.

Ich könnte ein halbes Schwein verschlingen (**) I could eat half a pig.

Ich sterbe vor Hunger I'm starving.

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Die Mahlzeiten Lit. Feasting times. They are still taken very seriously.
You might also hear the odd Mahlzeit! hailing through the halls between noon and 2pm when this word is used as a greeting.

Das Frühstück (*) Breakfast.
There is often the weekday and weekend option. Weekdays it's normally a coffee, cereal or toast with jam or honey. At weekends you either go out for brunch or people feast on boiled eggs, a variety of rolls, cold cuts and yogurt.

Zu Tisch (*) A bit naff for having lunch. Lit. At the table.
People in administrative jobs like to flock to the canteen at around 12pm. So don't try to call and bother them, you will only hear the answer:
Frau Meier ist zu Tisch, rufen Sie bitte später an (*) Mrs Meier is having lunch, please call again later.

Das Kaffekränzchen (*) Pretty old-fashioned expression for having cakes and coffee at around 4pm. Families sometimes meet on Sundays for a little Kaffee und Kuchen gathering. The term Kaffeekränzchen is today also used for unsuccessful business meetings that end without substantial decisions.

Das Abendbrot/die Brotzeit (*) Dinner.
A very German thing where you normally have brown bread with a choice of cold cuts. The traditional Abendbrot or Brotzeit in southern Germany is being replaced by a cooked dinner as people often drop their lunch during working days.

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Lass uns Essen fassen (**) Let's grab some food.

Mampfen (**) Stuffing your face.

Die Assischale (s) Paper plate with chips - not exactly haute cuisine. Closest British equivalent is a portion of chips wrapped up in newspaper from the local greasy spoon.

Die Mantaplatte (s) Paper plate with chips with ketchup or mayonnaise, lit. Manta server. Drivers of Opel Mantas have a bit of a reputation.

Pommes rot/weiß also Pommes Bahnschranke (**) Chips with ketchup and mayonnaise, lit. chips red/white or chips "level crossing barrier" (because of the way the barrier is painted).

Der Döner (*) Kebab, very popular Turkish fast food.
Has long replaced the celebrated German Bratwurst as a quick snack.

Die Currywurst (*) Popular German sausage snack with a tomato-based sauce and curry powder.

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Tasty or not

Das war lecker (**) That was yummy.

Das war ekelhaft (**) That was disgusting.

Total verkocht (**) Totally overcooked.

Zäh wie Leder (**) Tough like leather.

Zum Finger ablecken (**) Finger-licking good.

Das lebt ja schon wieder (**) Lit. It's living again. Something so rotten, it's coming back to life.

Das liegt mir wie ein Stein im Magen (*) It's lying in my stomach like a stone.

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