07 December 2007

Ordnung on the plate

A short Google search brought me these definitions*:

Begriff: Sättigungsbeilage
Erklaerung: Etwas aus der Mode gekommener ostdeutscher Begriff für Beilagen zu einem Hauptgericht die 1.) billig sind und 2.) statt machen.

"Bei den klassischen Sättigungsbeilagen wie Reis, Nudeln und Kartoffeln kann man bedenkenlos zuschlagen, solange nicht dick Sauce darüber gegossen wurde."**

Sättigungsbeilage f filling vegetables, trimmings pl inf

I chose this word as the title for my blog because it sounds so German, and the meaning of it keeps amazing me. It assumes there is a hierarchy in sorts of food: there is a main course, something special, which goes together with the other, lower class foods, which are just there to fill your stomach for little money. It bases on the 'meat, potatoes, vegetable' diet which I also grew up on.

This word thus stands for the 'German' style of cooking and eating. Germans (sorry, I hate how generalizing this sounds) like everything mixed, much like the Dutch do. All dishes are served on the plate together: potatoes/rice/pasta, vegetables, salad, whatever source of protein, are all dished up on one plate. The Dutch famously mash everything together with a fork, a habit which is even granted with a specific verb: prakken! My Italian friends shudder with (not only) amazement when their precious pasta becomes plate-mates with anything else, and frankly speaking, I've learned from them to prefer it this way since I've grown a huge fan of Italian food (horribly cliché, but I don't care) or here rather, their 'order' of eating. Primo, then seconds, then salad, then whatever sweet, fruity, nutty or coffee-y follows. Segregation on the plate. For why would one put a hierarchy in foods if everything tastes good enough by itself?

* I wonder if there are any equivalents in other languages? Apparently 'trimmings' is the English translation, however, it does not seem to entirely fit (please correct me if I'm wrong).
** translations: Word: Sättigungsbeilage. Explanation: East-German notion, somewhat out of fashion, for side dishes to a main course which are 1.) cheap and 2.) are filling. / With the classic Sättigungsbeilagen like rice, noodles and potatoes one can dish up without thinking, as long as no sauce is put on them.

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