The first concern of the mothers or the parents in general whose children are going to go abroad to study is: ‘How is Germany for vegetarians? Can you eat properly there?’ and I personally think it to be a completely valid question because anything that you haven’t seen or any place that you have never been to can always be put to some skepticism.
To answer this question with one simple story, I can tell you the one of Alina’s: Alina turned vegetarian when she was 17 years old and since that time she has easily managed to stay vegetarian and save me from becoming non-vegetarian in this foreign country where eating meat is as common as breathing air, although slowly and slowly people are trying to shift towards veganism and being vegetarians. Even though it is a bit difficult to stay vegetarian in Germany because of the hundreds of types of non-vegetarian offerings that you can find on every corner here, but with some planning and knowledge of where to find what, staying vegetarian or vegan is very easy. If you are a person who eats non-veg, Germany will definitely award you with hundreds of different types of meat sortiments that you might have never heard of in your home country.
Any vegetable that you can think about and most of the common spices are available in every single German market (except Okra, Colocasia, some sprouts and some lintels). You also have an insane variety of bread that you can eat every morning or in the evening, but you if you are in Germany, don’t settle for the normal sliced bread packages that you can find everywhere. Rather try different types of Brötchen every single day and if you have different bakeries nearby and different supermarkets, you will never have to repeat the same exact bread type at least for the next 100 days! This means that you can have a decent breakfast for you every single day with Bread, butter, some other bread spreads like Nutella, Frischkäse, normal cheese, Müsli, Yoghurt, Avocado, jams and just almost any other thing that you can think of. At this moment, I am just wondering how cool and even way more detailed this blog would have been, had this blog been written by Alina?(She wants to start her own blog, but always becomes unsure about the topics she can write about). If you are struggling with recipes, you can always visit the following website, Chefkoch, where you can find over 300,000 different recipes where you can make dishes with almost any kinds of ingredients!
Your another place of refuge could be any kind of Indian or Asian stores which you can easily find on Google maps by typing ‘indische Laden’ or ‘asiatische Laden’ where you can literally find anything that you would have needed for cooking any kind of Indian or Asian dish and trust me, there are so many of these everywhere in Germany that you will definitely be leaving close to one which might be just 15 minutes away from you.
Asian Supermarkets in Hamburg
Indian Supermarkets in Hamburg
Want to eat Maggi? You will find it in an Indian store. Want to eat Kurkure? You will find that too. You want to buy Paneer? You can buy that in asian or indian stores. Need Garam Masala or some Chat Masala or any other spice that is used in the dishes in India? You will find just about anything there and the prices aren’t also that high. A Kurkure pack which would cost 30 Rupees in India would just cost around 1,99€ in your Indian store. You can also get your general Atta flour or any other flour from these stores (We like to get our Atta from Indian stores, but any other kind of flours or lentils, we always buy from our local German supermarket). One thing that you absolutely have to take care of when buying anything from an Indian supermarket or an Asian store is the expiry date and see if there are trying to put stickers on top of some products. I till now, haven’t seen an Indian supermarket which doesn’t put a sticker on the expiry dates and every time we buy something from there, it’s like playing a Russian roulette on your life. But if you absolutely need something, then, you can definitely buy things from there, but I wouldn’t overdo it. Asian stores compared to Indian stores have better qualities and also more reasonable rates, depending on which location it is located in.
Stores which are located a bit away from the city or directly in the downtown (in not a nice area) will generally have lower prices than the ones, which are located in a bit of posh area e.g. in Hamburg, if you would buy things around Eimsbüttel, Eppendorf, Harvestehude or Blankenese, things will be more expensive, but if you buy the same things from around St. Pauli, Harburg or Mitte, things are going to be a few cents cheaper!
Indian Restaurants or German Vegan/Vegetarian Cafés:
Whatever I have explained above also applies to the Indian restaurants or German/any other international Vegan or Vegetarian cafés. Even when you go to any restaurant in Germany, you will always find around 3-5 dishes in the Menu which will be Vegetarian, so you don’t have to worry about stepping inside a restaurant with the fear that there will be nothing that you can eat inside!
Moral of the story:
Don’t be nervous at all when you think about Germany and what you will be able to eat. There are really just hundreds of varieties, although they are absolutely nothing when you compare to the things that we can eat in India (that’s also the reason whenever I come to India, I gain a couple of Kilos). Whatever worries you might have regarding coming to Germany, vegetarian or vegan food shouldn’t be one of them!