Letter to the Editor Submitted by Annemarie Dulson, Mannheim, Germany
Kuchen in the Kitchen
"Letter to the Editor Submitted by Annemarie Dulson." Forum, 3 August 2008.
The article “Kuchen in the Kitchen” (July 21) about the German baker in Jud, N.D., “kuchen” is the German word for cake, but as a true German I dare say that “kuchen” cannot be as easily defined as you do it: “a pie with custard and fillings that range from apple and blueberry to rhubarb and chocolate chip.”
Kuchen, in reality, can be anything from apple pie without custard to marble cake and sheet cake made from yeast dough and topped with almonds, or even banana bread - to name but a few varieties. On the other hand, most cakes that require more than baking, such as covering with cream or fancy frosting, layering with cream, etc., are often referred to as “torte”, the most commonly known German type probably being “Blackforest” (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) with cherries, cream, dark chocolate and cherry brandy (“Kirschwasser”).
This does by no means mean that Ms. Kalmbach’s pastries are not kuchen, but there’s a lot more to the term than the pies she is making.
It is, however, refreshing to read that German traditions are being kept up in the F-M area, and I will make sure to taste the specialties the next time I am in Fargo. Thanks for the insights.