Sunday, November 10, 2013

The joke's on me: German hot chocolate

My friend and I traveled to Eindhoven in the Netherlands this weekend (which I will write about later -- but I hope not too much later!). As I was driving home and we re-entered Germany, I felt relief and like I was "home." At least the signs that I couldn't always read look familiar :)

And then I made a newbie mistake:

We stopped at an Autohof, or a rest stop. I decided to buy a hot chocolate. Since I thought I was heisse stuff, I ordered in German. The guy asked me something I didn't understand but I said yes. Smooth move. I was a bit flustered after that so as soon as he gave me my drink I found a lid that fit and scurried off.

When I got in the car and took a sip, I started laughing and said, "oops, I know better than this." My friend instantly knew what I meant and laughed. She asked me if I had forgotten the sugar. Indeed, I had.

Every time I have ordered hot chocolate in Germany at a sit-down cafe, the server brings me some sugar on the side. The hot chocolate has little to no existing sweetness in it in this case; it's up to the customer to add her own. I actually like this as I find many hot chocolates to be cloyingly sweet and it's too much. I don't add a lot of sugar to mine and I'm happy to control the sugar content.

In this case, I hadn't added any and my Autohof hot chocolate was rather bitter, almost coffee-like. My friend was thinking about reminding me about the sugar when I grabbed the drink without it but also thought that I've lived here long enough that I already would know about that so I must not have wanted it. Nope, I was just being scatter-brained.


  1. sugar in the hot chocolate? seriously? I never heard of it, I drink it always bitter. I never saw anybody else from my friends add any kind of sugar. Perhaps its a german thing...

  2. Yes, every time I get it at a sit down place, they bring me a container of sugar or a packet or two. I don't like to add a lot but it helps with the bitterness. However, I think if I drank it bitter enough times I might like it well enough that way too. It's so different for Americans because our hot chocolate is often milk chocolate so it's a lot sweeter (though sometimes it's too much for me).