8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Brötchen

"Brötchen" ("Brot" is German for bread, the -"chen" is a diminutive suffix) are a staple all over the German-speaking world, but the word used to order the crusty rolls at the bakery counter vary greatly. You'll find "Schrippe" in Berlin, "Wecken" in Swabia, "Rundstück" in the North and "Semmel" in southern Germany. Austrians call the little breads "Laibchen" and in Switzerland they're "Weggen."

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Berliner

What looks like a donut without a hole and is deep-fried sweet yeast dough is a "Berliner" in northern and western Germany and Switzerland. But beware: Don't ask for a Berliner in Berlin! In eastern Germany, the pastry is called "Pfannkuchen" (pancake). In southern Germany and Austria, it's a "Krapfen." No matter the name, it is often filled with jam and covered with icing or powdered sugar.

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Brathähnchen

Food trucks in cities and towns across the country sell roast chicken on the spit: "Brathähnchen." In Bavaria and Austria, the roasted chickens are called "Hendl" or "Grillhendl." In eastern Germany, they are "Broiler" to this very day, decades after communist East Germany ceased to exist, where a roast chicken was a "Goldbroiler" — or, more flippantly, "Gummiadler" (rubber eagle).

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Möhre

In southern Germany and Austria a carrot (from the Latin carota) is simply "Karotte." In northern Germany, the orange veggie is called "Wurzel" (root) or "Möhre," and "Mohrrübe" in eastern Germany. In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, a carrot is a "Rübli" — which makes carrot cake "Rüblikuchen."

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Kartoffel

"Kartoffel" is the most common term for potatoes, but in some areas the German staple is likened to fruit: "Erdäpfel" (apples of the earth) in southern Germany and Austria, "Grundbirnen" (pears of the ground) in southwestern Germany. If you see "Kartoffelbrei," "Kartoffelpüree" or "Kartoffelmus" on the menu - expect mashed potatoes.

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Frikadelle

Eaten hot or cold and dipped in mustard, a "Frikadelle" is a fried hamburger made of ground beef or pork mixed with bread, onions, egg and seasonings. A bar snack or part of a hot lunch, it's a "Bulette" in northeastern Germany, "Fleischpflanzerl" (meat plant) in Bavaria and "Fleischküchle" (little meat cake) in southwestern Germany.

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Feldsalat

Lamb's lettuce in English, this hardy winter green is widely known as field lettuce throughout most of Germany: "Feldsalat." The tiny green leaves are called "Rapunzel" in eastern and northern Germany, "Nüsslisalat" (nut lettuce) in Switzerland and "Vogerlsalat" (bird lettuce) in Austria. A close look at the tiny leaves shows why some people also know it as "Mausohrsalat" (mouse ear lettuce).

8 foods whose names Germans can't agree on

Pflaumenkuchen

Pflaumenkuchen is a classic German cake - traditionally a sheet cake - made with yeast dough and plums. In southern Germany the tangy treat is "Zwetschgenkuchen" or "Zwetschgen-Datschi." The term "Datschi" is said to refer to the act of pressing the halved fruit into the dough. Topped with whipped cream? That's "Sahne" or "Rahm" in most of Germany and Switzerland, but "Obers" in Austria.

A bread roll is not a bread roll everywhere in the German-speaking world. From Bavaria to Berlin or Bern, the German word you use for these foods will reveal where you come from.