Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kuchen in Sutton and Around the World

The kuchen is a big part of the heritage of the Germans from Russia in Sutton. We celebrate this food product with a Kuchen Baking Contest each year during Dugout Days, typically the last weekend in June.

You can learn a bit more about this food at such sites as:  http://www.karenskuchens.com/   or  http://eurekakuchenfactory.freeservers.com/ .

Besides Sutton, Nebraska and the Dakotas, we found kuchens in a bakery in Lodi, California run by a woman from North Dakota. Her racks were filled daily with at least a hundred of the tasty custards of many flavors. And we were not especially surprised to find a food product for sale in Germany and Switzerland that was very similar to the kuchen. Both of those locations were in kiosks in train stations. The Friedrichstrasse Train Station in Berlin had a busy place dispensing kuchen but calling it by another name, something that started with an "s" and my have been 'spiesel" or something like that - memory fails.

A custard that looked and tasted much like the kuchen we are used to
 in Sutton , Nebraska purchased in the main train station in Zurich, Switzerland
The main station in Zurich also had a product for sale that looked and tasted much like kuchen. It certainly hit the spot early in the morning heading out on a day of sight-seeing.

It made sense to find kuchen in those places in Berlin and Zurich. Zurich is in the German speaking portion of Switzerland.

The real surprise was to find an item called "German Pastry" on the menu at a Chinese bakery in San Francisco.

I had to try out this German Pastry and guess what. This is what it looked like.

This is an item called "German Pastry" at a Chinese bakery in San Francisco.
It looks and tastes a whole lot like a plain kuchen from the Sutton Bakery.



I spoke with the owner of the place and the "chef." They said that one of their cooks in the past had introduced them to the German pastry and they had continued to make it after the fellow left. Neither of them could remember where the fellow had come from.

The Chinese bakery is pictured below. It is at 1941 Irving Street in San Francisco, just south of Golden Gate Park and between 20th and 21st Avenues.. There are two Sheng Kee Bakeries on Irving Street, the other being further to the east near 9th Avenue.

There are other Sheng Kee Bakeries in the Bay Area.


The Chinese Bakery that features a German Pastry, or kuchen - who'd a thought?








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