German food culture, from the asparagus to the potato

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German food culture, from the asparagus to the potato

ti cooking culture autor Christoph Hauser provides food for thought about our habits of consumption and a delicious idea on how to prepare potatoes

Asparagus is probably the only vegetable of which people know the exact season. The asparagus season ends on the 24th of June, Midsummer Day. That much we know. But when does it start? From that point in time when the soil is warm enough to allow the tips of the white asparagus to peek out. Or from that point in time in which ground heating on the fields makes the asparagus shoot up?
And what about potatoes? The small, young ones with the thin skins? They are gradually becoming ripe now. And yet I've been seeing them for weeks. The ones from Egypt. And here is where people's lack of patience is really noticeable.

This is how these potatoes are produced:

Irrigation and fertilization systems are installed in sandy African ground. These systems require 428 litres of Egyptian water per kilogramme of potatoes. Germany imports 130,000 tonnes of potatoes. This means that, essentially, Germany is importing 55,640,000,000 litres of water from Africa! These potatoes are transported in the kind of sturdy plastic bags also used to transport paving stones. Peat is used as a filler. Since peat is not harvested in Egypt, but rather in Ireland, it begs the question as to why such irrevocable destruction of land and CO2 emissions are accepted for the transport. The answer: because the potatoes are supposed to look like they've been growing in dirt, not in sand!

International environmental protection– it's this easy:

The carbon footprint of a single imported potato from southerly countries thus weighs in at more than 500 mg per kilo in comparison to the 3 mg/kg of regional potato farming. Germany itself produces 11 million tonnes of potatoes per year, whereby only a certain percentage is destined to become table potatoes, while the majority is transformed, using even more energy, into potato starch, further processed products, flours, etc.
What would international environmental protection look like?

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Assuming responsibility ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

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Assuming responsibility ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

What does assuming responsibility mean? A responsible person makes decisions and is prepared to take responsibility for the consequences, whether positive or negative. In working life, one is confronted on a daily basis with such decisions. Especially in intercultural cooperation with foreign countries, the word “responsibility” doesn’t always take on the same significance.

For instance, it is often easier to pass on the “blame” for one’s actions to someone else. In cooking culture, too, one often plays it safe instead of taking risks and assuming responsibility. ti Cooking Culture writer Christoph Hauser examines this topic as follows:

Yesterday I organized my photos from the past year and realized that the possibilities of face recognition are impressive. I am truly a fan of technology, but to see how places, times, people and situations can be detected by technology is also rather scary. These technical developments don’t stop at door to the kitchen, either.
The purpose of such utilities is to make manual, analogue work easier. So if machines become intelligent, where does that leave us? I ask myself this question time and again when

I am asked for my opinion on that famous kitchen device from a famous home appliance manufacturer. The latest model of this food processor has a “guided cooking function”. It has programmed chips with recipes stored on them that explain each individual step in words and pictures and check progress with the built-in scale. Anyone can thus now “cook” with a guarantee of success. Isn’t that great?

Two things baffle me. Firstly: Where do we get this desire for guaranteed success? Secondly: Why is it so comforting to know that it’s all going to work?

Is convenience so important and comfortable that we will do without creativity in day-to-day life, with all of its possibilities of mistakes and failure? Our desire for perfection, simplification and structure is evidently greater than

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People are people because they cook - Launch of the new series ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

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People are people because they cook - Launch of the new series ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

Cuisine, cooking and culture: That’s what you’ll find as of this issue in our new newsletter series ti Cooking Culture. Christoph Hauser, chef, innovator and organizer, takes you on a culinary trip through the cultures of this Earth, from their inception to the present. 

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Hosting, the right way! - ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

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Hosting, the right way! - ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

The customer is king! The better the restaurant, maybe even emperor? The fairy tale of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” spontaneously comes to mind. You might chime in with the people who complain about the large plates with little on them that are served in upscale restaurants.

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Cooking outside the box - ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

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Cooking outside the box - ti Cooking Culture with Christoph Hauser

The world is getting smaller. While some are frightened by this trend, others see in it opportunities for innovation and new experiences. From a culinary perspective, exchange and trade routes, encounters and the courage to try new ingredients have always been beneficial.

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