Ich bin ein Pfannkuchen.

by Sirje

It’s time for the last Karneval donuts of the year!

As any self-respecting foreigner in Germany knows, the absolute best way to blend in to the local culture is to eat large quantities of jelly donuts during Karneval.

Ordering one can get a little tricky, though. You can’t just walk in and ask for a jelly donut, because a) if you ask for jelly they’ll think you want some kind of gummy bear, or gelatin, or a variety of marital aid; and b) a donut is something that conducts electricity, and is not very tasty. So this is what you do:

First, find the nearest Butter Lindner. You’ll have to go to Berlin or Hamburg to accomplish this, but you’ll thank me later. Step two is do not be distracted by the other amazing food you’ll see there. Just keep your eyes on the donuts and get right in line, because you’ll soon have to elbow aside a plague of well-heeled German ladies who have better donut skills than you do.  They mean business, I’m serious. I suggest wearing pointy clothing.

Then, you stare woefully and with great meaning at the counter person so that they see how hungry you are. Ignore the ladies in furs trying to crowd around you. They’re not hungry and they don’t need donuts! Eyes on the prize! Eyes on the prize!

Alright. Next, I have to tell you something very irritating. And that is that, yes, in fact jelly donuts are called Berliners. You probably thought a Berliner is a person who lives in Berlin, right? Oh no, grasshopper: A Berliner is a jelly donut.

Yes. That is correct: JFK announced that he is a jelly donut.

But guess what. Luckily for JFK, a Berliner is not a Berliner in Berlin.

See the little sign? A Berliner in Berlin is a Pfannkuchen. I know, I know. Pfannkuchen is pancakes. But actually it’s not. It’s jelly donuts. But only in Berlin.

Ok, you know what? Just go in the store, point and grunt. Extra points if you point at the donut, then point in your open mouth.