Butter fingers

I have an appetite for Käse-Schinkenbrötchen that borders on the unseemly. I’m not really sure why as it’s basically a lump of bread with cheese and bits of ham on top. What I do know is that as soon as I bite into one, it’s like there’s a party in my mouth and I’m the only one invited.

(Image taken from baeckerhaus-veit.de)

In my opinion, the best Käse-Schinkenbrötchen can be found at the Steinecke chain of bakeries. The only problem is that by the time I get there most days, they’ve sold out of this little piece of heaven and I leave empty-handed, hungry and dejected.

However, on Friday morning, I had a good feeling. I have an early-morning lesson so, by the time I get back to my little Kiez, it’s still only around 10.30. Halfway through the lesson, my students morphed into talking Käse-Schinkenbrötchen and I knew I was in a bad way.

Lesson finally over, I hopped on the train home and raced across the street to the Steinecke. Hands sweaty with anticipation (no mean feat in a Berlin winter), I pushed open the door and dashed to the counter.

There it was. The last Käse-Schinkenbrötchen. And not just any Käse-Schinkenbrötchen – no, this one was perfection itself. Smothered in cheese with evenly distributed chunks of ham, baked to perfection… I lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. This was it – the holy grail of Käse-Schinkenbrötchen. I was salivating just looking at it.

Unfortunately, there was nobody behind the counter. A note scribbled on a bit of card informed me that the errant employee would be “gleich für Sie da”. Harumph. The most delicious Käse-Schinkenbrötchen in the world was so near and yet so far away. I waited impatiently, jigging about and drumming on the counter. (I needed to keep busy so that I wouldn’t lick the glass.)

The bell on the door tinkled and another customer walked in. She had Käse-Schinkenbrötchenlust written all over her and I started to worry that the still MIA employee might serve her first. I decided that I was willing to resort to physical violence if that scenario were to happen.

After around five minutes, the comfortably-padded employee emerged from the back of the store. She didn’t look like she was in much of a hurry to get back to her customers so I thought I would jar her out of her semi-slumbering state by roaring “Käse-Schinkenbrötchen!” at her before the other woman could jump in.

I turned to give my competition a triumphant smirk but when I turned back I was surprised to see that my Käse-Schinkenbrötchen delivery system’s hands were empty.

Walburga: Es ist runtergefallen. (It has fallen down.)


Walburga: Ja, es ist runtergefallen. Tut mir leid. (I’m sorry.)

She didn’t look bloody sorry.

Me: Drei-Sekunden Regel! (Three second rule!)

Walburga: Wie bitte?


Walburga: Drei-Sekunden was??


I was pretty sure that the floor in a German bakery would be cleaner than the floor in my flat and I’ve eaten stuff off that before and survived so I was more than willing to take my chances. However, disappointingly, it seemed that Walburga was unaware of the three-second rule. She offered me two disgusting salty things instead at which point I wanted to leap over the counter and slap them from her meaty hands.

Me: I’ll take a raisin Brötchen instead.

Having paid – I noticed she didn’t drop the money – I left the bakery in abject misery, knowing that Walburga would probably eat the floor Käse-Schinkenbrötchen as soon as nobody was looking. For all I know, that could be why they’re never available in that particular store – she sits in her little back room eating them all before I get there.

The scene of the crime

Once home, I half-heartedly chewed my raisin Brötchen, every bite tasting like heartache. Would there ever be a replacement for that most perfect of Käse-Schinkenbrötchen? I’m not sure but I’m guessing that if there is, Walburga will probably get to it first. Her and her stupid butter fingers. But I guess that’s the hazard of working in a bakery…





24 thoughts on “Butter fingers”

      1. I got back from Berlin yesterday – meant to drop a line to get drinks, but was in marathon meetings from morning to deep night over 48 hrs >.< And where I was, there were no cute bakeries (or bars!) or anything :(((

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Right off of Potsdamer Platz. All very corporate (like our offices just to the north of it… and my hotel, to the SE of it…). It was all steak and wine, basically. I couldnt even find a cute pub for a night-cap after my last meeting on the way back to the hotel, and had to raid the minibar >.<

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ah yeah, that area isn’t great. There are a few cafes but I can’t think of any pubs around there – then again, it’s not somewhere most people would go out. Hope you had some decent steak and wine at least!


  1. Throw a coat over your pjs and get thee to the bakery early! You might think they would make an excess of these delectables if they are so popular .. but then Walburga probably helps to keep the stock low regardless of how many they make 😉 (I probably shouldn’t have read this post before having my own pathetic breakfast … now my stomach is protesting the injustice of not having a hot cheesy hammy biscuit to devour …)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just set my kitchen on fire while making a simple ham and cheese toastie so clearly bakeries are the way to go for me! If there’s a German bakery near you, they might have them – then you can breakfast happily for the rest of your life! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t actually see it fall! She could have swiped it and put it in her apron… that bitch haha! She was there again today when I walked past. It’s a wonder her head didn’t explode from the look I gave her through the window. I guess she got off lightly though – I can only imagine what would happen if someone dropped a cake you had your eye on! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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