Sunday, November 1, 2015

Uganda: Wer hatte es gedacht?

Somethings have changed in Berlin since I last left: there is more of a food scene. It's too early to say whether or not it's a good one, whether it has developed in an authentic way or does it still just feel like people who have only read about Brooklyn are trying to recreate it here, is it packaging that matters or are people paying attention to the food itself? Many questions....and no real answers yet. But I can tell you today that you can get Ugandan food in Berlin and I don't think that was the case two years ago.

Martkthalle IX opened right before I left Berlin and they had just started holding Street Food Thursdays. It seems that this has spurred other regular food events, such as Street Food of Achse at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg. In my search for Ugandan food in Berlin, I stumbled upon the Rolleggs stand, selling rolleggs aka rollex, a Ugandan snack consisting of a flat omelet with vegetables, such as cabbage and carrot, rolled in a chapati. The seemingly (I didn't ask....sorry) German guys spent some time in Uganda and are now introducing them to the German public -- with a few modifications. They claim that a traditional rollegg with vegetables doesn't sell in Germany, so they offer a ham and cheese omelet and one with zucchini and feta. They also serve theirs with a choice of homemade ketchup (mild, spicy, or zesty (wuerzig)). I can attest to the German love of condiments and they ketchup (I went for wuerzig was quite good). All in all, it's basically a breakfast burrito by another name. It was pretty tasty, but also pretty far from life-changing and I personally would have rather had the more typical Ugandan veggie version. I think I'd also like to see the Rolleggs guys branch out into other Ugandan dishes (this also seems vital in their ability to compete with the other fare on offer - wild boar burgers and gnocchi and empanadas and pelmeni, etc.). For now, though, I'm still feeling pretty pleased that anyone is making (and selling) Ugandan food in Berlin.

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