“Ich bin ein Berliner!” — President John F. Kennedy
Like all great quotes, there is much controversy surrounding how the president actually said these words and subsequently how they were received. JFK was giving an important speech during the Cold War and wanted to show his solidarity with divided Berlin, so he said, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” This can translate to either “I am a citizen of Berlin” or “I am a jelly donut” or both, since jelly donuts are called Berliners. But it remains up for debate whether most Germans who heard the speech thought that Kennedy meant the pastry or found this a humorous gaffe
The good news is that these jelly donuts are more readily available in Berlin than the mythical New York Cheesecake is in New York City. On menus all over the US, you’ll find New York Cheesecake under dessert. Except, of course, when you’re in New York. Cheesecake is not particularly popular here. I blame the whole New York Cheesecake myth on the restaurant Junior’s Cheesecake, a Brooklyn stalwart that opened a second location in Midtown a few years ago.
If you visit Berlin, you’ll probably find yourself more focused on the nouveau cuisine, as my friend Ivan enjoyed discovering the trendy dining in the Mitte district. But if you need a snack with your kaffee, then why not indulge in a Berliner?
Whether you’re planning to visit to Berlin for the food, the historical sites or both, check out Oh-Berlin.com for apartment rentals.