Every year at Christmas, I bake mince pies and for the past four years, we’ve been inviting friends and family around to share them with us. In early summer, when spicy fruity fillings and crumbly pastry are the last thing on one’s mind, I got a call from ZDF – German’s national state-funded broadcaster – to ask whether I would like to be part of a documentary they were doing about various cultures present all across Germany.
I did warn them that I don’t consider myself über-typical, or at least not quite as people often expect British people to be. But one thing I learned from the film is that you can take the Brit out of Britain but you can’t take the Britain out of the Brit. I may be sceptical where the monarchy is concerned, and I am increasingly uncomfortable about Britain’s blind spot regarding its colonial heritage, but I like a cup of builder’s tea and, yes, a mince pie as much as the next person.
The mince pies I always make are adapted a little to living in Germany: I make lots of small ones because they can be an acquired taste. This means people can try one and if they don’t like it, they don’t waste a whole big mince pie! And if they do like it… well, they can have another.
The film about my mince pies is available in the ZDF Mediathek until 4th December 2019. If you’ve got a little longer, the full-length documentary featuring all the cultures is worth a watch (if your German’s up to it).
Making the film was a great experience, and I now know I can make mince pies under pressure!
Featured image: John Heaven