In the mission to rebrand our friend, American Meatloaf, we looked at Loaf’s cousins in Western Europe to see why they are so loved and what American Loaf can learn from them. Now, we’ll take a look at the Loaves in Central and Eastern Europe and see what inspiration they can provide for our Meatloaf rebranding mission.
Meatloaf in Germany
Alright, Loaf, you have many cousin Loaves in Germany and they’re all loved like celebrities, so learn from them. They have been perfecting and branding themselves for centuries, so they know a thing or two.
A word of warning: German Loaves can be fabulous exemplars, but not in every way. What do I mean? The most renowned German loaf is called Leberkäse, which means Liver Cheese. If you decide to adopt a new name in the rebranding process, we recommend that you not try to match the awfulness of the nameLiver Cheese. It won’t end well.
Now, let’s discuss why German Loaves are so beloved. Leberkäse contains the following: corned beef, pork, bacon, onion, pepper, marjoram, nutmeg, and salt. Some contain very small amounts of liver. The inclusion of three meats from two different types of animals brings a variety of textures and savory flavors to the dish.
Key Takeaways from German Meatloaf
Meats – The variety of meats in this German Loaf adds a diverse array of flavors and textures to the dish.
Corned Beef – This Loaf doesn’t contain plain ground beef like most. It contains corned beef, which adds a distinctly salty and slightly pickled flair to the Loaf, not to mention a heck of a lot of juiciness!
Bacon – We all know everything is better with bacon. The crispy and sometimes chewy texture is completely opposite to the corned beef’s juicy tenderness. Also, the slightly sweet and distinctly smoky taste of bacon contradicts the salty pickled taste of the corned beef. Together, they make a delightful union of opposites that’s pleasing to mouths of all ages!
Pork – The pork finishes this dish off with its firm texture and mild flavor that allows it to take on the taste of the onion, pepper, marjoram, and nutmeg. Any dish is better with a flavor catcher. Including a meat like pork is a smart idea!
The wide variety of textures and flavors in these meats will turn a Loaf into a complex gourmet treat that will make anyone’s brain wonder and taste buds dance. This sounds a heck of a lot better than a simple slab of ground beef covered with ketchup, right?
Sides – I have to tell you, Loaf, sides shouldn’t be underestimated. Don’t think you’re more important than they are just because you’re the main dish.
Potatoes – German meats are often served on a bed of warm potatoes. Potatoes have many benefits. They hold temperature well, so they stay warm and steamy long into the meal. They also soak up the meat juices and absorb the spices. This means that a bunch of tiny potatoes will always be the perfect sidekicks for you because they’ll always taste similar to you; they’ll never overpower you.
Sauerkraut – Home made sauerkraut packs loads of important nutrients and digestive benefits. It also adds a pickled punch to each bite. A fork-full of meat is hardly complete without a few strands of sauerkraut!
Cheese & Bread – This dynamic duo often come together in a wonderful phenomenon called the open-faced sandwich. Germans will turn anything into an open-faced sandwich and it’s something you could consider. Any slice of Loaf should feel lucky to be plopped on top of a hunk of freshly baked bread alongside a slice of gourmet cheese. The bread is great because it speeds up the eating process…no plate needed. The cheese adds a smooth texture and a sharp kick to every bite.
Meatloaf in Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, there’s only one Loaf. She’s so iconic that she has a name, Stefani. What’s her last name? I have no idea. Stefani, like Madonna, is so famous that she only needs one name! Usually, the only meat used in Stefani Loaf is ground beef. Why, then, is she so beloved? Keep reading to find out.
Key Takeaways from Bulgarian Meatloaf
Her Heart – Stefani’s not just a pretty face. She has a heart. It consists of a soft, tender, gooey filling of boiled eggs, onions, carrots, and pickles. Think for a moment of the variety packed into this delicious heart!
After diners bite into Stefani, they taste the savory juiciness of beef. Then, their unsuspecting mouths suddenly hit a bursting cornucopia of flavors and textures including crunchy, rubbery, gooey, juicy, sweet, salty, sour, acidic, umami, and…well, “eggy.” This will surely create a flavortopia in anyone’s mouth!
Her Coat – Lastly, Stefani is covered in yolk and cheese. When cooked, this yummy mixture turns into a shiny outer coat. Yes, Loaf, Stefani wears a coat. Your Bulgarian cousin even has fashion sense! I suggest you step up your game, my friend.
What This Means for American Loaf
Loaf, do you see the endless sources of inspiration for your rebranding mission? When reinventing yourself, you can include a variety of meats and veggies to add complexity to your taste. You can even hide some of these exciting flavors in the middle to surprise unsuspecting diners! Don’t be afraid to play with opposites. Opposite textures and flavors complement each other nicely and prevent boredom because no two bites will taste or feel quite the same.
When choosing wingmen (side dishes), think about what they add to the overall dining experience. You won’t disappoint if you choose a side dish that absorbs your flavor, adds an interesting kick of flavor to each bite, provides variety of texture, or provides nutritional benefit. Also, don’t underestimate the different ways you can be served: on a plate, in a sandwich, chopped up in a stew, or more! The possibilities are endless! Play with it and have fun…and don’t ever try to compete directly with Stefani. Things could get ugly; I hear she’s a diva…
Readers, we need your feedback!
Readers, do you know of any other countries in Central or Eastern Europe where The Loaf can feel the love? If so, let us know! Also, which Loaf ingredients in the Bulgarian and German Loaves would you be most likely to try when cooking at home?
Next, we’ll visit Asia and see which countries have Loaves worth watching. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration there!
Chiara I. Tedone
President and CEO
Independent Food Rebranding Agency
Chiara I. Tedone
President and CEO
Independent Food Rebranding Agency
About the Authors
Chiara is Digital Content Creator and Blog Manager for AMA Tampa Bay. She is Co-founder and Director of Winning the Fight, a non-profit organization specializing in neurodegenerative disease research. Chiara is also a freelance digital marketer for small businesses and is finishing up her MBA with a specialty in marketing from the University of South Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Chiara lived in Washington, DC. She earned her BA in International Studies from American University’s School of International Services in 2007 and worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Defense thereafter. Her hobbies include obstacle racing, running, swimming, kayaking, SCUBA diving, and opera/classical singing. She also loves country music and chocolate!
Email: Chiara at [email protected]
Social Media: LinkedIn
In 2006 Fany landed in Florida straight from Bulgaria and brought with her two Bachelor’s degrees – Broadcast Journalism and Film Production. With such diverse, yet related academic background, she decided the right thing to do was to get a Master’s degree in “something similar”. So, she graduated from the University of South Florida with her Master’s in Strategic Communications. Currently, Fany is a Production Assistant at AVI-SPL Creative Show Services and is constantly on a quest for learning and gaining professional knowledge to establish herself in the field of Communications.