Although these days you can find almost anything anywhere in the world, it can also cost you an amazing price.  Below are a few of my favorite things to import, substitute and also a simple conversion table (I never had these conversions in my head when I first lived here...making a recipe always involved finding the substitute ingredients, looking in various other cookbooks for conversions and then (finally!) cooking).  It's still a work in progress...If you're an expat, I'd love to have your input concerning other items you can only get in your home country (or outside of Germany). Email me at marysbiskup_at_googlemail_dot_com.

Brown sugar makes such a difference in cookies and BBQ sauces!
You can also find this type of brown sugar in England.

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Molasses - again, cookies and BBQ sauce. My friend Susan recommend using Zuckerrübensyrup - found in the Brotaufstrich aisle of larger grocery stores.        Picture Source

Wonderfully easy to put in an over-loaded bag!  I buy cumin seeds at an Indian store, then grind them to use in dishes.

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Makes the best spinach dip! and I have yet to find it here!

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What American doesn't miss these?                                            Picture source

Vanilla Extract - Vanillezucker is the substitute (not at all the same!).  I make my own extract - easy and good!                                                              Picture Source
So many uses!  Natron is the German equivalent but I haven't tried it (or even seen it - I think it's availabe in bigger grocery stores); I just keep asking my parents to bring a box or two when they visit:)  Picture Source

Butter   1/2 cup = 1 stick = 125g (1/2 block of butter)
Sugar (white) 1 cup = 205g
Sugar (brown, packed) 1 cup = 204g
Flour (white) 1 cup = 131g
Backpulver 1pkg = 5 Tbs
Vanillezucker 1pkg = 2 tsp