Tiefkühl-Torten – the Swiss Army Knife of the German Kaffeetafel

Tiefkühl-TortenYesterday Germany’s Torten-König (king of tarts) Aloys Coppenrath, co-founder of one of the best-known German companies (at least within Germany) died at the age of 79. He and Josef Wiese founded Coppenrath und Wiese back in 1975.

Aloys Coppenrath came from an old Bäckerfamilie (family of bakers), Josef Wiese who already died in 2009 was a Konditor (confectioner). Their idea was the Schockgefrieren (quick-freeze) of freshly made Torten (tarts) and today Coppenrath und Wiese are the Marktführer (market leader) in Europe with over 2000 Angestellte (employees).

Especially in the 90ies you had basically no Werbeblock (commercial break) on German TV without a commercial of Coppenrath und Wiese, like the ones below.

Note: The expression “Allererste Sahne.” is pretty popular in Germany. You can use it when you want to say something is of surperior or best quality. For example “Dieses Auto ist wirklich allererste Sahne.This car is truly amazing.

Das Kaffeetrinken (get together for coffee / coffee party) is one of the essential parts of German culture and we will go into detail on the how, when and what in another post. Of course Torten or Tiefkühl-Torten are not on the Kaffeetafel everyday. They are served at special occasions like Gebursttage (birthdays) or other Familienfeste (family celebrations).

As Torten are usually pretty difficult or a least lengthy to make on your own, Tiefkühl-Torten became an instant success. You had not to order them in advance at the Konditorei (confectionery), you can keep them in the Tiefkühltruhe (freezer) together with your other Tiefkühlkost (watch the video) until you need it and they tend to be cheaper as well (you know, Germans love cheap!).

The most famous Tiefkühl-Torte of Coppenrath und Wiese is of course their version of the Schwarzwälder-Kirsch. The most successful one is Bienenstich (bee sting cake). Most Torten are Sahnetorten (cream tarts), often with Beeren (berries) or Schokolade (chocolate).

To wrap this post up, let’s take a look at the word die Kaffeetafel which is hard to translate. When Germans use the word Tafel when talking about food they mean a really rich and generous meal at a long table. Therefore a Kaffeetafel offers different kinds of Torten, Kuchen (cake), Kekse (cookies) and so on.

You cannot translate Kaffeetafel to coffee table as this small table would be a Couchtisch in German which has a different purpose. On a Couchtisch you put your magazines, remote control and maybe some flowers.