I think pie is swell. I love making and eating all kinds of pie. Apple, pumpkin, key lime, pecan, and chocolate mousse are all delicious. Savory variations are also fabulous in my book: a good pizza pie is worth traveling for, and I do enjoy a good slice of quiche for brunch. But not all pies are created equal.
Now, I know tastes are a very personal thing. I know this as someone who does not particularly like cake. That being said, I give a lot of extra leway to pie-type foods. I even give what is blatantly a cake trying to go undercover, AKA Boston Creme Pie, a pass. But if there is one style of pie-like concoctions that I am just not ok with, it's the German kuchen.
Now, I don't know if anyone who is reading this grew up in a German family or perhaps is from Germany. My paternal great grandparents were German. I love hearty German breads, cheeses, and deli meats. I think Ritter Sport make a pretty tasty chocolate bar. And I think German cars are very cool. So please know this is my personal opinion and I mean no offense when I say that I. HATE. KUCHEN.
The internet tells me that kuchen is the German word for cake....which explains so much. The thing is, I grew up in Chile, and the first time I remember ever tasting a kuchen, someone tried to pass it off to me as PIE. It was shaped like a pie. It had apples on top, like pie. But the crust with this super dry cake-like crumbly mess that was definitely NOT pie-like. It was disappointing. And it made me a little angry. But I let it go. When I was offered kuchen again, I gave it another chance. This time it had a nutty struessel topping, and again, it looked promising. But once again, underneath the nice sweet nutty buttery topping, was this dry crumbly non-flavorful grossness. I was disappointed, but it was supposed to be a pie, so I gave it another pass.
But the thing is, it's not horrible, really. A lot of kuchen is very coffee cake-like, or a cross between a coffee cake and tarte. So if you like that kind of thing, by all means, go for it. I'm done with the stuff personally, but I know my bias owes a lot to false advertising. And to the fact that I don't really like cake.
Epicurious has this recipe for Streusel Küchen that has 4-fork user rating, 82% would make it again. People like it. If you don't have a German bakery nearby, maybe you can try to make it, form your own opinion. Just don't ask me to have any, because I'm done with the stuff. But if you have some fresh key limes you want to unload, I will happily turn those puppies into one fine, honest-to-goodness pie. :)
|Key Lime Pie = yes please|
|Pizza pie = yeah, I'll try it|
|Cherry kuchen. I'll pass.|
|Nut kuchen. May look good, but no.|