Summer in the outdoor pool sounds like children playing and pool splashing. And it smells of french fries. Even people who normally never eat them get hungry for it in the swimming pool. Children get a portion soaking wet and shivering. It comes traditionally in a cardboard bowl, red and white with spades.
Ideally, you didn't stand in line for too long, the fries are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. A meal that you order half-naked, more or less like to share lying on the towel, sometimes with ants. In short, chips in the outdoor pool are a real summer phenomenon. Why actually?
Nele Heinevetter knows the topic well. She has a snack in the summer pool in the Humboldthain in Berlin Wedding, which is also a place for art exhibitions, children's workshops and performances. Operation in the bathroom is very quiet because of the corona restrictions. While the art historian talks about "Tropez", about everyday life in the kiosk, about art and fries, announcements come with distance rules such as: "Only overtake at the pool edge."
Why does it have to be fries? "I think because you learn from childhood that it's part of a pool visit," says Heinevetter. She can think of other arguments for ordering a portion: "French fries are vegan" and "French fries with salad are a great lunch". Her tip: try a serving with a slice of lemon.
The snack bar has fresh fries fried in sunflower oil, the small bowl for 2.50 euros. This season, “Tropez” is also showing suitable art on the Internet: a video game in which a Danish artist has the fries wandered down her throat. Heinevetter and her team don't have the whole thing yet: "We eat french fries every day."
It is now midday in the swimming pool. A mother gives a little girl a large portion to share with the other children instead of a bread roll from the baker. It is something special for them. "Otherwise they won't get it."
Mathias Kaucha, one of the operators of the snack bar in Berlin's Prinzenbad, tells a similar story. French fries are “basic equipment” there. They eat people there who they would never eat otherwise. "Somehow, the summer flair benefits the fries." Swimming makes you hungry. At peak times, 2,000 to 3,000 servings a day were sold in the Prinzenbad.
Matthias Oloew, spokesman for the Berliner Bäderbetriebe, says about the French fries topic: "It is not so much about swimming, but something about summer." It's hot, you sweat, your body needs carbohydrates and salt, says Oloew. "You have an appetite for it." French fries in the swimming pool, that has been common in Germany since the 1950s.
A serving has up to 490 calories depending on the size, can be read on the website of a fast food chain. They are greasy and a pure sin. Or not? There are voices saying that you should eat what you feel like and what the body can take.
Others are skeptical. "It's difficult to find something good about it," says nutritionist Stefan Kabisch (German Institute for Nutritional Research in Potsdam). "You can definitely imagine something healthier." French fries contain too much salt, saturated fat and quickly digestible carbohydrates. The potatoes are too processed as a fried snack to be really healthy.
According to Kabisch, it is a meal that gives you a brief feeling of happiness but does not fill you up for long. French fries four or five times a year, that's not too bad for Kabisch. But once a week: depending on the type, it can be different with a view to being overweight or threatening diabetes. Does he eat fries himself? "Sporadically".
There is a pro fries group among the top chefs: Alexander Herrmann, a chef known from television, has a swimming pool kiosk in Wirsberg in Bavaria. He had known the forest swimming pool since childhood; Taking over the kiosk was an "absolute matter of the heart", says Hermann. His great-grandfather sold the valley meadow at the time in order to enable the swimming pool in 1955. That is why the kiosk is also called “Kiosk 1955”. One of the most common youth memories is playing in the outdoor pool. "The weather was never better, the water was clearer and life was better – and the crispy fries were never better than on the meadow in the sun." Of course, chips are also sold in Wirsberg.