Slow Food deli raises the bar on Prenzlauer Berg’s Helmholtzplatz…
Goldhahn und Sampson is a deli-cum-Slow Food haven located on the Dunckerstraße side of Helmholtzplatz in Prenzlauer Berg. Run by the amiable Sascha and Andreas, this Aladdin’s cave for Foodies offers everything from ‘slow and conventional food: far flung and local, fancy bling as well as down-to-earthness’. That means you get champagne as well as Italian salami and German blutwurst, luxury Sake alongside organic lentils and esoteric Caribbean spices as well as freshly baked bread and croissants.
Goldhahn und Sampson is posh, even for Helmholtzplatz, but it isn’t snobby. It’s a lovely space in which to spend time, which is good because you will probably spend much more time here than you’d planned.
While not a cafe in the classic sense, bar stools and a long drinks counter abut the large, street-facing windows, encouraging you to order an espresso and indulge in some people watching. The coffee, by the way, isn’t just good: it’s fantastic.
Talking of recipes and relaxing, there’s a comprehensive cookbook section out back (English and German titles) as well as an extremely inviting Chesterfield armchair. It’s almost impossible not be seduced into a minimum thirty minute browsing session. The choice of books, like the shop’s choice of products, is generally impeccable, ranging from mainstreamers like Jamie Oliver and cheesecake queen Cynthia Barcomi to “bibles” like Larousse and of course an assortment of handsome coffee-table books.
The shop supports organic / fair trade products and wherever possible deal directly with farmers and local producers (for example they use Andraschko Coffee from Berlin). The shelves are stacked with a wealth of gorgeous goodies: imported spices from exotic countries; Habanero chilli paste from Madagascar; Lyle’s Treacle; chocs from Domori and Beschle.
There’s also an alcohol ‘alcove’ brimming with hand-picked wines, mostly from Germany and Austria but an increasing amount from France, Italy and Portugal.
And that’s not all. Goldhahn und Sampson also offer a range of kitchen utensils (knives, Le Creuset pots) and a large space adjacent to the cookbooks has a kitchen area that’s used regularly for – you guessed it – cooking classes.
You can learn not only how to cook German, French and Thai dishes, but how to fold samosas, make your own spice mixes, sharpen kitchen knives properly or grow wise in the arts of wine or sake tasting. Most of the courses are in German, but some are held in English and cost around sixty-five euros per session (includes water and wine). Since 2016, there has also been a Goldhahn und Sampson in Charlottenburg (Wilmersdorfer Str. 102/103, 10629 Berlin).