[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Segoria

Sig Matt sigmatt at sbcglobal.net
Thu Nov 1 19:53:15 PDT 2007

Yes, Zichorie indeed. In Eastprussia in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Zichorie (coffee)
was the staple drink, and yes, it came in a round package. When brewed it was black and looked like coffee.    
Of course the taste was quite different, when brewed too strong it would get quite bitter. There was another lower grade (Ersatz) brew. Barley grain roasted in a pan, then ground up and used for making a (coffee?) The taste was quite remote from the real coffee taste. It also had a name which unfortunately I don't remember.
In Germany at that time, real Bohnenkaffe was an imported item and thus relatively expensive. So for average people it was reserved for special occasions.
With the beginning of WWII in 1939, along with other southern fruits, as bananas, oranges, even peanuts, imported items became scarcer and after some time they simply were no longer available.
As Irene suggested the wikipedea page gives a good description of the historical use of Chicory.
As you are probably aware, in 1945 Eastprussia was occupied by and annexed to Russia.
In Russia the staple drink is tea, so for another 3 years we did not see any coffee. At the end of 1947 we were relocated to the Russian Occupation Zone of Germany (then also referred to as Eastgermany). There was still food rationing in effect and of course no Kaffeebohnen available officially.
However, in Westgermany a free market economy reigned and all food items were freely traded. So a group of entrepreneurs found ways to get these scares goods across the demarcation line and distribute their goods an the black market on the eastern side.
Sometime in 1948, with a group of new found young friends, we were celebrating some special occasion (my sister was 20 at that time and I was 18) we drank real Bohnenkaffee again. Which tasted indescribably wonderful. After so many years of absence the caffeine content hit us so hard  that we animatedly talked halfway through the night and I did not sleep a wink the rest of that night.
Sig Matt
sigmatt at sbcglobal.net

Irene König <kopetzke at gmx.net> wrote: 

the coffee substitute that your mother named "Segoria" (spelling in 
German: Zichorie) was probably roasted Chicory.



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