The thing is, if you ask me what the two most important things are for Germans, I would answer bread and forest. I realise there are people who would choose beer and soccer, but when it comes to places and memories, items of longing and belonging, of anything that could spell home - and that's a difficult word for Germans for too many reasons - it's forest and bread.
Both are usually dark. And I don't mean black as in pumpernickel or Black Forest, these are quirky exceptions.
I grew up with Franconian sourdough bread, big round loaves of about 2-3 kg, a hand width high, the dough (mostly rye) raised in a woven basket, baked with a splash of well water thrown on it to form a thick dark crust and most importantly, the spice mix.
The mix differs from region to region, from village to village, from baker to baker. To this day.
Could be caraway, could be coriander, could be fennel, ground or whole, any or all, in various proportions, plus an added secret ingredient.
Franconian bread is never sold ready sliced or, worse, wrapped. My 92 year old father prefers to struggle with his ancient bread cutting implements than buy something that's "dry inside and out and stuffed in plastic". Before a loaf is cut, a cross is carved into its base. Even my atheist mother would do this and my father still does it automatically. My grandmother cut the bread by hand, holding the loaf against her front and cutting slices with her big knife towards her stomach.
A loaf can last for a week, easily. It just gets more chewy.
In the city I grew up in, there are bakery shops that sell only Franconian loaves, the shelves stacked to the ceilings, the breads named by the villages that provided the recipes. Oberbernheimer, Spalter, Rother, Marktbreiter, Kornburger, Colmberger and so on.
To me, it tastes like bread needs to taste. Rich, sour, spicy. You come home from an exhausting day climbing trees and wading in carp ponds and you eat one whole freshly cut slice with butter and your mother's sour cherry jam.
We rarely eat that kind of bread now. There are too many varieties to chose from, with 10+ bakeries within walking distance (give or take 2 km). Maybe I'll write a bit more about it, something like: bread on a Wednesday.
As for the forest, that's for another day. Forest is holy.