Jillian-Beth Stamos-Kaschke of Berlin was reading about our memoir Two for the Road
on the NPR web site. In the book, we ponder the name of hoppel poppel and come up blank for an explanation of how it came about. Jillian-Beth offered this explanation:
The name Hoppel Poppel doesn't actually mean anything but is taken from an old children's poem called Pottkieker (literally "The person who peeked into the pot") which goes "Mummy, mummy, what's in the pot?", to which the mother rather impolitely replies "Hoppel, Poppel, Appelreis, mach' dich fort, Naseweis" (hoppel, poppel, apple rice, now get lost, nosy child").
Thank you, Jillian-Beth. And here is a picture of it, as served at Benji's Deli in Milwaukee: