Delve into the world of German cuisine and you will soon discover an array of rich, hearty, and delicious dishes that are great comfort food as well. While each region of Germany has its own specialty dishes and traditional cuisine, there are certain culinary delights that people cherish throughout the country.
Because many of these are easy to make, you won’t find it too difficult to incorporate them into your weekly meal plan, either. So why not explore German culture with your tastebuds and create your own dishes using these handy recipes? Guten appetit!
- Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
Let’s start with an obvious one – Wurst. There are an estimated 1,500 varieties of sausage in Germany. These are prepared in many different ways and include a range of ingredients and unique spice blends. You will find these on street stalls almost everywhere across the country.
One of the most popular varieties is Bratwurst, a pan-fried or roasted sausage made from veal, beef, or pork. Others include Viennese Wiener (which is smoked and then boiled) and blood sausages, such as Blutwurst and Schwarzwurst.
You will also find regional specialties such as Berlin‘s Currywurst (with curried ketchup on top) and Bavaria’s Weisswurst, a white sausage that you peel before eating with sweet mustard.
Meanwhile, Nuremberg is famous for its grilled Rostbratwurst, which people eat with fermented shredded cabbage (sauerkraut). And in the state of Thuringian, the local Rostbratwurst is made using distinctive spices like marjoram and caraway.
This typical German dish consists of bacon, onions, mustard, and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef or veal which is then cooked. Rouladen is also considered to be part of traditional Polish cuisine in the Upper Silesia region. Here it is known as rolada Śląska (Silesian roulade). It is also famous in Czechia where it is called Španělský ptáček (Spanish bird).
While the mixture varies from region to region, beef has become popular over the last century. The cut is usually topside beef or silverside since this is the cheaper cut. You will find this hearty German food at festivals and family dinner tables across the country. It usually comes with dumplings, mashed potatoes, Blaukraut (cooked red cabbage), and red wine gravy.
Germany’s answer to pasta, Spätzle, is especially popular in the south of the country. These soft egg noodles are made from wheat flour and egg and are often topped with cheese (Käsespätzle) and roasted onions.
Although the origin of the dish is disputed and variations are found in neighboring countries, Spätzle remains a Swabian specialty. There, the general cooking rule is to use one more egg than the number of guests. It is often served with meat dishes that use a lot of sauce or gravy, such as Rouladen, or in stews, such as Gaisburger Marsch (a Swabian stew).
In some regions, the dough contains other ingredients like cherries (Kirschspätzle), apples (Apfelspätzle), liver (Leberspätzle), sauerkraut (Krautspätzle), or even beer.
A steaming bowl of Eintopf will warm anyone up on a cold day. The name of this traditional German stew literally means ‘one pot’ and refers to the way of cooking rather than its contents. That said, most recipes contain the same basic ingredients: broth, vegetables, potatoes or pulses, and pork, beef, chicken, or fish.
Eintopf is similar to Irish stew and you will find many different regional specialties throughout Germany. These include Lumpen und Flöh (which means ‘rags and fleas’) in the Kassel area and Linseneintopf (lentils) in Thüringen.
Full of flavor and heart-warming goodness, it’s no wonder this tasty dish is one of the most popular German foods.
Germans love their meat dishes, and Sauerbraten (meaning ‘sour’ or ‘pickled’ roast) is one of the country’s national dishes. You can make a pot roast by using many different types of meat, which you marinate in wine, vinegar, spices, herbs, and then season for up to ten days. This recipe is also ideal for tenderizing cheap cuts of meat.
Schweinebraten (which translates as ‘roast pork’) is a delicious Bavarian recipe that you will commonly find in beer halls. It usually comes with braised cabbage or sauerkraut and dumplings (Knoedel) and goes down nicely with an ice-cold pilsner.
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