Coming to Germany and not eating these things is a cardinal sin.
Unless you’re a vegetarian or on a diet and then it’s a bit more tricky. German food is traditionally meaty and carby which luckily means it’s right up my street. I took two trips to Germany recently which were both fantastic, though my waistline probably disagreed.
These are my 10 must-eats!
Spätzle refers to noodles, and kase means cheese… enter a glorified mac and cheese dish topped with crispy onion and usually mixed with bacon.
This dish is popular in Southern Germany. I ate it at a beer festival – exactly the gluttony you want after a couple of steins.
Probably the most famous food on this list, it wouldn’t be a trip to Germany without a bratwurst. These sausages can be served with gravy and sauerkraut or in ‘brotchen’ (a bread roll) with mustard or ketchup. However you eat them, just make sure that you do!
3. Apful strudel
This famous German dessert is eaten all year round but it’s particularly warming in the winter.
You can’t come to Germany and not eat a soft pretzel. They’re usually salted and served with all manner of other fillings – this one is oozing cheese sauce and radish slices.
5. Pork knuckle
At German beer halls the menus are short and meaty – people usually eat a half chicken or a pork knuckle. These are often served with gravy, sauerkraut and doughy potato dumplings which – shocker – have more meat nestled inside.
Fried meat – what could go wrong? (apart from a heart attack obviously). These can be made from chicken, pork, veal or turkey, and are found everywhere from upmarket restaurants to kebab vans. No prizes for guessing which mine came from!
This dish sounds more Italian than German but it’s really popular in the south of the country and actually originated in France. It’s basically a very thin pizza in a rectangle shape (without tomato) and rumour has it that they were invented to test out the heat of people’s wood-burning ovens. Creme fraiche, bacon and onion are popular toppings.
Traditional German biscuits made with honey and spices and dusted with icing sugar. They taste a lot like gingerbread but with a soft, cakey-middle. You can pick these up in shops or markets especially around Christmas.
You’ve probably seen this word a few times in this blog already. Cooked cabbage is served as a side to loads of meaty dishes and although it’s a staple, I’m not a huge fan. It seems to divide the masses as lots of people love it – you’ll have to find out for yourself.
A cut up bratwurst slathered in a sauce made from ketchup and curry. Personally, I can’t handle that much ketchup in one go but it’s definitely something to try.
One not to eat…
So I ate one of these gingerbread heart cookies (if you’ve been to Germany already you’ll have seen them everywhere) and was later told they’re packed with preservatives so that they literally last for years. It tasted fine to me but apparently they’re meant to be souvenirs. One for the mantlepiece, then!
Have you tried any of these foods already – what were your favourites? Let me know in the comments!
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