Entering the vast world of German food? Fear not, we have handpicked some of the best German delicacies for you to try out when you happen to visit the beautiful country!
Practically synonymous with German cuisine since 1945, currywurst is commonly attributed to Herta Heuwer, a Berlin woman who in 1949 managed to obtain ketchup and curry powder and mixed them up and served the result over grilled sausage, instantly creating a German street food classic. It’s so iconic that there’s even a museum dedicated to it! The fried pork or beef sausage (vegetarians, fret not, there’s usually a vegetarian option as well), is smothered in ketchup and sprinkled with a combo of curry and paprika powder. Order the currywurst mit pommes, which comes with a side order of fries, served with either ketchup, mayonnaise, or both. It’s perfect for an afternoon snack or supper!
Because what’s better than rolled up vegetables wrapped in steak and bacon? Rouladen is a delicious blend of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped together in sliced beef or veal. Vegetarian and other meat options are also now widely available but the real deal is rinderrouladen (beef rouladen), a popular dish in western Germany and the Rhine region. It is traditionally served for dinner, with either potato dumplings or mashed potatoes and pickled red cabbage. Roasted winter vegetables are another common side dish. The gravy is an absolute requirement, usually poured over the meat, blends perfectly giving out a unique flavour.
Our list of top German foods wouldn’t be complete with mentioning Schnitzel. Some might argue that schnitzel is Austrian and not German, but its origins are actually Italian. Coated in breadcrumbs and often served with a slice of lemon, this thin, boneless cutlet of meat is an iconic part of German cuisine. You can choose a Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese style) made from veal, or a Schnitzel Wiener Art, with pork (Schwein). If you order a Hamburg-style schnitzel, it will arrive with a fried egg on top, while a Holsten-style schnitzel comes with an egg, anchovies, and capers.
Käsespätzle is Germany’s version of Mac and Cheese. Made from fluffy noodles and grated cheese, topped with fried onions, this dish is the ultimate comfort food when it’s cold and rainy outside. It is traditionally served as a side to meat dishes or dropped into soups, it can be spiced up by adding cheese. The käsespätzle variant is an extremely popular dish in southern Germany, especially Swabia, Bavaria and the Allgäu region.
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 hearty stew is traditionally served with red cabbage and potato dumplings (kartoffelklöße) or boiled potatoes. Drowned in a dark gravy made with beetroot sugar sauce and rye bread to balance the sour taste of the vinegar, sauerbraten is then traditionally served with red cabbage, potato dumplings or boiled potatoes.
Sausages or Wurst
There is no Germany without sausages! Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Mettwurst, Leberwurst, Blutwurst – you’ll find uncountable varieties of sausages in Germany. There are an estimated 1,500 varieties of sausage in Germany; each with their own preparation, ingredients, and unique blends of spices. You will find these on street stalls almost everywhere across the country. Some of the famous ones include:
Bratwurst, a pan-fried or roasted sausage made from veal, beef, or pork.
Wiener (Viennese), which is smoked and then boiled.
The blood sausages, Blutwurst and Schwarzwurst.
You will also find regional specialties such as Berlin’s Currywurst (with curried ketchup on top).
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, such as marjoram and caraway.
German bread is in a class of its own. For Germans, going to the bakery around the corner every morning to pick up fresh bread rolls (Brötchen), a pretzel for lunch and a crusty bread for dinner is part of life. Try the popular German pretzel – bretzels (get one with sprinkled salt), vollkornbrot (whole grain bread), pumpernickel (dark brown bread made of rye) and sonnenblumenbrot (sunflower seed bread) with a side of cheese, jams and cold cuts.
Mmm… our tummies are rumbling now!
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