Many people still think that German food are not more than sausage and meat. However, there is much more than this. There is a rich culture of eatery in different parts of the country. You will meet with variety of foods from both the Northern side to the Southern side. With the rich food to the Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg, that’s quite heavy and alike one day meal. With varied food, different use of spices and ingredient; you will enjoy different tastes and flavours.
In this post, we look at some of the traditional German cuisine and also the foods which evolved over time. Let’s dig into the list of the most popular german dishes
The most classic Christmas meal of the Germans.
There is a special region here from which the best geese are said to come. They are called “Dithmarsche” because of the region where they are raised, which is right on the North Sea coast just outside Denmark. They come from free-range farming, have plenty of fresh coastal air and grass to grow on.
The ready-baked goose (over 100 years old recipe for a goose or turkey stuffing) is usually served with kale, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts and dumplings or potatoes.
The art is to conjure up a strong brown sauce from the gravy.
It is one of my favorite meals.
A very simple but all the tastier stew.
The basis is meat broth with vegetables in which barley is cooked.
The soup plate is sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and, my secret tip: with some original Maggi liquid seasoning#ad on top.
It is an incredibly spicy stew, but note that barley contains gluten!
Kassler mit Sauerkraut oder Grünkohl
This dish is also prepared very quickly.
Here, the sauerkraut may be a little more sour, it complements very well with the Kassler.
Kassler here is usually made from pork. The meat is pickled with nitrite pickling salt for a few days, giving it a lovely pink color.
Use in this dish should be Kassler comb, because this piece is very juicy and infused with fat.
Brathähnchen / Goldbroiler
In the GDR, the “Goldbroiler” has been around since the early 1970s. In the West, the whole thing was called grilled chicken.
To this day, it is one of the most sold meals on the street.
The chicken is neatly coated with a mixture of paprika spices and fried to a crisp on the rotating grill. The best side dish for it is French fries.
1 portion makes 1/2 chicken, they also say “1/2 Adler”(a half eagle).
Linsensuppe mit Kassler
A powerful, hearty soup with chunks of pork belly.
A lentil stew is made quickly – the basis is a soup green, which is properly cooked with the lentils and pork belly or even a few “Knacker”.
The soup is served in a plate with fresh parsley and a few sprinkles of vinegar.
It is a relatively healthy food.
Spargel mit Sauce Hollandaise
Every year the asparagus season starts punctually in mid-April in this country.
Many people then buy asparagus almost daily at the roadside stands like the mentally ill. The most popular and expensive is the Beelitz asparagus. In the Corona year 2021, up to 30Eur was paid here for 1kg of Beelitz asparagus.
You can use it as a side dish to almost all meat dishes. It is then basted with either brown butter or Hollandaise sauce.
My opinion is that asparagus finely pureed in a soup tastes much more flavorful and better.
A very simple stew. Rutabagas used to be considered a poor man’s food, they have very few calories.
Traditionally, this stew is made with the broth of several ice legs.
To the diced rutabagas I add a few onions, carrots, potatoes and celery, all diced.
The whole thing is properly cooked and with pepper, Maggikraut, sea salt and neat marjoram.
You can eat it very well with the cubes, but I prefer it partially pureed.
Spiegelei mit Kartoffelbrei und Spinat
The dish is simple and quickly made.
The combination of spinach, potatoes and a few fried eggs is perfect! I love this dish.
I don’t think cooking instructions are needed for this….
Take seasoned minced meat and stuff some peppers with it. The stuffed peppers are baked and served with rice soaked in the gravy.
Weißwurst mit Brezel
The Weißwurst can be found almost only in Bavaria. It is a scalded sausage made of pork and veal. The main ingredients that make this sausage specialty so special are parsley and some lemon peel.
The simplest and fastest variant is to serve it with a large pretzel.
Händlmaier’s Sweet Bavarian Mustard should definitely not be missing!
A similar dish is very often cooked in Poland, it is called “Bigos”.
Braised cabbage requires a lot of time and attention. The main ingredients are bacon, onions and lots of white cabbage.
Now the cabbage is repeatedly sautéed, deglazed and stirred. To make it perfect you have to repeat this procedure for several hours!
The result is a great dark sauce with a lot of flavor.
The braised cabbage goes best with potatoes.
A kind of German pizza.
Here there are already very good ready-made products from the discount store. The special thing about this pizza-like pancake is the topping of streaky bacon, onions and sour cream. This combination creates a very special, distinctive taste that simply makes you want more.
This “Flammkuchen” is highly recommended.
Take potatoes, grate them. To this grate an onion and add a little flour, this is the basis for a traditional “Kartoffelpuffer”.
The potato dough is fried in plenty of oil in the pan until they are golden to dark brown and crispy. The finished pancakes are often spread with applesauce, but I don’t like that at all. It is a very hearty dish with great roasted flavors.
Erbsensuppe mit Würstchen
It is also called “deftiger Erbseneintopf”. The basic ingredients are streaky bacon diced, large peas, potatoes and “Wiener”.
You can often find this simple soup at fairs, flea markets or other simple events.
The dish has been around for several centuries and simply refers to meatloaf.
In the past, whole hares or saddles of hares were replicated from minced meat.
Here, of course, there are countless recipes and options for side dishes. I do not like this dish so much.
Hühnerfrikassee mit Reis
A very light, low-fat dish – chicken fricassee and rice. Originally used old laying hens.
The white sauce is enriched with peas, mortar and asparagus, if necessary.
Also for chicken fricassee is quite very good ready-made dishes from the freezer shelf.
For those who prefer to cook themselves, I recommend this traditional recipe.
Eisbein mit Erbspürree und Sauerkraut
One of my favorites. If you like the rind and also eat it, it becomes a very fatty and caloric meal. For maximum enjoyment, the pork knuckle should be cured.
The rind is eaten with horseradish or mustard. The best side dish is sauerkraut and potatoes or mashed potatoes.
Here, too, there are numerous variations. But the most popular is definitely the “thick” version.
And it is made quickly. Fry the bacon, deglaze, stir in the potatoes, add a soup green, fresh herbs, pepper and salt – that’s it. Once briefly hold the blender in, so that still many potato pieces remain. Sprinkle the plate with fresh parsley.
Nudeln mit Tomatensauce
The special thing here is that the tomato sauce is very sweetened with sugar. You won’t find many herbs here. It is very popular with children as a school lunch.
Known throughout Germany as Frikadelle, this is a small meatloaf weighing 100-200g. It consists of minced meat(originally pork), some breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper. The boulette is fried vigorously from both sides
Kartoffelsalat mit Wiener
There are two main differences in potato salad. In the north, it is prepared properly with mayonnaise. It looks then quite white.
In the south of Germany, oil is used instead of mayonnaise and then there is a variation called “warm potato salad”. Both variations can be greatly enhanced in taste with finely diced smoked pancetta.
The most common side dish for potato salad is wiener, bockwurst or frikadelle.
Grünkohl mit Knacker
Pure kale has a very distinctive, austere taste. Although it is available in jars at all times, in this country it is usually only served as a vegetable side dish at Christmas or with roast duck and goose.
Kale with “Pinkel”(Knacker – a very fatty sausage) now is its own dish, which is very, very flavorful. The whole thing has to cook for many hours and really finely pureed it tastes best in my opinion.
Kale is one of my three favorite vegetables, so I even grow kale myself from time to time!
It’s important that the kale gets frost once, so that certain sugars form that give it its distinctive, great flavor.
This cabbage variety is also eaten raw as a salad and is then a superfood.
Königsberger Klopse (Meatballs)
The full name is: “Königsberger Klopse in caper sauce“. The main ingredients of the meatballs are minced pork or beef, breadcrumbs or rolls, egg yolk, anchovies, onion. In addition, there are spices that can be very varied, in the old German original version only salt and pepper is used.
The meatballs are made quickly and easily, the secret of this dish is the sauce, which is not so simple. The light sauce is prepared with, among other things, bay leaf, capers and lemon juice.
To this outstandingly delicious dish actually fit so really well only potatoes. There are 450g packs in the German supermarkets in the freezer, which offer quite good qualities.
Schweinebraten (Roast pork)
There is no special piece for roast pork. Most often used is neck, back or shoulder. It is important that the skin is still present and cut it deeply into squares. The crust can not be cut later, and with this method you have the delicious crispy pieces of skin right in your mouth.
From the gravy you prepare a brown sauce. The whole thing goes best with potatoes, croquettes, French fries, potato dumplings, yeast dumplings or, for example, noodles.
Suitable vegetable garnish is red cabbage, sauerkraut, kale, green beans, peas and mixed vegetables.
(My experience)The roast is often tough, fibrous and relatively tasteless except for the wonderful crust. I’m not too fond of this dish.
Spätzle is one of the famous vegetarian German food that consist of egg noodles. Spätzle is basically the pasta that is made up of eggs, flour, salt and few splashes of sparkling water.
You can also add beer in place of sparkling water to develop the pasta. The use of beer in German food isn´t that essential and important.
If you are roaming different cities such as Stuttgart, Freiburg, Heidelberg; you will find these cuisines in almost every restaurant. The important aspect of Spätzle is to develop the dough, as the rest of the preparation is quite simple and easy to prepare. Once the spätzle’s dough is prepared, you can simply add the salt and boil the pasta until it is ready. Once, the dough comes over the top in the water pan, you can stain all the water and add the pasta in the boil. Add some of the pasta in the boil and cheese. The Spätzle is typically decorated with fried onions and pinch of parsley. You can also add coriander if you wish to have good aroma and taste.
Bratwurst is the dish that is made of pork, which represents very much German meat feast. It is the part of every German barbeque and has always some variety as you get to different places. In some part of the country, bratwurst is made like sausage and sometimes quite thinner than the sausage. To prepare, all you need Pork meat with fat, Bacon, Marjoram, Garlic, Salt, Pepper and gut of pork.
Grill the sausage and once it picks the nice dark brown color, check the inside meat while cutting it. The pink might will turn into off white color, which means that the meat is done. You can serve it with tomato ketchup or mustard.
CurryWurst was invented in 1949 and it was meant to be made with pork. The sausage if pork is made in homes that allow to have original and organic taste. The preparation of sausage is quite different from making the other sausage as the sausage is thicker and more flavorful.
The sausage is cut and dressed with either bread or fries.
Potato is one the most loved and expressively used vegetable in our cuisine. There are few of times when Germans are called as Kartoffeln, which means potato. In German cuisine, it is always essential to have a portion of potato in order to have a balance of carbohydrate. Bratkartoffeln is highly liked cuisine as it is easily cooked and does not take much time to prepare.
To prepare, peal some potato and boil it in hot water until its almost done. Let it cool down and cut then in half. Heat the oil in a pan add all potatoes in this oil. Add onions and bacon (as per your taste) and make them dark and crispy.
To garnish it, you can add parsley or coriander. It is definitely not a healthy option however it tastes very good. You can also try it without bacon and you can add beef or chicken sausage if you would like to. Bartkartoffeln is also eaten as a vegetarian cuisine without adding meat in it.
Fried potatoes, for example, also go perfectly with pickled fried herring.
Sauerbraten is usually served on very special occasions such as family meet-up, visits, marriage ceremony and so on. If you are visiting your grandparents, there are chances that they have made this recipe for you. To prepare this cuisine, you need to allow the high-quality meat to be cooked for almost 2 hours until it leaves all its juices.
To cook this main meal, it is important to have the meat dipped in vinegar for a week, which allow it to become very soft and have more juice and flavor. Also add vegetables such as carrot, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves, juniper, peppercorns etc.
After a week, filter the meat and vegetables from the vinegar. Add onions in a preheated pan and let it be brown. Add the meat in the pan and let be lightly cooked from both sides. Add the meat stock in it and let it cook for an hour. Food can be served with mash potatoes and the pickle of vegetables.
In old tales, the monks were not allowed to eat the chicken, or meat. When they wished, they used to cover it in pasta so it would not give anyone an idea, if they are eating a meat or vegetable.
Maultaschen is a pasta which was made for the same purpose. It is a Swabian dish and therefore another hit from the southern part of Germany. To prepare, Maultaschen is added in hot boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. After draining it, chop the clean and washed mushrooms and peppers.
Fry the Maultaschen in the oil and let it be golden brown. Take 100-gram water in a pan and add Maultaschen and vegetables. Boil the pasta and vegetable until it is cooked. Add cream or yogurt to have a good taste. The pasta is usually eaten as a soup or pasta. If you are having a family time, you can enjoy the meal with your kids.
Leberkäse is another addition in meat recipes. The main meat that is used for this purpose is the Pork meat. Leberkäse is usually served as a snack and it is not taken as a whole meal. While having tea or coffee, you can have leberkäse as to enjoy the evening.
It is a kind of sausage which is cooked on very slow heat and kept in oven for a whole night. You can have a slice of it on a bread with butter or cheese to elevate the taste of the meat.
Leberkäse is available in all supermarkets and general stores.
Widely available in butchery around the country, people frequently have it in breakfast to get more protein. The only thing that differs Leberkäse from the sausage is its few ingredients and Size. It is bigger in size to be eaten with bread.
To beat all the schnitzel, you got to try the Wiener Schnitzel.
A Wiener Schnitzel is a thinly sliced piece of Veal-Meat, covered with flour, egg and bread crumbs. The schnitzel is fried in lots of hot clarified butter. Once it is golden brown, you can serve with salads.
The Wiener Schnitzel Art is prepared from pork Wiener Schnitzel and Wiener Schnitzel Art is quite different from each other.
Roulades are very broadly beaten slices of meat. These slices are filled with bacon, pickles and mustard and wrapped. Then they are roasted for hours, so they become extremely soft and a delicious dark sauce is created.
A goulash should only be prepared from beef. However, there are also many variations with pork, but the better one is definitely the one cooked with beef.
Besides lots of onions and root vegetables, the most important ingredient in goulash is probably lots of dried paprika.
My favourite combination is goulash with noodles.
The German Gulasch version with its thick, brown sauce is very different from the Hungarian kettle goulash.