Introduction to German Cuisine
As in any country, German cuisine plays a major role in shaping the tradition and culture of the country. Many festivities, be it private or public are always celebrated with abundance of good tasting food and the traditional German beer. German food varies throughout the country, and although not the most favored food in the world it is definitely worth a try.
Being quite a large country, German cuisine varies greatly from one region to the next. One region is typically popular for one kind of signature dish. For instance, in Nuremberg the most famous dish is Nurnberger bratwurst, a kind of boiled sausage while in Munich, the signature dish is Munchner Weisswurst, another kind of sausage that is grilled rather than boiled. Interestingly enough, these items are available everywhere in the region. Often the sausages are sold from pushcarts in the city, train stations and market places.
There is also a sense of rivalry between the different regions as to whose recipe of German cuisine is the best. The rivalry is strongest among the North and South regions of the country. However although the rivalry is fierce, it is friendly and provokes good conversation between the people.
Popular German Dishes
German cuisine often gives people the impression that many of the dishes are made from red meat. While this is true and it is does have its fair share of red meat dishes, other kinds of meat are also widely used like pork, wild boar, wild game, venison and also rabbit. These meats make up a lot of interesting dishes and sausages that no single cookbook has ever finished documenting. Here are some of the more interesting dishes in German cuisine:
1) Schwenker – This is a pork steak and is grilled together with spices and onions. There are some regional differences in the preparation of these dishes but the main ingredients are the same. It is extremely tasty and well worth a try.
2) Blood Sausage – Similar to the English black pudding, you have to go beyond the presentation and name of the dish. Blood sausage is made from barley and meat blood. Many who have tried it have come back for more because of its distinct flavors and taste.
3) Sauerkraut – This is the essential German dish. Basically it is chopped cabbage which is then fermented. Sauerkraut is one of the most popular German cuisine exports around the world. It is often served as an accompaniment to the main dish.
4) Spatzle – One of the few noodle dishes in German cuisine. This dish consists of egg noodles and is served in a soup. It can also be used like spaghetti as an accompaniment to the main dish.
5) Gaisburger Marsch – A potato and beef stew that is combined with spatzle and cooked in butter. It is topped off with fried onions.
6) Hassenpfeffer – A stew made from rabbit meat and flavored with vinegar and wine.
7) Saurmagen – Spiced pork or beef cooked in a pig’s stomach together with onions and carrots. A German version of Scotland’s Haggis.
Now that you have your introduction to German cuisine, please go beyond the sausages whenever you enter a German restaurant.