German cuisine is characterized by a hearty, simple food with the addition of a small amount of spices. The main dishes of Germany are prepared from pork, beef, cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables. The country is famous for different types of sausages, thick soups, pastries, but each region has its own recipes.
Characteristics of the national German cuisine
German dishes are delicious and hearty, but contain a lot of calories. The basis of the diet is pork, from which roasts, meat soups, schnitzel, chopped cutlets, seltzer are made.
The pride of the Germans are sausages, of which there are 1500 species. Sandwiches with spread fresh minced meat (hackepeter) and game are popular. They are served with sour cabbage or potatoes.
A valuable product is bread, of which there are more than 3000 varieties. Germans prefer pastries from rye or spelt (a type of wheat) to wheat.
All over the world they know cottage cheese and apple pies, Black Forest cake, Christmas stollen. For garnish, the Germans use vegetables. The most favorite are tomatoes, carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, asparagus.
Benefits and harms
Despite the calorie content, the advantage of German cuisine is considered to be high-quality food. Pork is easily digested, contains a lot of protein, magnesium and zinc, unsaturated fatty acids.
But German dishes are heavy foods. There is almost no fresh vegetables and fruits. The constant use of meat and bakery products leads to weight gain, which negatively affects health.
History of German cuisine
German cuisine originated in the period of Ancient Rome, but its active development began only in the XX century. the Simplicity of local food is associated with the climate and the reluctance of Emperor Wilhelm II to develop culinary traditions.
The population ate potatoes and cabbage, so there were many dishes based on them. After the 1950s – 1970s. in the country began to cook different types of sausages, dishes from minced meat, sandwiches with various fillings. Thanks to the travels, new recipes appeared (dumplings, dumplings with meat, beef in a creamy sauce).
Popular cooking methods
For cooking, the Germans use different methods: frying, boiling, stewing, baking. Traditional German cuisine includes many baked meat dishes. Sausages are grilled. Locals love pickled or pickled cucumbers. Braised cabbage and other vegetables are often served as a side dish.
Main products in national dishes
The main ingredients of local cuisine are pork, beef, poultry meat (duck, turkey, goose). In the hunting season, dishes from a wild boar or rabbit appear on the tables. In the north and east, fish (salmon, carp, trout, perch) are popular. Local food is not spicy.
To give it a taste, use:
- black and white pepper;
- juniper berries;
Locals love black or gray bread, brezel. Among vegetables, preference is given to potatoes, cabbage, carrots, legumes. These products are often used to make soups or stews. An important place in the cooking of Germany is given to dairy products: milk, buttermilk, kefir, yogurt.
Brezel is served with tea
Dietary culture of the Germans
Residents of Germany never skip breakfast. It can be hearty (muesli, scrambled eggs with sausages, cereals) or light (sandwiches, brezel, toast with jam, marmalade).
At noon, the Germans have lunch. The main meal includes 1 dish: eintopf, meat or fish with vegetables. The tradition of a coffee break (Koffeezeit) between lunch and dinner is observed today on weekends.
Coffee or tea is accompanied by biscuits, cakes, and cakes. In the evening, Germans eat bread with ham and cheese, pickles, fresh vegetable salad. If lunch was light, dinner consists of 3 courses.
On holidays and weekends, Germans like to gather as family and friends. The table is covered with a tablecloth. In the center of the table put fresh flowers, a bread plate, pepper shaker, salt shaker, drinks (wine, beer, water, juices).
For breakfast and dinner, the table is served with small plates, a teaspoon and a knife. For dinner, a deep plate is added, and the spoon is changed to a large one. For evening tea, vases with sweets are served. A tea set is placed near the hostess.
The German hostess has a standard set of dishes in the kitchen (non-stick pans, pans, small and deep plates, cups, cutlery), but they are of good quality.
For cooking, housewives constantly use kitchen scales and measuring bowls. Beautiful sets stand on the shelves in the sideboard. Some families have a small table on wheels. It is used to serve coffee and sweets.
It is not customary for Germans to be late or come to visit earlier. The owners can bring a gift: flowers, sweets, imported wine. But in Germany, it is considered bad form to give carnations, lilies, red roses or chrysanthemums. They do not immediately start eating, first they start a conversation and drink drinks.
Therefore, it is better not to come hungry. Meals begin when food is served to all guests. The end of the dinner is evidenced by cutlery placed parallel to each other. If a person put them crosswise, he expects the continuation of the feast.
The most popular German dishes
German cuisine is famous for sausages, meatloaf, Königsberg bugs. Gingerbread, stollen cake, apple strudel, Black Forest cake are popular all over the world.
White weiswurst sausages
Boiled veal sausages appeared in the second half of the XIX century. for their preparation take the same amount of pork and veal minced meat. It adds egg white, a little onion, lemon zest, herbs. Weiswurst is traditionally served in a pot with salted brezel and sweet mustard. The dish is usually consumed until 12:00.
Weiswurst sausages are recommended to be eaten with sweet mustard.
These are meat balls of minced pork and beef in white sauce. They are prepared with the addition of onions, capers, bacon, bread. Cream, white wine and meat broth are used for the sauce.
The German analogue of dumplings, which was invented in the monastery of the city of Maulbronn. Minced pork with bacon, spinach, parsley, nutmeg, marjoram is wrapped in the dough. In the vegetarian version, greens are placed in the middle. Ready dumplings are boiled in beef broth.
This dish is often prepared on Sundays for a family dinner. Bacon, pickles, fried onions with mustard are wrapped in beef. The rolls are served with a sauce based on meat broth and vegetables with red wine. Garnishes are dumplings, boiled potatoes or stewed cabbage.
Meat casserole was invented after the Second World War, when there were few game left in the forests. To prepare a fake hare, minced meat is used, and boiled eggs are laid out in the middle. The roll is baked in the oven at a temperature of 200 ° C for 40 – 60 minutes.
Bavarian roast is made from pickled pork fillet. The meat is fried in a frying pan, dipped in the marinade for 3 to 4 days. The latter is made on the basis of red wine with coarsely chopped carrots and onions. Pork is cooked at 160 ° C in the oven for 2.5 – 3 hours under a closed lid.
Schmorbraten is a pickled fillet cooked in the oven.
The world’s only “live” cheese has been made in the city of Würchwitz (Saxony-Anhalt) for almost 300 years. For its production, a special type of ticks is used.
They secrete substances that are responsible for fermentation. Milbenkese is consumed together with ticks. The delicacy has a sharp, bitter taste with a rich smell of ammonia.
Sour cabbage (Sauerkraut)
The Germans eat the famous sauerkraut as a side dish to meat or serve with beer. Chopped cabbage is fermented in salt and vinegar, but carrots or apples are not added. Sauerkraut has been preparing for 6 weeks.
Sauerkraut is one of the traditional dishes.
Soup is often called fish solyanka. According to the classic recipe, beef corned beef is boiled with beets, onions, pickles. Everything is passed through a meat grinder, the mixture is stewed in lard. Then the mass is brought to a boil in brine. At the end, add mashed potatoes. Labskaus is served with glaze, pickled herring and cucumber.
Berlin-style knuckle (Icebahn)
If it is cooked correctly, the pork drumstick acquires an appetizing glossy crust. Knuckle is first boiled in beer for 1.5 – 2 hours. Then the meat is baked for half an hour in the oven, constantly pouring sauce. The taste of pork is given by garlic, cumin, oregano, juniper berries.
The symbol of the Christmas holidays has been prepared in Germany since the XIII century There are various recipes for gingerbread: from soft biscuits to bread pies. But the dough always includes ginger, honey or molasses. Popular are gingerbread in the form of a house, a man, a heart and other figures. On top they are decorated with multi-colored glaze.
For the pie, a dough is prepared from wheat flour, eggs, butter, sugar, salt. It is rolled out, then stretched out by hands. The thickness should not exceed 1 mm. Fruit filling is sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, nuts.
Then roll into a roll. The cake is baked at a temperature of +200… + 220 ° C for a maximum of 30 minutes. Germans often replace apples with cherries, pears, dates, vegetables.
The national dish of Germany appeared at the beginning of the XIV century. in the Christmas cake add candied fruits, nuts, dried fruits.
The secret of good taste is the same amount of dough and additives.
The finished product is sprinkled with powdered sugar, which symbolizes Jesus Christ wrapped in a diaper. The best is stollen 2 weeks after baking.
Black Forest German pie
Black Forest cake (“Black Forest”) was first prepared in Bavaria in 1915 In a modern recipe, chocolate sponge cakes soaked in kirsch or cherry syrup are used. On top, they are generously smeared with whipped cream and laid out with cherries. The cake is decorated with grated chocolate and cherries.
It is made from potatoes, onions, pickles, peppers. Roasted bacon is added to vegetables. Dress the salad with mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt.
Other German dishes
A hearty Eintopf soup is considered popular. It is made on the basis of smoked meats and meat, so the dish resembles a meat hodgepodge. Vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, rutabagas, carrots), legumes, bread, pasta are added to the eintopf.
In some regions, it includes fish and sausages. In Germany, they love the local version of pizza – “fire pie”. Thin dough with onions, bacon or chicken meat, cream cheese is baked over an open fire. A common dessert is donuts with fruit or cream filling. The Germans prepare brezel – a pastry sprinkled with sesame in the form of kalach.
Features of regional cuisines
Culinary traditions differ in the Federal Länder. In the south-west and in Saxony, soups are loved, in the north-west the main ingredient was root vegetables. Hamburg and Brandenburg cuisine is dominated by fish.
In the south-west there are 2 main directions – Swabian and Baden cuisine. The first is simple. It is based on soups and food from egg dough (maultashen, spetzle, schupfnudel).
Popular dishes are:
- roast beef with onions;
- roast lamb;
- cabbage rolls;
- swabian salad with blood sausage;
- trebuchet stew;
- fried whitefish.
Baden culinary traditions are closely associated with France. They love asparagus and offal (trebucha with onions, kidneys with sour potatoes), but a special dish is considered to be scheufele (roast from pork shoulder). The most common types of Baking in Baden are Schwatzwald cake, apple and onion pie, gugelhupf (an analogue of polish baba).
Scheufele is a delicious pork roast.
Meat and flour dishes prevail here. Classics of local cuisine are baked pork knuckle (Schweinhaxe), roast of pickled pork (Sauerbraten), white Munich sausages, flour balls with filling (knodels).
Often prepared jelly, eintopf, bread soup with onions or liver dumplings.
The main snack is considered to be obatsda – a pate of grated cheese and cottage cheese with the addition of dill, onions, beer, spices, butter. This mass lubricates the brezel, which has become a symbol of Bavaria.
Residents of the mountainous part of Bavaria prefer to eat meat, so scheufele, Nuremberg and city sausages, roast beef or pork are popular.
Special dishes of local cuisine are carp baked in beer and spicy sausages stewed in wine (“blue tip”). To the main dishes, Franconians serve stewed cabbage (Savoy, white cabbage, red) and turnips. Delicious desserts are prepared here: casserole with cherries, drunken apple pie, Franconian wine cream.
In addition to traditional sausages and stewed cabbage, the famous green sauce is made in Hesse. It includes at least 9 herbs (sorrel, 3 types of lettuce, cucumber grass, parsley, rhubarb, onions).
It fits fish or meat. Residents of the center of the country use “hand cheese” – soft cheese with butter, vinegar and onions. A common dish is potato dumplings with meat filling. In Hesse, during the hunting season, restaurants serve balls of deer meat with sheep’s cheese, deer shoulder with garlic.
Rhineland and Bergisches Land
Cologne loves potato pancakes and salad. Classics of Rhine cuisine are considered to be roasts of pickled beef and pork. To them add red cabbage, potato dumplings, apple mousse.
In the north of Rhine-Westphalia, mashed potatoes with pieces of apple are made. It is served with fried onions and blood sausage. The pride of the area is Westphalian ham with bone, which has a spicy taste. The region is famous for almond biscuits and Aachen honey cakes.
Residents of the north-west consume a lot of root vegetables and bread. The cuisine of the land of Schleswig-Holstein is characterized by a combination of sour, salty and sweet.
The following dishes are popular here:
- vegetable stew with milk;
- blood soup;
- stewed rutabagas;
- cabbage with pork cheeks and sausage;
- bread pudding;
- rote grütze (reminiscent of jelly with whipped cream).
The main dish of Hamburg is eintopf from pork flank with the addition of rutabaga, carrots, potatoes.
The cuisine of the port city is dominated by fish and seafood (shrimp, crab, herring, eel) and cabbage.
In Bremen, they prepare a delicious eel soup, cabbage with pinkel sausage. A local delicacy is knipp sausage, which is made from oats, pork, beef liver, seasonings.
Cabbage with pinkel sausage is a popular dish in the north-west of Germany.
Due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea, fish dishes (fried flounder and smoked eel) are common in Mecklenburg cuisine. But fried pork ribs, leberwurst in a pot, bacon in batter (kloppshinken) are often prepared. Particular attention is paid to cabbage, potatoes, dried fruits.
Berlin specialities include:
- fried veal liver with apples and onions;
- roasted goose with cabbage and dumplings;
- carrywurst and leberwurst;
- eel in green sauce;
- perch in beer sauce;
- schnitzel in holstein;
- beef breast with horseradish.
Traditional Brandenburg food is considered to be fish (pike, carp, eel, walleye), potatoes, mushrooms and game. Residents of the region eat cottage cheese with linseed oil, steamed smoked ham, sauerkraut with grape leaves (knipercol).
The local cuisine is characterized by a large number of soups. Potato, dairy and flour soups are popular in the Ore Mountains area. But the main dish was a potato casserole with loin and linseed oil.
Vogtland’s typical food was the mushroom eintopf. Leipzig’s cuisine includes hearty flour and potato dishes. A special place is occupied by boiled vegetables with a sauce from crayfish necks (“Leipzig Allerley”). In Dresden, they like roast beef, roast beef with raisin sauce, but it is famous for pastries (stollen, Saxon vatrushka).
The culinary traditions of the region were influenced by Poland and the Czech Republic. Dumplings, stewed red cabbage with smoked loin, bread soup are popular here. Locals love blood sausage, baked smoked lard with pickles, which is wrapped in pork or beef.
The culture of German cuisine in Russia
The culinary preferences of both countries are similar. In Germany, they prepare dishes resembling solyanka, holodets, dumplings, kissel. Germans eat simple food, so German restaurants do not serve delicious dishes. To try the authentic cuisine of Germany, it is better to choose establishments that specialize only in German dishes.
Homemade recipes of German dishes
To prepare eintopf, you will need the following ingredients:
- 400 g smoked ribs;
- 2 sausages;
- 1.5 liters of water;
- 2 onions;
- 2 potatoes;
- 1 carrot;
- 100 g of mushrooms and brussels sprouts;
- 1 tbsp. lentils;
- vegetable oil, cumin, salt, pepper.
In a saucepan, fry the pieces of meat, add diced onions and carrots. When the vegetables are soft, lay out the chopped mushrooms. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, fry for 4 minutes.
Pour water into the container, cook until the beef is ready (40 – 45 minutes). In the soup, send lentils, potatoes, sliced sausages. You need to cook for 15 minutes, a few minutes before the cabbage is ready.
The classic recipe for Königsberg bugs includes the following components:
- 2 liters of water;
- 300 g of ground beef and pork;
- 2 chicken eggs;
- 20 g capers;
- 1 onion;
- 150 g of white bread;
- 50 g of bacon;
- 4 tbsp. l lemon juice;
- spices (bay leaf, marjoram, paprika, black pepper);
- a pinch of salt, sugar.
In a blender, chop onions, soaked bread crumbs and bacon. Combine this mass with minced meat. Then beat the eggs, sprinkle with spices and add capers.
From the resulting minced meat, form balls (bugs). Spices, sugar, salt are added to the water. When the liquid boils, the fire is reduced and the bugs are laid out. They cook for about 20 minutes.
For the sauce, take flour (2 tbsp), white dry wine (125 ml), cream (125 ml), meat broth. Cook the sauce for 5 minutes, then put the bedbugs in it and turn off the stove.