German cuisine has undergone an immense amount of change through the years, with the evolution of the social and political scenario of the country. The regional food has evolved from different parts of the country. The topography of the country is varied and is responsible for different produce in different parts of the country. There are the deep forests called Schwarzwald (Black Forest) in Bavaria, the high mountains, which border Austria, and the wide valley of the river Rhine.
The staple in German diet, Kartoffel (potatoes), were introduced in the diet by King Frederic II. He gave the seeds to people and they were taught to grow potatoes. Therefore, Kartoffelsalat (potato salad) is a staple in Germany. With the different wars ravaging the country, the food has also adapted different styles. After World War II, the food of East Germany has developed a lot of similarity with Russian cuisine, while West Germany continued traditional German cuisine.
Famous German Dishes
Often meat is marinated in earthenware or glassware. Metal utensils are not used, to avoid the acidic marinade from reacting with the vessel.
- The most famous German food has to be Sauerbraten. It means pickled roasted meat. Originally horse meat was used to make Sauerbraten, however nowadays beef and pork is used for the same. The roast needs to be kept in a marinade made of vinegar, wine, spices, and vegetables for three to four days to a maximum period of ten days, before it is roasted.
- After Sauerbraten, comes Sauerkraut. Finely shredded cabbage is fermented by using lactic acid bacteria. However, this dish should not be confused with coleslaw. It is often served with bread or meat.
Although, we always speak of drinking a soup, in German, a soup is always "eaten". The soups are made using vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, green beans, cabbage, etc. and/or meat like beef, pork, turkey, etc. Along with these soups the bean and potato soups are very popular.
- Zwei Bohnensuppe: This soup is made using two beans, which is very popular all over the country.
- Weisse Bohnensuppe: This is a white bean soup.
- Linsensuppe: This is a lentil soup, the recipe of which is similar to the lentil soup made all around the world.
- Kartoffelsuppe: It is a chunky potato soup, that is served with salad and some bread.
- Aalsuppe: Although the name means eel soup, it is not necessarily made from eel. Normally it is made with vegetables and fruits.
There is a huge variety of dishes, which can be made a part of the main course. These dishes originated in different parts of the country, but now are made in all parts of Germany, albeit with variations. You will note, that most of the main course dishes are roasted dishes.
- Hasenpfeffer: This dish is made with rabbit and hare and pepper. It is often roasted or also can be slow pot cooked.
- Gansebraten: This is a roasted goose, which has a stuffing of apples and prunes. Often the goose is marinated overnight with different herbs and it is roasted in the morning.
- Labskaus: This dish is similar to hash and is made with beats, onions, potatoes, either meat or fish, and is topped with fried egg.
- Königsberger Klopse: The literal translation is meatball from Königsberg. They are meatballs made from mixed meat, which are poached and served with a thickened white sauce that is flavored with lemon and capers.
- Himmel und Erde: This main course dish is made either with sliced or pureed apples and potatoes with blood sausage.
Sausages are the staple food Germany. There is a long tradition of preparing sausages in the country, where they are known as Wurst.
- Bauernwurst: This is a farmers sausage made using pork, which is later smoked.
- Bratwurst: It is a roast sausage made using pork. Sometimes, it can also be made using a combination of veal and pork.
- Leberwurst: The translation of this sausage is liver wurst, which is made using pig's liver.
- Blutwurst: This is the sausage, which is commonly known as 'blood sausage'. It made by mixing pork with breadcrumbs and blood.
- Weisswurst: This is a mild sausage, that is light in color and made with veal.
- Knackwurst: Veal, pork, and garlic is mixed to make this sausage, which is later smoked.
There is a large variety of accompaniments, which are made in the German kitchen. However, most of the dishes have potatoes as the main ingredient.
- Kartoffelsalat: You will note, that this dish often accompanies many meals. It is a potato salad made using olive oil and vinegar. You can refer to German potato salad recipes for the exact recipe.
- Bratkartoffeln: Onions, bacon, and fried potato salad.
- Reibekuchen: Potato pancakes, that are served with apple sauce.
Desserts and Sweets
There are a number of German dessert recipes, which have become a rage all over the world.
- Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte: Does the name black forest cake sound familiar? Well yes! The layered cake with cherries and cream comes from the Bavarian province of Germany.
- Marzipan: Paste frosting are molded into shapes. This sweet tastes like almond and sugar.
- Baumkuchen: This tree cake, which is said to be the 'King of Cakes'.
German food is incomplete without beverages? Can you think of a drink, which Germany is very famous for?
- Beer: Yes it is the beer. An Oktoberfest without beer is unimaginable. There are many categories of beer. The normally brewed beer is also classified into two categories, namely dunkels (dark-colored) and helles (light colored). Apart from these two, beer can be brewed to the full spectrum between the two extremes.
- Wine: In Germany, predominantly white wine is made. Normally it is on the sweeter side. A characteristic of this white wine is the pleasing flowery bouquet it comes with. This nation also has its own variety of sparkling wine, called Sekt, however, it is extremely different from the French Champagne.
- Juices: Germans are very fond of juices, called Saft. However, it is the Apfelsaft, which steals the show.
- Coffee: Coffee is a very popular non-alcoholic beverage throughout the country. Normally black coffee is had at breakfast in almost all households.
You can use the easy recipes to make these authentic German dishes. Another attraction is the wide variety of bread and cheese. Quark is the most famous cheese, which contrary to belief is not cottage cheese, yet it is softer than regular cheese. The bread recipes differ from others used around the world. Apart from these traditional foods, there are a number of junk food items as well. There are many easy and authentic recipes, which you will come across. From this article on 'famous German food', it is clear, that a number of items, which have become a part of the world cuisine, have come from this country.