The average person in Germany will consume 61kg of meat in a year. The diet is heavy on pork, and meat is often pot-roasted – sour roasts, where the meat is marinated in vinegar, are traditional. Sausage is a staple ingredient in German cuisine, and there are many variations of wurst, smoked-meat sausage and minced-spiced-pork sausages.
Fish and seafood are not traditionally part of the German menu, although trout is currently the most popular fish and others such as sardines and pike are available in most restaurants.
Vegetables are often used in soups and stews, but they are often served as a side dish – fried onions, different types of cabbage, or white asparagus when in season. Potatoes, dumplings and thick noodles are all popular side dishes, usually flavoured with black pepper, thyme, chives, parsley or laurel, with mustard reserved for flavouring sausages.
Much like the British
, Germans enjoy savoury breakfasts. White bread rolls are traditionally served with cold meats or meat spreads, although fruit compotes are now often added to the breakfast menu.
Traditionally, the German lunch is the heaviest meal of the day, like in Spain and Italy, with dinner being a light, casual meal, similar to the typical breakfast but with brown or rye bread to make open sandwiches. These days, however, working hours no longer accommodate this, so lunches are often bought down the road from the office, and families enjoy a larger meal in the evenings.
If you’re looking for a traditional German meal, the small family-run restaurants that dot the cities are your best bet. Many of these establishments have had the same menu for decades, and you’ll be guaranteed a unique, authentic experience. Often staff will not speak a foreign language, so it’s worth signing up for a German course London
has to offer before taking off.
has become popular in Germany over the last couple of decades, and foodies from all over the world now visit restaurants in Germany to try meals created by the incredible chefs who work there. The town of Bergisch-Gladbach near Dusseldorf is one centre of excellent cooking, with the two castle hotels featuring three-star restaurants. Restaurant Vendome is run by the chef Joachim Wissler, who specialises in light German cuisine. In the castle hotel Lerbach, the chef Nils Henkel took over from his mentor and maintained the restaurant at three-star level using only local ingredients.
The village of Baiersbronn in the Black Forest also features two three-star restaurants. Knowledge of the language is helpful when visiting areas away from the usual tourist trail, and German language courses such as the ones offered by www.stgeorges.co.uk
can really enhance the experience.
A trip to Germany is not complete without some serious indulgence in the country’s delectable culinary offerings.