German cuisine, based on the origins of Eastern Germany (formerly the German Democratic Republic), has grown with the contribution of West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) cuisine. The East German cuisine is generally influenced by Eastern European countries (such as Russian, Hungarian). Throughout the history of food and cultural exchange, the East Germans who went to these countries, and the immigrants who came to Germany from these countries, have constantly helped to development of the German Cuisine.
3 Traditions of German Cuisine
Today in Germany, there are three groups in the regional kitchen: Thüringia, Saxony, and Saxony-Anhalt.
Thüringia is a province in Central Germany. The capital city is Erfurt. With plenty of forests, this state is also one of Germany’s best hunting grounds. This region is also known for the variety of meat dishes and wurst varieties prepared in different shapes.
Saxony is located in the east of Germany. The capital city of the state is Dresden. Close to the border of the Czech Republic. Vegetable farming in the state covers most of the production. Also, the coffee here is also very popular.
The capital called Saxony-Anhalt is Magdeburg. Cereal growing is very important in the region. Wheat, barley, oats, and rye are the most important products. Fishing and cheese production is also quite common.
Dishes with Meat in German Cuisine
In the German kitchen, meat is one of the basic foods. They mainly use pork, steak, and poultry. Chicken is the most popular poultry. Meats are usually eaten as roast, Schnitzel or stew. Hogs, rabbits, and deer are meat types that can be found throughout the year. Among the indispensables of the German kitchen, there are varieties of sausages (Wurst). There are 1,500 different types of sausages in Germany, including Bratwurst, Currywurst, Knackwurst, Bockwurst, and Weißwurst.
Fish is not as common as other types of meat in German recipes. The most consumed fish species in the German kitchen is trout. Seabass, carp, and Tuna fish are among the most popular varieties.
Dishes with Vegetables in German Cuisine
The most popular vegetables are potato, cabbage, carrot, spinach, turnip, peas, and beans. They usually prefer vegetables as side dishes as well as meat or fish dishes. The potato, which is as important as the meat in the German kitchen, is not regarded as a vegetable by the Germans. The potato, which entered the German kitchen at the end of the 18th century, is an indispensable food. There are many different tastes including Kartoffelpüree, PommesFritesyada in short, Pommes, Kartoffelsalat, Kartoffelknödel, Kartoffelpuffer – Reibekuchen.
Deserts in German Cuisine
Among the indispensables of the German kitchen, there are varieties of pies and cakes. The most preferred types are fresh fruit. German use apple plums, cherries, and strawberries in making sweet. Another popular dessert is cheesecakes made from Quark cheese. This sweet called Käsekuchen is quite tasty. Quark cheese is a kind of creamy cheese. It is similar to a mixture of cream cheese and filtered yogurt. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, also known as the famous cake of the Baden state, is a very well known cake made from cherries. Frankfurter Kranz, known as the famous cake of Frankfurt and Hessen State, takes its name from the image of a wreath cake. It is a light and creamy pastry.
The desserts called Apfelstrudel are worth trying. It is tricky to make this dessert consisting of fruits wrapped in fine dough. Bretzel, made from a dough similar to bagels, is one of the known tastes of the German cuisine with its taste.
600 Types of Bread
Germany is the country with the most bread variety. There are about 600 bread types ranging from white bread to bran, rye and cereal bread. German cuisine on bread is closer to Eastern Europe than the West. Many types of bread are obtained from a mixture of both wheat and red rye flour. This kind of bread called Mischbrot is consumed lovingly.
Brown bread is more popular in the German cuisine than white bread. Germans’ consumption of bread usually accompanies breakfast and dinner in the morning. Stulle in Berlin, Butterbrot known as Bütterken in the Rhine region is an indispensable part of a great day for a German.
Breakfasts and dinners in the morning are usually light meals in the form of sandwiches. Small rounded bread known as Brötchen, Semmel, Schrippe, Rundstück or Weckle have an important place in the German cuisine.
Popular German Drinks
Although wine consumption is widespread in many parts of the country, Germany’s national drink is Beer. In Germany, annual beer consumption per capita is about 107 liters. Germany is one of the countries that consume the most beer after the Czechs and Irish in the world. There are currently 990 brewing companies active in the country. They produce 7 thousand 503 different types of beer. 259 of them are alcohol-free. The most common varieties of beer in Germany; Wheat beans (Weizenbier, Berliner Weiße, Leipziger Gose, Hefeweizen) and rarely unfiltered ones (Pilsener, Kölsch, Altbier, Bock).
Thanks to immigrants from other countries throughout history, German cuisine and daily eating habits have been influenced by many cuisines. Especially after World War II, foreign food culture has entered into German cuisine with the influence of foreign workers. This interaction is still going on. You can find Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta or Turkish food döner, especially in big cities. International fast food chains and Chinese restaurants have spread to many parts of the country. The popularity of Japanese and other Asian cuisines is increasing day by day. Today, although German food culture is a mixed kitchen, it maintains its unique place in world cuisines with its deserts, beer, wurst, and bread varieties.