Food&Drink

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WICKEDLY GOOD

German cuisine has evolved as a national cuisine through centuries of social and political change with variations from region to region. The southern regions of Germany, including Bavaria and neighbouring Swabia, share many dishes. Furthermore, across the border in Austria, one will find many similar dishes. However, ingredients and dishes vary by region. Many significant regional dishes have become national, but have proliferated in very different variations across the country presently.

 

Breakfast (Frühstück) commonly consists of bread, toast, and/or bread rolls with cold cuts, cheese or jam (Konfitüre or more commonly called Marmelade), marmalade or honey, eggs, and (often strong) coffee or tea (milk, cocoa or fruit juices for children). Deli meats, such as ham, salted meats and salami, are also commonly eaten on bread in the morning, as are various cheeses. A variety of meat-based spreads, such as Leberwurst (liverwurst), are eaten during breakfast as well.

Traditionally, the main meal of the day has been lunch (Mittagessen), eaten around noon. Dinner (Abendessen or Abendbrot) was always a smaller meal, often consisting only of a variety of breads, meat or sausages, cheese

Smaller meals added during the day bear names such as Vesper, Brotzeit (bread time), Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake), or Kaffeetrinken. However, in Germany, as in other parts of Europe, dining habits have changed over the last 50 years.

Today, many people eat only a small meal in the middle of the day at work, often also a second breakfast, and enjoy a hot dinner in the evening at home with the whole family. This is also the reason why the availability of cheap restaurants close to the office or the existence of a factory canteen cannot be assumed automatically.

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MEAT

Meat is usually pot-roasted; pan-fried dishes also exist, but these recipes usually originate from France or Austria; Schnitzel is particularly popular in Germany. Several cooking methods used to soften often tough cuts have evolved into national specialties, including Sauerbraten (sour roast), involving marinating beef, horse meat or venison in a vinegar or wine vinegar mixture over several days.

A long tradition of sausage-making exists in Germany, including hundreds of regional variations. More than 1500 different types of sausage (German: Wurst) are made in Germany. Most Wurst is still made by German sausage butchers (German: Metzger, Fleischer or Schlachter) with natural casings.

Among the most popular and most common are the Bratwurst (literally fry-sausage), usually made of ground pork and spices, the Wiener (Viennese), which may be pork or beef and is smoked and fully cooked in a water

bath, and Blutwurst (blood sausage) or Schwarzwurst (black sausage) made from blood (often of pigs or geese). Thousands of types of cold cuts also are available. Regional specialties, such as the Münchner Weißwurst (Munich white sausage) popular in Bavaria or the Currywurst (depending on region, either a steamed pork sausage or a version of the Bratwurst, sliced and spiced with curry ketchup) popular in the metropolitan areas of Berlin, Hamburg and the Ruhr Area, can also be found from all regions of the country.

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DESERTS

A wide variety of cakes and tarts are served throughout the country, most commonly made with fresh fruit. Apples, plums, strawberries, and cherries are used regularly in cakes.

Cheesecake is also very popular, often made with quark. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake, made with cherries) is probably the most well-known example of a wide variety of typically German tortes filled with whipped or butter cream. German doughnuts (which have no hole) are usually balls of yeast dough with jam or other fillings, and are known as Berliner, Pfannkuchen (only in the Berlin area), Kreppel or Krapfen, depending on the region. Eierkuchen or Pfannkuchen are large, and relatively thin pancakes, comparable to the French crêpes. They are served covered with sugar, jam or syrup. Salty variants with cheese, ground meat or bacon exist as well, but they are usually considered to be main dishes rather than desserts. In some regions, Eierkuchen are filled and then wrapped; in others, they are cut into small pieces and arranged in a heap. The word Pfannkuchen means pancake in most parts of Germany.

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DRINKS

Beer is very common throughout all parts of Germany, with many local and regional breweries producing a wide variety of superb beers. The pale lager pilsener, a style developed in the mid-19th century, is predominant in most parts of the country today, whereas wheat beer (Weißbier/Weizen) and other types of lager are common, especially in Bavaria

 

A number of regions have local specialties, many of which, like Weißbier, are more traditionally brewed ales. Among these are Altbier, a dark beer available around Düsseldorf and the lower Rhine, Kölsch, a similar style, but light in color, in the Cologne area, and the low-alcohol Berliner Weiße, a sour beer made in Berlin that is often mixed with raspberry syrup. Since the reunification of 1990, Schwarzbier, which was common in East Germany, but could hardly be found in West Germany, has become increasingly popular in Germany as a whole.

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FOREIGN INFLUENCE

The first wave of foreigners coming to Germany specifically to sell their food specialties were ice cream makers from northern Italy, who started to arrive in noticeable numbers during the late 1920s.

With the post-WWII contacts with Allied occupation troops, and especially with the influx of more and more foreign workers that began during the second half of the 1950s, many foreign dishes have been adopted into German cuisine — Italian dishes, such as spaghetti and pizza, have become staples of the German diet. The pizza is Germany's favourite fast food. Turkish immigrants also have had a considerable influence on German eating habits (like Döner kebab). Chinese and Greek food also are widespread and popular. Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, and other Asian cuisines are rapidly gaining in popularity. Many of the more expensive restaurants served mostly French dishes for decades, but since the 1990s, they have been shifting to a more refined form of German cuisine.

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