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what do Germans eat?

I'm sure not every German eats the same thing, but...I'm curious. Aside from the stuff Americans think of as German, or things I've seen on the Food Network, but if that's all went by, I would think everyone had beer for breakfast, sausage for lunch...for example, do more people drink coffee in the morning, or tea? Big hot breakfasts, or small, like the French? What's a typical workday lunch?

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  1. Hmm. As you suggest, I'm sure there isn't any one answer. But as my non-representative case study, I will say that my sister's German / Swiss boyfriend does, indeed, eat a lot of meat (different varieties of wurst and cold cuts) and potatoes (rosti, boiled). He generally eats a roll with cheese and deli meat for breakfast, with hot coffee. He drinks cold coffee all throughout the day (ugh). He makes great spaetzle for dinner, served up with bitter German pale ale and more cheese. And he downs grilled steaks / burgers like a champ. I've seen him eat vegetables maybe twice in my life, and then, it was only to be polite. I'm surprised he hasn't died of scurvy.

    1. Watch Bourdain's No Reservations Berlin when it comes back around on reruns.

      I lived there for 3 years in the 1970's, in a small town in the Black Forest - my landlord was a Baker and the Metzger (butcher) was across the street. The local vegetable/canned goods place was a couple of blocks down the street. The refrigerators were half-size compared to ours, but everybody pretty much went shopping every day. We all walked to the stores, carrying small bags (they never had paper or plastic bags, just expected you to have your own).

      Coffee, definitely, rather than tea. The beer usually started with lunch. The local brewery delivered beer the same way that milk used to be delivered here. You would leave the empties out on the steps, and in the morning, you'd have fresh beer! Breakfast was continental plus - plus fish, (herring, smoked salmon or trout), plus cold cuts, but not usually bacon or sausage. Cereals and fruits with yogurt was common.

      Lunches were like ours - could be anything from a sandwich to a small salad (klein salat - a mixture of pickled vegetables), to a hot meal. I think my friends enjoyed most, buying a schnitzel-brot and a beer from the roadside trailers - the equivalent of fast food before Germany was totally invaded by our fast foods. The Germans made a medium-hard crust, airy crumb rolls called brotchen, about half the length of our sub rolls, and it could have a small cutlet (veal or pork) in it (schnitzel-brot), or pickled herring (herrings-brot) and just about anything else.

      Supper was the big hot meal - a nice schwein mit kraut, sauerbrauten, or a rost beef - certainly schnitzels, wursts, rolladen. Lots of boiled potatoes, vegetables. Nice slabs of bauernbrot (hearty rye bread). Lots of spatzle (a cross between dumplings and egg noodles).

      Of course, I remember the nights - going to the local ratskeller or club. The foods there were some of my favorites: Schinken brot - a slice of the bauernbrot with thin sliced schwarzwald schinken; Schmalz brot - the same bread with a spread of rendered goose fat with bits of crunchy onions and skins (grebenes!); and a hearty gulasch soupe, with lots of meat chunks.

      Our town (Hofen) was on the Enz river, and there was a fiorellen (trout) fishery built into the side of a hill that had a creek running into the river. You could select the trout you wanted from one of the pools dug into the hillside, they would net it, bonk it over the head with a club, clean it and you could take it with you, or they would cook it up for you right there on their grill in some foil (with their own seasonings). You could sit by the creek, eating trout after trout and drinking some of the best lager ever from the local brewery.

      We would go to a festival - the xmas festivals were best - marketplaces full of little tents with sellers of everything form xmas ornaments to hand-made crafts. But the thing was the food - even if you bought nothing, you could buy some gluhwein (hot mulled wine), buy a curry wurst, or any of a dozen kinds of wursts with rolls or on a stick, or maybe a brotchen with smoked trout... walk around, freezing to death, but being kept warm by the hot wine. There was a weinachtsmarkt in virtually every city - the biggest of all was in Nuremburg.

      Here's a few of good sites for German food:


      3 Replies
      1. re: applehome

        Here's another source for wurst, etc. for Bay Area folks:

        1. re: applehome

          I was stationed in Nuremburg at William O'Darby Kaserne in 1979, and I was sponsored by a German family throughout my time there. Most foods I always loved was saurkraut and brats, and german potatoes. Mornings were as what was described for breakfasts: Continental with lots of cheeses, breads, and heavy dark rich coffee. My favorite food was 1/2 hanchen, which is 1/2 side of chicken on rotisseri, and their form of calzones. We had a bread factory and every morning at 4:00am, with the windows open, we could smell it in the barracks. That was always our wake up call. I also learned about calamari/squid in Germany and I loved it there. So whenever I get the chance here, I will have it.

          1. I think both cimui and applehome got it right. I lived in Germany for a year doing a Study abroad in college (1998) and lived with a family for a month in 1994. We ate Brotchen (beautiful little hard rolls you bought daily from the local baker) for breakfast, covered in butter and then topped with either cheese slices (butterkase usually) or cold meats. The also did butter and jam, and sometimes we had Musli but with yogurt, not milk. We drank juice, but they diluted it 50% with carbonated water - they thought it was too sweet straight. And nice, strong, black coffee. Lunch was a sandwich of the same stuff from breakfast, but maybe on sliced Bauernbrot, a dense, brown bread. For dinner there were often "Wurst" - a million kinds of sausages either boiled or grilled. Lots of boiled or roasted potatoes, but new potatoes, not russets. Not much in the vegetable department, as the others mentioned. I think cucumber salad was about the only salad I saw that year. And "steak"...pork steak, beef steak, any kind of meat steak. And never any further clarification beyond "steak". They were always grissly pieces of meat, unlike the beautiful fillets we eat here. Often smothered in sauces too. But they're not kidding when they say meat & potatoes. I once had Raclette at a party, which is a special cheese you put in these little mini pans with choped meats and veggies, then slide into a little oven to melt. I think this might be the German version of fondue - or actually, maybe this is Austrian? I've seen raclette cheese at Whole Foods, but it's stinky stuff and I've never found a use for it without the special oven. Oh - pretzels!! There are pretzel stands everywhere with these amazing soft pretzels!
            As far as a workday lunch, when I worked for a German company, the HQ had a cafeteria with hot food every day. They also had beer in the vending machines at work. It's no unacceptable to have a beer with lunch at work - in fact, it's cheaper than soda.
            And since applehome mentioned the Weihnachtsfest, I have to bring up Gluhwein, which translates to "glowing wine". It's hot, spiced red wine mixed with a little fruit juice that you drink to stay warm at these outdoor Christmas festivals. It's awesome! I've tried to make it at home, but it's just not the same.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jboeke

              Raclette is Swiss/French, actually, but popular pretty much everywhere. See this recent thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493611

            2. I also lived in Germany for a couple of years in the '70s and agree with applehome. I especially remember brotchen for breakfast, with cheese, cold cuts, and jam. I was most intrigued by things that one culture takes for granted but are unheard of in another, like the fact that Germans eat breakfast not off of plates but off of small boards, like little cutting boards. It's just a given that this is how you eat breakfast. They also eat eggs with breakfast but generally hard or soft boiled, not fried. And never cooked meat in the morning - I remember how horrified my roommates were the one time I fried up some bacon for breakfast - they almost kicked me out of the house for stinking the place up!

              The bacon itself was Danish, by the way, it's not a German product. They have a product called speck that looks like bacon but is not smoked and is typically used more the way we might use fatback.

              10 Replies
              1. re: BobB

                Having been to Germany numerous times it all boils down to "pork and beer"....kind of an inside joke with my co-workers....

                1. re: BobB

                  Oh, we eat off of plates. I've actually only seen those boards used for dinner. Go figure.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Strange. My experience was the same as Bob's: everyone ate breakfast off of little round boards. This was in Bavaria, so could be a regional thing.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Nope - I lived in Hamburg, about as un-Bavarian as you can get.

                      1. re: BobB

                        Well, lingua's voice is the most authentic one on this board, IMO, so I don't know where that leaves us.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          I agree, lingua knows her Germany. Perhaps instead of regional it's a generational thing - as I said, I lived there in the mid-70s. Could be the younger generation has changed things up.

                          1. re: BobB

                            I think it's more likely that dishwashers make eating off of plates a little more practical than it was in the past. In any case, I can confirm that those little boards are still used, and still used for breakfast. Really, they are used for small bread-based meals, so breakfast and "evening bread" dinners. It is a little old-fashioned and informal, but not just for old people.

                      2. re: pikawicca

                        I've only eaten off of rectangular boards :-)

                        I think it might be both regional and generational. I've always eaten breakfast off of plates, but recall now that my dad had small wooden boards that we'd eat off of our Abendbrot. Not round, tho.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          We also had rectangular boards, I don't recall ever seeing a round one.

                          1. re: BobB

                            Must be a Bavarian thing. Those crazy mofos.

                  2. Wow! applehome sure gave you an impressive low-down of our national culinary treasures already. If I, as a born-and-raised German, may chime in:

                    Breakfast: I think most weekdays, people go with coffee, perhaps a glass of milk, and the aforementioned Brötchen (the ubiquitous breakfast roll - if it's done right: crusty brown on the outside, fluffy and soft on the inside). It's impossible to get a decent Brötchen in Berlin, unfortunately. It's like eating decoy Brötchen -- they taste like cardboard. Must be the water.

                    The weekend breakfast, however, is an elaborate one: brötchen and a variety of bread (with poppy and/or sesame seeds, rye rolls, schwarzbrot, pumpernickel); a variety of cold cuts: mortadella (w/pistachios), leberwurst & teewurst, smoked and/or boiled ham, jams, honey, etc. Lots of coffee. And what would breakfast be without a soft-boiled egg :-D.

                    Lunch used to be THE large meal of the day, as dinner (aka the aptly named Abendbrot = evening bread) tended to consist of sliced bread, more cold cuts/cheeses, and perhaps some salad on the side. I would say this is still the case in many families.

                    It's also not unheard of to have a beer or two with lunch, and then *gasp* returning to your workplace.

                    I've never been much of a lunch person -- that said, I am also probably not a very typical German, so for me, the main event is dinner.

                    Potatoes are big in Germany, undoubtedly. You won't find a lot of low-carbers there :-D. Pork is also still popular, but there is a great variety of local foods and regional specialties such as smoked/pickled/marinated fish in the North, and all kinds of doughy things like spätzle, dumplings, maultaschen (ravioli) in the South.

                    On top of that, there is an abundance of ethnic restos all over Germany, and Germans are quite happy with eating all kinds of international food. I'd say most Germans who go out for dinner wouldn't necessarily seek out a German resto, but go for Italian, or Greek, or Chinese, etc. etc. etc.

                    1. I, too, lived in Germany for 4 years in Germany. When I was in a German hospital for a couple of weeks, I remember quark for each breakfast.

                      I remember Kaffeetrinken almost every Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 with my neighbors. There were no less than 5 cakes and everyone had a taste of all of them. If there was any cake left, they would eat it for breakfast. Birthdays were celebrated with even more elaborate cakes. Frankfurter Kranz, Schwartzwalderkirschtorte, Hazelnusskuchen.

                      We'd pick apples and drank the applewein.

                      We often had endivensalat with kind of a cream/vinegar dressing. I've never been able to replicate it. And Celeriesalat.

                      I remember Hawaiitoast (ham, pineapple, cheese) broiled in an oven. I remember

                      1. I can't believe no one has mentioned the one vegetable the German people go crazy for every Spring, white asparagus (spargle). My one trip there was 3 weeks during the spargle season and every restaurant had some variation. Everyone kept telling us to eat the spargle, so we did and were not disappointed.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Sloth

                          You're right, sloth, how could I forget? Well, I didn't really, I had mentioned it in so many other threads about German food.... but yeah, people go apeshit over Spargel. It's called the 'white gold' for a reason. Only 8 more weeks till spargel season. Yowza :-D

                          1. re: linguafood

                            I would also note that, unlike in the US, just about every German I've ever met absolutely adores brussels sprouts. :-)

                            1. re: Behemoth

                              Because when properly prepared, they are absolutely delicious!

                          2. re: Sloth

                            haha, yes, white asparagus was a big one...and it is EVERYWHERE

                            1. re: Sloth

                              oooooooooh, white asparagus! same in Holland, in May thats all people eat!!! I miss them so dearly.... Green ones don't even get close!

                              1. re: Sloth

                                "Veronika, der Lenz ist da,
                                Die Madchen singen tralala,
                                Die ganze Welt ist wie verhext---
                                Veronika, der Spargel wachst!"

                              2. When I visit family in Germany, we usually have fresh rolls from the village bakery for breakfast, cold cuts, salami, a few cheeses, a boiled egg and yogurt on the table. Strong coffee, mineral water and a bright orange multivitamin mixed fruit juice seems to show up in most homes I've visited.

                                Lunch is the hot meal for the day, and if it's at home, it's usually some sort of stew, schnitzel or roasted meat, with salad, vegetables and potatoes, dumplings, spaetzle or noodles. In the villages, some people go home to eat their hot lunch, if they work nearby.

                                Each day around 4, we usually have a sweet, usually at least 2 choices- a fruit kuchen and a non-fruit option of some sort, with strong coffee. I've noticed that when there are 4 or 5 choices, our relatives usually just try 1, possibly 2 of the sweets, whereas I have a tendency to want to try each one. They are much better with moderation that I am!

                                At around 8, we have Abendbrot- a cold supper very similar to breakfast. Cold cuts, liverwurst, canned fish, cheese, bread, rolls, with some salads, sliced tomatos and cucumbers. Usually have some herbal tea after dinner, like rooiboos or chamomile. Some fruit is usually placed on the table after dinner.

                                When we're in the bigger cities and eating at hotels, the breakfast is usually included, and offers a similar choice of cold cuts and breads, and the nicer places sometimes have Rotegruetze- a berry pudding served with vanilla sauce.

                                My 30something cousin who lives in a big city but works in the suburbs has a hot lunch in her company's cafeteria each day, but she said the food quality is very good. Around noon in the big cities, you'll see people getting a quick sausage and a beer, standing. In Munich, some people have a Weisswurst sometime between 9 and 12- for some reason you're not supposed to eat it in the afternoon.

                                Ice cream is a very popular thing to eat out in Germany, but I've never had any served when I've been at someone's house. The restaurants often have a separate ice cream menu, with dozens of sundaes available, as well as EisKaffees and other ice cream beverages.

                                When eating in a restaurant at dinnertime, we usually ended up having a hot dinner.
                                What I find so nice in many German restaurants is that they'll have a separate menu with the seasonal specials, like pfifferlinge, asparagus, wild game. I wish more Canadian restaurants would do that!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: phoenikia

                                  Most of the EisCafes in Germany were run by Italians when I was there in the 70s. Which means it was gelato. My German friends did not like German ice cream. I'm not sure that is the general feeling of Germans, but yes, we usually went out to the EisCafe for ice cream.

                                2. Nostalgic from reading everyone's descriptions! We have very traditional friends in Cologne of a certain age (our age). Because we are all retired, breakfast lasts for hours, with pots of coffee, all the wursts, cheeses, quark, jams, and of course the boiled egg with its little crocheted cozy! Served on boards, I might add. Often that brings us all the way until 3:30 or 4 for the coffee and cakes. Those are a must for them! Dinner can be light --- herring, potatoes, salad --- or large--- pork steak or wiener schnitzel or the like, almost invariably potatoes, one variety more wonderful than the next, and often a salad, before a "light" dessert. Kohlrabi is so popular with our friends that we have taken to calling Cologne the Big Kohlrabi! And it is delicious the way our friend makes it. Last year we were in Germany for two weeks in spargel season and had it almost every night. Heaven! Because we are in Koeln, sometimes we have wine for dinner, but most often we will have Kolsch. Even I, who don't have a head for alcohol, can drink a fair amount of Kolsch. If it isn't brewed within the precincts of the city, it isn't Kolsch. We love German food, and haven't found a good restaurant in NY or Western MA yet. Once upon a time there was Luchows in NYC, but that's a long long time ago. Seems like you have to make it at home, and even then you can't begin to find all those wursts, potatoes, etc. etc. Ah, the memories. Guten apetit!

                                  1. This is a bit like asking "What do Americans eat?" You'd probably get the most consistent answers for breakfast, but to say "Germans eat sausages and pork" is like saying "Americans eat hamburgers and steak." They do, of course, but there's just so much more. Amazingly enough, you find German vegetarians who aren't starving. Some of the posts have touched on the variety of traditional foods. I was born in Germany, grew up in a German household and have visited frequently my whole life. Here are a few things that I always go for when I'm there:
                                    trout in butter with slivered almonds, deep-fried camembert with lingonberries, in the winter: mache (lamb's lettuce) and endive, crepe soup, lentils and spaetzle, doner kebap (loads of Turkish immigrants), excellent Italian food, superior ice cream sundaes - like nothing you've ever had in the States - Maultaschen (southern German ravioli), wild boar, wild mushroom dishes, Zwiebelkuchen (onion tart). There is more fish in the north - I'm from the south. Guten Appetit!

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: suse

                                      I forgot about Maultaschen! Thank you for remembering!

                                      1. re: suse

                                        My, I'm getting hungry! I always loved Maultaschen. And Zwiebelkuchen. Other favorites--Kaesespaetzle (spatzels baked with cheese and onions), Dampfnudeln (sweet steamed doughy dumplings, I'd get them served with cherries) and my alltime favorite--Butterbrezel. I'd split the Brezel in half, slather it with that yummy butter, and eat it. I always ask for this whenever I go over to Germany.

                                        To address the original poster, I've seen some similarities between German and American food habits--a move toward more convenience foods, for example. It makes sense, since their lives are busier and the "traditional" family--Vater goes to work, Mutter stays home with the Kinder--is hardly the dominant force anymore. Also, an increasing amount of available ethnic foods. The Germans like to travel and they bring home their new tastes and finds.

                                        1. re: nofunlatte

                                          I don't know where you live, but if you're ever passing through Durham, NC, you've got to stop by Guglhupf, an authentic German bakery that has Brezeln. They're the real deal.

                                          1. re: suse

                                            Do they also carry Brotchen???? what i wouldn't do for a real kurbiskornbrotchen..(pumpkinseed roll)...

                                        2. re: suse

                                          oh yeah, the ice cream sundaes are works of art

                                          1. re: suse

                                            Right, there are plenty of vegetables in Germanyn even besides the 100 different ways that cabbage is prepared ... although I always had to fight with the vendors at the markets to sell me the greens of various root veggies (turnips, kohlrabi, etc). You'll often find the youth just comping down on raw veggies -- carrots, tomatoes, peppers, what have you. Also, social, cultural and musical events on the anarcho/antifa/non-SPD-left end of things tend to have vegetarian food, even though most there aren't veggies: vegetable soup, lentil soup with bread (and sometimes the choice of a sausage), Semmelknödeln with creamed mushrooms, etc. I can't believe no on ementioned Knödeln -- they're essentially Bavarian gnocchi, but baseball sized, usually made from potato, but they can be made from old bread (the Semmel- mentioned above).

                                            But honestly, I don't understand why Germany has a reputation for being the land of sausage, potatoes and cabbage. It's the land of bread! Bread there is like nowhere else, and runs an amazing spectrum. You can't get a great baguette like in France ... but white breads, brown breads, rolls, black breads, sunflour-seed whole wheat, light-rye, dark-rye ... in one's day-to-day life, it's easy to find a dozen totally different styles, and dozens of variations. Not to mention Turkish bread, and if you look for it, you can find good Italian bread too.

                                            1. re: tmso

                                              Bread! Yes, bread is the best in Germany...does anyone know where to get authentic bauernbrot and broetchen in San Francisco???

                                            2. re: suse

                                              Zwiebelkuchen is also popular across the Rhine in Alsace. Yum.

                                              Isn't Maultaschen Alpen? Southern Germany, Austria, northern Italy, probably nearby parts of Slovenia?

                                              Where I stay when in Germany is white wine country, though of course there is also beer.

                                              And as in Britain - also traditionally meat-heavy - there are quite a few vegetarians, or semi-vegetarians, or simply people concerned about eating more veg and fruit.

                                              And the most exquisite organic wholemeal breads on earth.

                                              By the way, for vegetarians, there is very good veggy liverwurst in both Netherlands and Germany. And non-pork liverwurst in the many Muslim delis. (I don't know about the Jewish ones - assume that it was popular pre-Nazism; don't know about the remarkably restored Jewish community in contemporary Germany).

                                              And as everywhere, food from round the world.

                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                I believe Maultaschen are Swabian. A most delicious meal, and one that I miss (and I'm not inclined to make them here).

                                                Also agree with tmso wrt Germany being the land of bread! The sheer number of bread choices available send me into a delightfully confused state--should I get that one or that one?

                                                And Dampfnudeln--another southern German specialty (a sweet steamed yeast dumpling). Served with cherry jam.

                                            3. Hahaha and don't forget kebap and pizza at least that is what a lot of the young kids were eating when I was in Hiedelberg.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ktmoomau

                                                Guys, what's a lot of fun for the intrepid traveler is to go to an American city settled by Germans and watch the traditions mix, such as Fredericksburg, a delightfully picturesque little town in the Texas Hill Country. At the Auslander Restaurant and Biergarten, for instance, the appetizers will not only be the typical sausage, cheese, and pumpernickel combo, but also nacho dip, chips and salsa, and other Tex-Mex specialties. The TV's, of course, are much more likely to be showing American football rather than soccer, and to top it all off, Auslander's Spring Music Festival features country and blues musicians!!! Is America the Great Melting Pot or what???

                                              2. I spend a summer in Germany and Switzerland living with various relatives in small towns.

                                                3 things I remember the most:

                                                The wonderful fresh crusty bread, real butter and preserves for breakfast, usually eaten outside in the nice morning air (the homes we stayed in had no air conditioning, so eating outside was a treat)

                                                My cousins and I liked to go sightseeing during the day but my older, very traditional German great aunts admonished us to be home in the middle of the day for lunch, THE big meal of the day and one they spent a great deal of time preparing. Derailed more than one sightseeing excursion but we went with it.

                                                The cold cuts and cheeses - two things I really don't like but they were offered all the time.

                                                1. Interesting responses. I have friends in Berlin, Cologne, and Hamburg. Strangely, they're all vegetarian!

                                                  1. We have a small German community here amongst the Portugese, Mexican, Swiss and Italians. There is a small family owned restaurant here that offers along with the usual American fare, some of their wonderful food.

                                                    The grandma makes the most delicious pickles that are sort of a quick bread and butter pickle (addicting). With all their German dishes you can order Kas Knephia or better known as Cheese Buttons! delicious!

                                                    1. i lived in germany for a year, they don't much care for the "big hot breakfast"(which made it hard to find stuff like scrambled eggs unless you were staying in a hotel somewhere that catered to tourists), they'll eat stuff like bread/cream cheese/salami, maybe a boiled egg. or muesli. i'm actually mostly vegetarian and was fine in restaurants i would usually order kaesespatzl(which is noodles/cheese) or maultaschen which are like ravioli(filled with meat or spinach, etc) i was studying abroad and noticed that a lot of my flatmates ate frozen pizzas constantly, ha. they eat a lot more fresh food than most americans, like in the grocery stores you see them with their baskets full of produce, there were TONS of amazing italian restaurants(i think i miss that the most haha) most everyone i knew had one of the little stovetop espresso makers and would drink that in the morning. OH, one of my favorites things that i ordered a lot in restaurants was beer battered camembert...breaded/baked camembert seemed to be on a lot of menus and was also sold frozen in the groceries...and you can't forget the bakeries(which a lot of people went to them for quick breakfast/lunch) they have these wonderful sandwiches with a slice of fresh mozzarella and then like tomato or red pepper....or the pretzel rolls with herbed cream cheese, potato soup was pretty popular, in austria i had the absolute best cream of garlic soup ever...i would actually travel back to austria simply to eat that soup, i think(it was at a place called Siebensternbrau) and then of course you can't forget bier, then there was flammkuchen(which is actually french) which is a sort of pizza that would have like feta+spinach or bacon+cheese...i would usually have one of those when we went out for a few beers...it's weird i missed ridiculous things like ranch dressing while i was there but now that i'm back(i've been back for a year) i miss EVERYTHING i used to eat there(and seldom eat ranch dressing!), they also drink buttermilk(there is flavored buttermilk, fruit flavored, chocolate, etc....all of them i thought were disgusting but they looove them)...there are doener kebap places all over town(i don't actually know what type of meat they use...lamb? and the halb hanchen(half rotisserie chicken), and the gelato stands everywhere.... sorry for the rambling post, i really miss germany!

                                                      1. Check out this site for lots of German products


                                                        Don't forget the Nutella

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                          And here's another link! Great wursts made the old fashioned German way, plus other cold cuts krauts etc

                                                        2. I've lived in MA most of my adult life, but was raised near NYC by German immigrants who immigrated and met here as young adults. My father was from near Hamburg, so he liked fish, most often pan-fried whole founder, served with home-made potato salad. Other than that, my mother's dinners were strictly meat-and-potatoes. We had a roast of some sort at least 3 times a week. When my father traveled for work, she sometimes made chili(non-spicy:beef, onion,bell pepper, kidney beans,tomato paste) or spaghetti and meatballs. I was in college before I ever tasted anything with hot peppers. Atypically, my father never drank at all and my mother occasionally had a beer if we were having pork chops. Both of them had their sandwiches on boards. We always had wonderful onion rye from a German bakery, where my father got brotchen every Sunday morning - we had them with butter and jam. Guess we were American enough to have bacon and eggs most days, sometimes hot cereal in winter.Always orange juice. My mother would have considered herself unfit if she gave her child cold cereal or a PB&J. There was always a lot of fruit. Never dessert with lunch or dinner, but often something sweet mid-afternoon, and dessert mid-evening. Both grew up fairly poor, while Germany was recovering from WWI. My mother's big splurge after she got her first week's pay in America was to buy 4 oz. of bologna and eat it in one sitting. We were ordinary middle class, but I think both took unspoken pride in doing well enough financially that they didn't have to pinch pennies on groceries. The bakeries of my youth were German and/or Jewish; I grouse about bakeries in the Boston area, which seem to use more honey and less butter. Some years back I was passing through my old hometown - the bakeries were gone and when I entered the German deli, which looked the same, my heart sank to see an Asian man at the counter. He'd never heard of Karl Ehmer or Schaller&Weber, much less the liverwurst that was my usual childhood lunch. I asked where I could get a fresh-baked rye and the place he directed me to turned out to be an Italian bakery - Tom Wolfe spake truth!
                                                          However, Costco's roasted garlic loaves are a cousin to a good onion rye, and - oh, frabjous joy! - when Roche Bros opened in Burlington I shrieked with delight when I saw their Schaller&Weber display. What I knew as the Gold Medal Liverwurst is now called Gold Medal Liver Pate but is the same, and the Goose Liver one is even better. They are very rich but you don't need much - I get 5-6 sandwiches from the 8oz tube.
                                                          If you think you don't like liverwurst, try Schaller&Weber.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                            So you do know about Karl's Sausage Haus on Rt 1N in Saugus, right? Roche Bros has nothing on them. They're a real metzger, plus they bring in some good breads, including bauernbrot and brochen. They make everything except for a couple of items (head cheese, butter) which they resell Karl Ehmer. But their leberwurst, coarse or fine ground is incredible, as is their schwarzwald schinken - and many wursts - all made in house.

                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                              I tried some of their wursts years ago - and gave it to the dogs. Reminded me of some a friend from Wisconsin once brought. Schaller&Weber is not at all similar. I was also disappointed at the breads when I visited German John's Bakery in NH. Maybe these places are considered authentic for some regions but not for the German community in the greater NYC area.

                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                All emigrant communities eat and drink in ways that do not evolve in the same way as the home country (or countries, if we mean the German-speaking countries). In some ways adapting to the new land, in others much more conservative than the modern food of the home country. I'm studying German (though have certainly noticed the same with respect to Italian food) and at a Goethe Institut event, the restaurant catering provided very traditional (delicious but heavy) Bavarian food, which some of the German teachers couldn't eat - because they were vegetarian (as many educated young people are in Germany nowadays).

                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                  I ran into an older guy that was the son of a metzger in NYC - he had long since moved away from the old neighborhood (I don't remember, but I think he was talking about Greenpoint or Williamsburg in Brooklyn). He was a neighbor of my relatives at a camp by a lake near Saranac. When we set up the grill for the Karl's Sausage wursts I had brought with me (plus the schwarzwald schinken and leberwurst and bauernbrot and brotchen with tubes of senf, etcetc...) he practically fainted. He loved every morsel - it reminded him of his father's shop. I even posted about it then:

                                                                  Anyway, after living in Hofen in the Black Forest for 3 years, renting form a baker and living across the street from the metzger, I can vouch for Karl's authenticity. The schwarzwald schinken is exactly on the money. The landjaeger is of the same type I had from the metzger, although admittedly, there was a lot of variation for landjaeger even within that area.

                                                                  I know what you mean as to the differnces regarding Bratwurts - what passes for Bratwurst in the grocery store must be enjoyed by the people in Wisconsin, as nobody I know from Germany or having grown up with real German food thinks it's anything close.

                                                                  But Karl's isn't even close to that stuff - in fact, Karl has a fine grind (weiss wurst) and a coarse grind, as well as rostbratwurst, with different spicing - and in fact, this is exactly what the metzger in Hofen had done - which certainly makes it more authentic to me. His bauernwurst is very similar to what I had there.

                                                                  Exact spices and even the meats used may differ from place to place or region to region, so I understand that you may not like Karl's products. But feed it to the dogs? At these prices? You must just be filthy rich or really pamper your dogs!

                                                                  And lagatta - hoch duetschers disparaging the bayerne? Oh gee, that must not happen very often... I used to think that we treated our own Kentucky hillbillies badly until I lived in Germany. Lederhosen and oom-pah bands are even bigger jokes to the Rheinlanders than Americans! For me? Deep fat fried curry wursts... mmmmm. And beir... What else is there to say?

                                                                  1. re: applehome

                                                                    "And lagatta - hoch duetschers disparaging the bayerne? Oh gee, that must not happen very often... I used to think that we treated our own Kentucky hillbillies badly until I lived in Germany. "

                                                                    except in this case the hillbillies make more money and have the better schools...

                                                                    1. re: applehome

                                                                      One of the vegetarian teachers was a Hochdeutscherin, from Hannover, but the other was from Munich. Though there you still may have the urban/rural divide. After all, people who do hard work on farms and in forests certainly need far more calories than people like them - or me - who work on computers all day or teach language classes. Same here in Québec,

                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                        Yes - but I was speaking to the prejudices and bigotry which was still real and palpable when I was there the 1970's. It most definitely included the food, though it had a religious base. I lived with Schwabs in the Black Forest who never seemed that bigotted in day to day conversation, but all it took was a trip up to Frankfurt or Koln to almost immediately start hearing disparaging remarks about how the hillbillies do things. It could be that subsequent generations - like today's youth - have grown beyond this, as I think they have, to a great degree, in our own country. I hope so. But as a young person myself, back then, it took me by complete surprise - I thought all that had been exorcised (silly me).

                                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                                          Excuse me but the Schwabs never liked the Bavarians and vice versa.
                                                                          Now back to what Germans eat, they eat a lot of food besides wursts and schinken. The Bavarians love their gravy with dumplings( both potatoe and bread) and also enjoy wonderful liver dumpling and marrow dumpling soups.
                                                                          As a proud 1st generation American ( both parents born and raised in Germany) I got to enjoy many many great German meals (some of which I have posted recipes for).

                                                                          1. re: RichK

                                                                            Actually, I got anti-Schwab comments from the hochdeutchers as well - the general attitude being against all the mountainfolk - Bayerne and Schwab alike (even made fun of my southern style greeting of Crist Gut vs. Gros Gut, or using low-German words like bissle). But the people I lived with never gave me any dire warnings against other Germans, food or otherwise - something that came out a lot when just dining with a *lot* of the northerners.

                                                                            Although I had to make a lot of trips to Ramstein (Weisbaden) and every time I went out the door in the early am to make the drive, Frau Blaich would roll up her eyes and say something about me being a poor boy - having to deal with those crazy people again - more to do with the NATO bosses than anything else... (and then she'd slip me a jelly roll for the trip!)

                                                                            Yeah - if you look at my original post from February, I gave a much greater run-down of the food I learned to love over three years of living there.

                                                                            1. re: RichK

                                                                              That is true, Rich, but nowadays a lot of contemporary German food is lighter - sure they are rightfully proud of their wonderful traditional dishes (oddly underestimated in the canons of gastronomy) but the German-speaking countries are also at the forefront of organic food (the beer always has been natural - both beer and wine are governed by stringent and ancient purity laws) lovely vegetables and fruits from small producers, great cheeses etc.

                                                                              I picked up a lot of the "bissl" etc diminutives from Viennese I know.

                                                                              But appelhome, Wiesbaden (in the Rheingau) is in the middle Rhine, certainly not "Northern". Far too much wine around to be a part of Northern Germany!

                                                                              1. re: RichK

                                                                                How about the Schwammerlsuppe ? Very delicious with bread dumplings !!!

                                                                                10 cups beef broth
                                                                                1 bunch parsley
                                                                                2 large carrots or parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
                                                                                6 tablespoons butter
                                                                                3 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                                                                1 onion, chopped
                                                                                1/2 pound porcini mushrooms, sliced
                                                                                1/2 pound chanterelles, sliced
                                                                                Salt and pepper to taste
                                                                                1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
                                                                                1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
                                                                                4 egg yolks, beaten
                                                                                1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
                                                                                1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

                                                                                Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot.

                                                                                Separate the parsley stems and leaves. Add the parsley stems to the broth,

                                                                                along with the carrots. Chop the parsley leaves and set aside. Cover the pot,

                                                                                reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

                                                                                Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy skillet until very hot.

                                                                                Add the chopped onion and a third of the mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, a few grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt. Saute over high heat, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are browned.

                                                                                Add one third of the paprika. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and paprika.

                                                                                When all of the mushrooms are done, return them to the skillet, stir in the tomato paste; cook, stirring, until it is incorporated. This may be done up to 2 hours before serving.

                                                                                Remove the parsley stems from the soup and discard them.

                                                                                Add all the mushrooms to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the mushrooms and carrots; set aside.

                                                                                Puree the soup, then return the puree to the pot. Add the reserved vegetables. Return the soup to near boiling. Ladle 1 cup of the hot broth in 3 additions into the egg yolks, stirring vigorously. Stir egg mixture into soup. Heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir lemon juice and 1 ladle of hot soup into creme fraiche. Add to soup, stirring vigorously. Taste for seasonings.

                                                                                Serve garnished with remaining parsley.

                                                                                Serves 6 to 8 as a first course

                                                                                Bavarian bread dumplings
                                                                                Categories: Breads
                                                                                Yield: 4 servings

                                                                                10 To 12 slices stale bread
                                                                                1 ts Salt
                                                                                1 ½ c Lukewarm milk
                                                                                3 sl Bacon, diced
                                                                                1 sm Onion, chopped
                                                                                1 tb Minced parsley
                                                                                1 ts Marjoram
                                                                                2 Eggs
                                                                                Breadcrumbs if needed

                                                                                Cut bread or rolls, with crusts, into small pieces, put in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Pour lukewarm milk over bread and let soak for an hour. If there is excess milk in bowl at that time, pour it off. Fry bacon in skillet with chopped onion until bacon is almost crisp and onion is soft and golden. Toss in parsley and marjoram and saute 3 or 4 minutes. Add bacon, onion and herbs to bread mixture. Mix eggs in thoroughly. If dumpling batter is to soft to form, add breadcrumbs, a tablespoon at a time, until batter is firm enough. With wet hands or two wet tablespoons, form a test dumpling. Drop into boiling salted water and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes. 10 to 12 Dumplings FROM "The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton

                                                                                1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                                                  20 minutes is way too long to simmer these delicious dumplings. It should only take about 8 to 10 minutes for them to rise to the top and then they're done. (Have made these from my mother's recipe many times).
                                                                                  Goes great with a good beef or veal goulash.

                                                                                  1. re: RichK

                                                                                    maybe it depends on your altitude, the Alps remember.

                                                                                  2. re: Jimbosox04

                                                                                    I just copied your recipe for the dumpling recipe you wrote and will soon be making it,I too am german and you all have me so homesick for my Mutter's cooking,even though I am an old woman now, I was very lucky to have had my Mom until a few years ago,I find myself cooking German more and more often now,haven't seen anyone mention rot kohl or sauerkraut we eat a lot of that with potato dumpling's yes to all the german lunch meat's which I'm no longer privy to unless I have it shipped in, which brings to mind stiglmeier www.stiglmeier .com I was lucky enough to find a german deli in kansas city mo who carried their line of products,having been raised in Chicago we always had several german Deli's but Alas no more,Meyers Deli closed they carried all the brands of lunch meats from Shaller&Weber to Kroemanns to Stiglmeiers all are good.
                                                                                    Now I live in Arkansas and have to make do with what I can find sometimes Aldi's in Springfield has some german wurstchen,then I load up.Thanks for the memories.

                                                                    2. We spent about 2 weeks in Germany this summer, and the food choices there are interesting. We sampled very rustic beer hall food all the way to 3 star Michelin food, and sometimes it felt like we were in different countries.

                                                                      So going from as far North as Rhineland to as far south as Oberammergau, the constants I saw were weiner schnitzel, and wurst of some sort in most traditional German food menu. This is usually accompanied with starch - fries, spatzle, potato dumplings, and a salad. The salad can be simply lettuce, but most usually a composition of lettuce, julienned marinated carrots, kraut, cucumber dill salad.

                                                                      Foreign invasion was there, from ethnic food to fast food. Lots of Burger Kings at auto plaza, and McD's in major cities. You can see lots of asian influences, and doner kebap (really gyros in US) everywhere. Currywurst (kind of on the nasty side for me) was also very prominent.

                                                                      Breakfast was as others described. They usually have kaiser rolls in the breakfast bread selection. There's also quark - a type of soft cheese that's quite pleasant.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: notmartha

                                                                        A housemate's mom is Polish,is now 88 and lives in San Francisco. her daughter moved back to Poland-and sends a variety of Polish ladies who are Caregiver/cook/housekeeper live ins. Interesting here-the approach to breakfast is similar. They do cold cuts,meats and cheese with some fruit and maybe sliced cucumber without any of the typical USA fry everything breakfast. Spaetzle..which I love, is often a dinner item as is marinated Red Cabbage and Borscht variations are a specialty with more versions than I expected. It seems the Poles favor roast meat,beef,chicken,pork,with a heavy gravy, are less sausage fans than Germans.

                                                                        Growing up in Cincinnati-a town with a lot of Germans, "Brats" were regular fare...but I never saw a Burrito or Sushi till I moved to California. Cincy Brats were what-out here- are called Bockwurst. What in Cali are called Brats or Bratwurst is a Milwaukee thing full of gristle chunks and whatever. The bockwurst is a pale gray,generally a rather fine grind of veal and pork. Ideally, you broil over charcoal until it's partly blackened and the skin splits, Then you split it with a knife-spread a bit of dijon type mustard on it and serve on a round bun/roll..I never knew as a kid why a "brat" was always on a "burger" bun though it was shaped similar to a hot dog. Maybe it's a matter of opening up the sausage to better balance the skin and the tender inner.

                                                                        When I was young my dad had a deli. I remember German cheeses, BeerKasse which smelled nasty and Limburger which smelled worse. Turns out a good Beerkasse is a pretty good cheese,especially with a good dark ale or stout. Limburger is still on my list of things crazy people eat like blue Jello and chicken feet.

                                                                      2. Here's a German food website that was recommended to me by a friend in Frankfurt: http://www.kochbar.de/
                                                                        Photos/videos are interesting even for the non-German speaker.
                                                                        Am being sent 2 cookbooks by Tim Maelzer (his videos are on the website), who I gather is the Jamie Oliver of Germany - highly recommended by my friend - can't wait to get my mitts on them.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          The clip on the opening page is from a popular show called "das perfekte dinner", where 4 contestants take turns making supper for the others. It's fun to watch for purely voyeuristic reasons and it gives a good idea of what's fashionable food-wise amongst "normal" Germans right now, even if the execution sometimes goes off the deep end. Perfekte Promi dinner is the same, but with random german mostly B-list celebrities cooking for each other. Sort of a cross between MTV Cribs and a weird sociological experiment, that one.

                                                                          1. Turkish doner is a very popular fast food in Germany.

                                                                            1. When I was in Germany, it was sausage, mostly bratwurst, schnitzel and pretzels all day long...I loved it! Oh, and beer! It was our first stop in Europe and my first realization that Europeans drink alcohol at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                You were eating and drinking like a tourist, not like a local (which is fine, just don't confuse the two). It is common to have a beer with lunch, though.

                                                                                1. re: tmso

                                                                                  Yea, well understand, that was our intention :) Those were my recent eats on a post-graduation trip, but I was born there and I'm sure my mom would have a legitimate a list of a few actual German daily delights served to me as a tot by my lovely nanny Frau Bitsch

                                                                              2. Rather than launch into some long-winded description of the food I had, I thought I'd just share some photos of my lunches during my business trip to Hamburg last June.

                                                                                German food can be pretty regional, and Hamburg's Hanseatic cuisine bears more than a passing resemblance to Dutch or Scandinavian cuisine.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                  That was a funny, good idea! I'll try to think of this for my next business trip to Bavaria, and follow up with a regional variation!

                                                                                  1. re: tmso

                                                                                    Look forward to seeing your pics ;-)

                                                                                  2. re: klyeoh

                                                                                    Great idea, but would be nice to know what the food is on the dishes

                                                                                    1. re: WandaMesser

                                                                                      Not that difficult to figure out, no?

                                                                                  3. Schnitzel of various kinds and roast chicken are popular in Gasthaus menus.

                                                                                    1. Well, I may be a bit late to the discussion, but...

                                                                                      This is just based on my family, relatives, and family friends from the 70s thru nowadays:

                                                                                      Breakfast: bread with jam, honey, cream cheese (quark), possibly cheese or cold cuts. Coffee. Basically a small breakfast. The bread might be a hard roll, dark bread, toast, or "knaeckebrot."--hard fiberous wafers

                                                                                      Lunch: The biggest meal. Anything from "meatloaf/meatballs" (Frikadellen) or baked fish to Applepancakes, potato pancakes, schnitzel, pork cutlet with some potato or noodle and cooked vegetable. A small salad on the side, very often cucumber salad with lots of dill and lemon juice as dressing

                                                                                      Dinner: Smaller meal, generally cold. Bread with cold cuts and cheese, sliced tomatoes, pickles, maybe herring, or herring salad or pickled herring with onions.

                                                                                      Sausages might be for lunch or dinner. Generally, in my experience, when eating at home, sausages are boiled, not grilled or fried. Because of this, I suppose, I have a strong preference for boiled sausages over fried or grilled.

                                                                                      Of course, there are pastries on special occasions or at "coffee time" in the afternoon.

                                                                                      Typical condiments are mustard, horseraddish, horseraddish with beets. Over the years, through globalization or americanization, I noticed the ever increasing presence of salad dressings and ketchup among the condiments.

                                                                                      A few other curiosities are the fact that coffee is not very sweetened (not much sugar), I'd say desserts tend toward dry and perhaps a bit less sweet, not so creamy. Perhaps a tendency to include a lot of sweet/sour tastes, such as stewed fruits, compots, fruit mixed into meat dishes, herring with sourcream and apple, etc....

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                        This is informative, as I will be in Weisbaden in a few weeks. Anything regionally significant there? Also, are there any German food sites in English?

                                                                                        1. re: nickdanger

                                                                                          I don't think it's too regional as I tried to be pretty non-specific. In Hamburg, my region of specialty, there might be more fish (hering or even eel dishes), but I'd say the overall look should be similar--even going beyond Germany to Poland (which I know very well) or some other Central European countries, it should be quite similar with the differences just in the specialty dishes (more of this and less of that so to speak). In the Rhine-Main region where you're going they're famous for wines, and also apple wine. They probably eat a few more dumpling type dishes, too.

                                                                                      2. I have to note the ironic conflation of the OP's name & the topic.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: JoeBabbitt

                                                                                          hahahaha...very clever, JoeBabbitt :-)

                                                                                        2. Must say, as the original poster--thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my question, which was posted--can it be?--six years ago. I've learned a lot from reading all your responses. I was working for a company that did food photography at the time, which was why I was asking in the first place. The company has since folded, and everyone has moved on to other things, but I I still feel like I learned something about German cuisine by reading all your responses. I look forward to visiting Germany someday and trying some of these amazing sounding dishes!

                                                                                          1. My office lunches in Hamburg the past couple of weeks:

                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                              Whoa. Those are some hearty day-time meals. I'd need the rest of the day off to take a nap, I think.

                                                                                              But then the temps haven't exactly been summery lately, eh?

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                lingua - I am a really big fan of klyeoh's appetite. Love it when he's visiting the UK. The photos are mere snacks to the man, standing as introduction the evening meal.

                                                                                                You back soon, k?

                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  Not yet, Harters. Really miss London, but have to do Karachi, Pakistan, next. I'll start a new thread there called 'What do the Taliban Eat?'

                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                  Hamburg's been pretty erratic, summer comes & goes.

                                                                                                  1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                                    Yes, Berlin's no different, sadly.

                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                      I'm going to Nuremberg in a month, and coming from southern AZ, I hope I freeze my arse off.

                                                                                                      And have some good beer and wine and food.

                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                        You'll def find all of the above. Tho freezing yo ass off might be asking a bit much...