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Sep 30, 2012 03:51 PM

Hoping for a German Cookbook Recommendation


I am still learning a lot of the basics around cooking, but I would like to become a little more knowledgeable. My fiance remembers his grandma's German meals very fondly, so I would love to be able to recreate as many dishes as I can. Since I am a beginner, I probably need a cookbook with detailed instructions (and pictures if possible). I am okay with trying challenging dishes a long as all of the steps are outlined.

Does anyone have a good German cookbook on your book shelves that you might recommend? Are there any particular books to avoid?

Amazon lists over 500 different cookbooks on German cuisine, so I was a bit overwhelmed trying to sort through all the page results and reviews there.

I hope there is not a similar thread available somewhere, I tried searching for German+cookbooks and didn't find many results.

Thank you for any suggestions that you might have! Have a wonderful day!

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  1. The Flour is Different:
    I got this for my sister as a gift as well.

    No pictures, but it does have traditional recipes (albeit with ingredients common to the American kitchen as some things, like quark, can be difficult to source in some parts of the country). It's pretty accessible. I do have a couple of other books, but they are actually in German.

    My sister has Mimi Sheraton's The German Cookbook. I understand that it is pretty well received, but I haven't any first-hand knowledge so I won't venture an opinion or guess here!

    ETA--I just looked at my copy, which was printed in 1986. The recipes are from German immigrants to the US, so there is the possibility that an instruction may be unclear. But I've never had an issue with that--and if you do have concerns, there's always Chowhound!

    2 Replies
    1. re: nofunlatte

      I was thinking of Mimi Sheraton's book, too. I had a copy, but didn't get to cook from it before I had to let it go. (I need to get another copy.) But as you say, it is well received, and it looked fairly comprehensive and traditional. No photos that I recall, but surely enough in it that would be simple and basic enough for an inexperienced cook to try. Get it (or any German cookbook) from the library first if you are unsure.

      1. re: nofunlatte

        Thank you for suggesting The Flour is Different and The German Cookbook. It looks like Amazon has a good used copy of the first book for sale for a penny plus shipping, so that just might be my first purchase if I can't find a copy at the library first. Thank you for helping me!

      2. German cooking within my family for the past century and a half for which I have records has rarely involved complicated or exotic dishes. Simple foods, simple cooking. Substituting ingredients (e.g. ricotta - or even mascarpone for quark ) is a fairly simple process.
        I would recommend you rely on the Internet for sites where German foods are demonstrated with images and, in some instances, video, so that you become accustomed to the German style of cooking with recipes you're comfortable with before you shell out a lot of money for a cookbook with recipes that you are likely never to use.
        German cooking, much like Italian cooking, is regional and many of the "German" recipes you'll hear about may actually be Hungarian, Italian, French, Swiss, etc. in origin. If you think that's confusing, try to tie down the origin of some German recipes that are actually Jewish variations on something originally German.

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          Also Amish recipe books might be of interest to you.

        2. I have in my possession AUTHENTIC GERMAN HOME STYLE RECIPES, which in 1994 was in its 4th edition. The author, Gini Youngkrantz. The book also mentions a website:

          My brother who lived in Germany uses this cookbook although he has not given me much feedback on it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ruthie789

            This website seems extra helpful, especially because it has a long list of free recipes! Thank you.

          2. Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to give me ideas! I never imagined that I would get any replies so quickly. Thank you! :)

            1. The New German Cookbook by the incomparable Jean Anderson is better than the Sheraton by a lot.

              1 Reply
              1. re: buttertart

                I have The New German Cookbook also. Although, I haven't gotten around to cooking from it.