When you think of Germany, you generally think of your standard Currywurst. Maybe throw in a pretzel and a pint of beer to seal the deal! Well, you’re not entirely wrong. But German food goes well beyond sausages and beer. Here are a few of the treats I’ve discovered so far:
Everyone has to try Currywurst if they come to Berlin – even if you’re vegan, there will be an option for you. This meal consists of sausage (usually pork, but you can be a bit experimental if you wish), covered with curried tomato sauce and paired with a side of chips. It is a great snack, best appreciated after a historic walking tour!
I had never heard of this dish until I moved to Berlin. Spätzle is a German-style shredded pasta, mixed with cheese, herbs and topped with caramelised onion. Throw in a beer and it will keep you going for hours.
3. Döner Kebab
In Berlin in the 1970s, a Turkish immigrant set up a stall in West Berlin and started selling these Döner Kebabs – perfect to eat on-the-go. These dishes can now be seen on sale in nearly every second shop in Neukölln! It is basically roasted meat and salad in bread – though I usually go for the halloumi version.
A strange name, yes, but the Germans use it with everything. Sweet or savoury, this white, thin yoghurt substance can be mixed with all sorts of flavours. I have tried a sweetened blueberry quark for dessert and a savoury herb quark dolloped on steaming baked potatoes for dinner. Very tasty!
The average German person will frequent the bakery every morning to select fresh bread rolls (brötchen) and bring them home to devour with all sorts of cheeses and spreads. It really is a hearty way to start the day. There is no comparison with bread rolls in Australia! They just don’t taste the same.
Traditionally a Bavarian snack, these knotted breads covered in large grains of salt are the perfect accompaniment to beer. I had my first pretzel four years ago with a friend in Göttingen, but have sampled more since my recent arrival in Berlin. I am looking forward to heading South and sampling some pretzels in their homeland.
7. Sausages with Sauerkraut
Germans love there sausages, or weiner, as they like to so elegantly call it! You’ll see a huge selection of different shapes and sizes in the supermarket. In fact, every corner in Berlin will have a man carrying a tray, ready to fry up your choice of weiner and pop it in a bun. The reason these vendors carry their meaty wares on their shoulders is so that they don’t have to pay rent for a stall.
Sausages happen to go very nicely with sauerkraut, a finely cut cabbage with seasoning. On my very first visit to Berlin, I remember ordering a sausage in a bun, with sauerkraut on the side. I sat somewhere along the Unter Den Linden and admired Brandenburg Gate from afar, thinking ‘This is the life!’
I recently had the opportunity to make a traditional dish called Flamkuchen, popular in southern Germany. It resembles a pizza, with a thin bread base topped with sour cream, leek, goats cheese and herbs. The delicious, crispy dish is perfect with a glass of wine, or two!
9. Rote Grütze
This was the first dessert I tried when I moved to Germany – a red berry pudding topped with Vanilla sauce. Even after a hearty meal, I always manage to have a bit of left over space for this tasty treat!
In Berlin, we call it a Pfannkuchen. In the rest of Germany, this word means pancake, so instead, it is referred to as a Berliner. Whatever you call it, is is basically a delicious donut filled with jam and covered in white icing. They come in a variety of flavours, but I’m told the strawberry version is the most traditional!
This is just a taste of what Germany has to offer – I look forward to updating you on more treats as I get to know the country better! What would you recommend next?