Food Culture and Tradition

Food, People and Culture Resources

German Foods Commonly Used


Pork, beer, potatoes, sauerkraut, and black bread are not only German staples, they are simple hearty foods that German ingenuity has raised to gastronomic heights of perfection and diversity. With newer trends to lightness and simplicity, people increasingly forgo soups as being fattening, and eat less bread and potatoes but more eggs. It is a pity that soups are losing popularity (except in rural regions where they are still a staple), for German soups are always richly satisfying, based on vegetables, flour-thickened, and flavored with smoked pork. No part of the pig is wasted and much of the pork produced finds its way into the dozens of varieties of sausages as well as hams, bacon, chops, and roasts.

Beer is the national drink and is of exceptional quality everywhere, with many areas specializing in several distinctive types. Potatoes are served in every conceivable form and guise but none so wondrous as the fluffy dumplings of Thuringia. Sauerkraut, too, shows up in soups, stews, blended with fruits, or dotted with caraway seeds – the perfect bed for roast goose or plump sausage.

German bakery is renowned not only for its flavor – the honest taste of good fresh ingredients – but also for its lack of coloring, additives, or chemicals, which the Germans dislike. Throughout, honest natural flavors of good fresh foods in hearty servings all washed down with fine beer rep-resent German cuisine at its best.

German cuisine can also be divided into cookery based on wine and cookery based on beer. At one time only the aristocracy was permitted to hunt and dine on game and wine; today it is only a question of taste and preference. Wines are served mostly in a Weinkeller and foods are more apt to be light and delicate from main dish to airy desserts. Beer is served in a bierlokal, brauhaus, or keller and is the hearty partner to filling savory dishes usually served in generous portions.

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