Feb 14, 2013

Traditional German Dinners

It's about time I visually documented some traditional German dishes we've cooked up over the past year! To tell the truth, we rarely even cook German food at home. On average, maybe once every 1-2 months? I personally don't crave it very often, but I must admit, some dishes are indeed comforting. As you can see, potatoes and meat are favoured ingredients in the German kitchen. As well, the following dishes are typically eaten here for lunch or dinner. Props to the bf for sharing his culture with me...

Grünkohl mit Pinkel ― Wow, is this dish a fave amongst Germans especially during the autumn and winter months! It's essentially kale cooked in a broth with bacon, potatoes and sausages. Hearty fo' sho! It's only popular in certain areas of Germany and here in Braunschweig, they call it Braunkohl (go figure). The sausages are eaten with mustard. An accessible yet "only for acquired tastes" kinda dish.

Schnitzel + Kartoffeln + Senfsoße ― Well, well, well. Schnitzel is mighty popular all over this area of Europe... in Austria and many Eastern European countries, for example. Schnitzel can be found on the menus of pretty much every German restaurant. Pork is most common, but schnitzel made of chicken or veal isn't out of the ordinary. Paired with boiled potatoes in a mustard sauce (interesting but I think I still prefer good ol' ketchup), this dish couldn't be more German. What's missing? Greens aka veggies!

Currywurst + Pommes ― Over a year ago, I introduced the Currywurst to you guys here. That was the first and last time we ever made it at home. Why? Simply because one can get it any/everywhere here, and it's decently cheap. I think you really gotta love sausages (like the Germans do) in order to truly appreciate this dish. Unfortunately, I've never been a huge sausage fan so even a curry sauce won't sway me into preparing this dish over a stir-fry or sth. Mm, the sudden craving for Swiss Chalet fries!

Fischstäbchen + Rahmspinat + Kartoffelbrei ― Fish sticks are equally loved here as they are in North America, though they're prepared in different ways: paired with potatoes and veg, baked in casseroles, eaten with plain ol' ketchup, eaten in bread rolls, etc. We just prepared it the way André remembers eating it often as a kid... fish sticks with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes (and jazzed up with fried onions on top)! Creamed spinach can be found in the frozen food section of any supermarket.

Kartoffelpuffer + Apfelmus ― They're super oily, admittedly delicious and easy peasy to make. The supermarkets sell bags of grated potatoes where you can simply pat them into pancakes and fry 'em up yourself (which is what we did here). My first instinct was to dip them in ketchup (how Canadian) but when I first tried them with applesauce, I became a believer! For more flavour, fry them in LARDDD!

Wurst + Sauerkraut + Kartoffelbrei ― Just another classic combo of German ingredients on one platter. The Germans really do live up to the stereotype of eating sausages all the time. Pairing sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes is also very common. Sauerkraut's OK but I couldn't eat it that often. SOUR!

Strammer Max ― Here's something you'd never find in Canada! A slice of bread topped off with a big fat slice of Leberkäse and a fried egg. Big whoop. Leberkase is by all means not my favourite food in the world, as I find it salty and I don't like its hot-doggy texture. This was the bf's dish and I only tasted it out of curiosity. There are many other variations of Strammer Max (don't ask me why they call it that) of which I have no desire to try. Ah well. You win some and you lose some.


  1. Everything seems to be fatty :D... Germans are so high because of this reason, I hope.

  2. @Palani: I don't think German food is thaaat fatty, but it's definitely really heavy. And not enough veggies are involved!

  3. I was staying with my mum over the weekend and I had just been telling her about how central the potato is to German cuisine; then I discovered this blog post and was able to illustrate my point perfectly! We are both into the idea of taking photographs to document things we eat so we appreciated these pics :)

  4. I hope you will make some trips to the south and southwest of Germany, to taste some other dishes.

    There is a wonderful dish: Bacon,pears and green beans. More beans and diced pears, less sliced oder diced bacon (ok, that's also from the northern part...)

    One important side dish is the potato salad, made with vinegar, oil, broth, red onions and chopped chives (without mayonaise).

    Not to forget the delicious soups, hot pots and and stews. Mostly made with vegetables and dumplings (made of semolina, potato, wheat and so on) - but they are seldom served in restaurants.

    Then: several kind of noodles, like the swabian "Spätzle", stuffed noodles akin the italian ravioli.

    Wonderful dishes only made of dumplings, filled with plums or apricot, or - salty without fruits - made with cheese, served with mushroom sauce.
    We also have some nice fish.

    But one of the best parts of German kitchen are the sweets: Tartes, pies, flans - try it.

  5. @Charlotte: Thank you for your lovely comment! There ain't nothinnnn' wrong with documenting everything you eat. :) Yes, isn't the potato super central to German cuisine?! It's definitely their #1 beloved starch.

  6. @Ralf: Thanks as well for your highly informative comment! I haven't spent time in southern Germany yet, but thanks for the heads-up! Wow, bacon paired with pears sounds so untraditionally German. I've made potato salad before but only the way we do it in the north - the creamy version rather than the southern version without mayo. :/ I've also tried Spätzle before and I loooooove it! I want to try making it myself at home! The other dishes you mentioned sound so Asian-inspired. I definitely haven't seen anything like that here. Not yet, anyway. :)