German Food; The Good, the Bad, and the Take it or Leave it

 
I wanna talk about German food and some of the stuff that I like and don't like.  As I've mentioned before, I really didn't know too much about German food before I moved to Germany.  I've eaten at plenty of restaurants thus far and I definitely have an opinion on the food.  Most of these dishes are popular in Germany and some unique to Bavaria.  As you can see, it's almost impossible to become a vegetarian here.  Let's get started.
 
Good Main Dishes
 
1) Nurnberger Brats- These little sausages are unique to Bavaria, Nurnberg to be exact and they are pretty darn good.

2) Bavarian White Sausages- This white sausage is obviously unique to Bavaria and it's usually served with pretzels and mustard.  Although I don't eat these because they are made with veal, I had to include them because they are a staple of Bavaria.

3) Doners- These aren't exactly German.  It's Turkish and they are similar to Gyro's in the US.  But I had to include them on my list because they are all over Germany and probably one of the best things you will eat here.  Trust me.  They are usually made with lamb or Turkey.


4) Salad- Germans make their salads with slaw, shredded carrots and cucumber, and even cold beans.  They usually use the same vinegar based dressing for everything too.  At first I didn't like their salads but now I love them.

5) Baked Fish-  It might take a little getting used to but the whole baked fish is lightly fried and then baked and it is delicious.  If you don't want to pick through the bones you can just ask for a "fischfilet."

 Good Side Dishes
 
6) Potato salad (kartoffelsalat)-  Some more items on the good list is homemade potato salad.  I never liked potato salad in the States but this is great.  It's a typical side dish.

7) Pumpkin Cream Soup (keurbiscremesuppe)-  The pumpkin cream soup is seasonal and it's amazing.  It has pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds in it.  I went to an entire pumpkin festival here in the fall.  Pretty much every soup here is good.
 
8) Cheese (kase)-  What kind of cheese?  Doesn't matter.  All kinds of German cheese are usually good.  And way cheaper than cheese in the States.
 
9) White Asparagus (spargel)- I didn't know there was such a thing as white asparagus before I moved to Germany.  It's really good, but seasonal.  I show you how to make a great Spargel soup here.
 
 
10) Red Sauerkraut- It doesn't look like it would taste good but I love red sauerkraut.  It's a great side dish for meat and potato dishes because it sweetens it up.
 
10) Potato Pancakes (kartoffelpuffers)-  Potato pancakes can be found in a lot of European countries and they are yummy.  Paired with applesauce or ketchup, even better.  I got these at the Heidelberg Christmas Market.
 
 Good Desserts and Drinks
 
12) Bee Sting Cake (bienenstich)- I just had this German cake for the first time recently and it is soooo good.  It's made with honey, cream, and sliced almonds.  It's not overly sweet like it looks and it's addictive!


13) Beer- Okay even though I don't drink beer I had to add it to the list. Germany is obviously known for its great beer and if I had to drink beer I'd like it from here.  Or maybe Belgium.  Radlers (beer and lemonade) and Colaweizen (cola and beer) are also good and lighter choices.

14) Spiced Wine (gluhwein)-  This is another seasonal item.  It's like a warm spiced cider and it's served at all the German Christmas markets like the Passau Christmas Market where I took this picture.

15) Black Forest Cake-  This cake, which I'm sure you've heard of is traditionally from the Black Forest region in Germany and made with liquor from that area, chocolate, and sour cherries.  Yum

 
Take it or Leave it
 
 
These are four foods that I could take or leave.  They aren't good or bad IMO.
 
16) Dumplings (knodel)- They are made with different kinds of foods. If they are made with riced potatoes then they are okay with me, but sometimes they are made with lard and I mean, come on, you're basically eating a starchy ball...why add lard to that?


17) Schnitzel-  There are so many ways to make schnitzel.  But it's almost always with pork.  It's not bad when it's fried but no person should be eating the amount of schnitzel that is usually prepared with this dish.  If it's a jaegerschnitzel, it's made with a mushroom sauce.  If it's wiener schnitzel it's made with veal and I'm not touching it.

18) Goulash- It's made all around the world.  It's basically a hearty stew of meat and potatoes.  But I'm not such a fan and sometimes it can be way too salty.  But, it can be good comfort food on a cold day with some bread for dipping.

19) Pretzels- Okay why are pretzels on the take it or leave it list?  Not every German pretzel is created equally.  I've had some amazing pretzels like the huge ones at Oktoberfest and I've also had some crusty dried out pretzels that are used as bar food.  It really depends.

The Bad

These are food that I think are gross and don't plan on eating again or in the first place.  Some are self explanatory...ahem...pork knuckle.

20) Pork Knuckle- You might need to avert your eyes for this one.  I've never tried this and I never will.  B loves it and he's ordered it several times and it makes my stomach turn.  It's usually the size of a head.  Ugh.

21) Prawns- I actually love shrimp and prawns are technically giant shrimp but there's something about how big they are that turns me off. Plus they are served looking back at you so I just can't do it.  Fish whole. No problem.  But prawns.  Nope.

22) Gingerbread Cake (lebekuchen)-  These are the seasonal decorative heart thingies that hang at fests and markets.  They look cool but do not taste good. Even the fresh made lebekuchen doesn't taste good IMO.

23)  Currywurst-  This is a whole pile of nope.  A big wiener covered in curry sauce and powder.  I just don't like it.

24) Carbonated Water (wasser mit gas)-  All of the water in Germany (and most of Europe) is served with bubbles.  I don't like it.  You have to purposely ask for still water if you don't want it with  bubbles.  I can't figure out why Germans like bubbly water and wouldn't want to enjoy a fresh glass of water, but that's why it's on the bad list for me.

26) Spaetzel-  It's basically noodles with a weird texture.  Some people love them but I think they are bland and gross.  You can spice them up with different toppings but I've never really grown fond for them, so they go on my bad list.


So there you have it.  The good, the bad, and the take it or leave it.  As you can see, there are more good than bad.  Have you had some of these German foods?  Which do you like and dislike and which are you wanting to try for the first time?




Linking up at:

Young Germany Expat Bloggers Blog Hop
The Brambleberry Cottage
From My Front Porch To Yours
Rooted in Thyme
Common Ground
Nancherrow
The Tablescaper (Oh the Places I've Been!)
Real Food Fridays
A Dose of Paige
Sunday Best Showcase
Travel Photo Discovery
Dwellings
Mel's Daisy Patch
A Stroll Thru Life
Kathe With An E
Do Tell Tuesday
Tuesdays with a Twist
Savvy Southern Style
Dagmar's Home
Ivy and Elephants
Budget Traveler's Sandbox
Finding Fabulous
The Dedicated House (Make it Pretty Monday)






34 comments :

  1. I may be German, but I have to admit that I rarely eat German food. I tend to prefer Asian and Mediterranean flavors, but I think that is mainly because I almost only eat vegetarian and let's face it: German cuisine isn't exactly light on the meat! ;) Great round up on German food - these are all definitely classics! And a word on the carbonated water: I only ever used to drink carbonated water and thought that still water simply had the most boring taste, but now that I live in Norway where there's barely any carbonated water (and it's super expensive), I started drinking tap water and now I actually prefer it. I think it's really just a question of what you're used to and Germans just happen to be used to carbonated water :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it's super hard to be vegetarian here. I came here thinking I was going to give up pork and that didn't happen. I didn't know that Norway doesn't like the carbonated water. It's just not refreshing to me. But I don't like the tap water either, I either filter it or buy still water in a bottle.

      Delete
  2. I've not been to Germany/Bavaria/Austria, but if I do ever visit (which I hope I shall!), I will remember your suggestions. Already, I am inclined to agree with you on a few of the items on your "not my favorite" list: I cannot get into eating prawns or crayfish with the eyes looking at me! Also, Spaetzle is like a big lump of dough. Not my favorite either. However, the "good" list has a few very intriguing suggestions, such as the red sauerkraut and the pumpkin soup. And I'd love to try the Doner sandwich. Looks delish! Thanks for the recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deftinitely try a Doner! And I love pumpkin everything!

      Delete
  3. The food can be so heavy!! I fell in love with Nurnbergers while living in Vienna. I had never found a sausage I liked. They always smelled good and tasted yuck. That is until the Nurnberger! I don't like English sausages, but I am so glad we have a Lidl close by to keep stocked up on Nurnbergers! Love the pumpkin soup and normally like potato pancakes, unless they are really greasy.
    While living in Prague we found a local mineral water that is absolutely amazing, Mattoni. It's a more mild mineral water. I can't stand the extremely fizzy ones. Unfortunately they don't export them out of CZ that I've ever seen. Oh, it's so good with a slice of lemon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I don't eat the Nurnbergers often but if I have a choice of sausages, those are the best. I don't like greasy potato pancakes either. The Kartoffelpuffers are so good! And I'll have to try the Matoni next time I cross the border into Czech.

      Delete
  4. I enjoyed their pumpkin soups a lot! The States don't make pumpkin soup anything like it. I wish I had a recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Man, the pumpkin soup is to die for! I remember the first time I had the white sausages; it was in 2010 at Oktoberfest! This was before I became plant based, although I do remember it being delicious; maybe it was the beer (hahaha)? My family and I have enjoyed it every year since being stationed here in Stuttgart. Since we have a plant based diet, it's nice to know that there is a local Turkish doner shop we recently discovered that serves VEGAN, yes VEGAN, doner and, get this, vegan BAKLAVA! We really enjoy when we stop in there, but since we believe that our youngest (5) child has a gluten sensitivity, we usually get both of our boys to share the FALAFEL platter. They love it and see it as a sort of treat, even though it's really just good food :) Thanks for sharing your tastes Brittany!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thought I'm not a vegetarian, I prefer to eat a mostly plant based diet too. I would love to have a Vegan doner shop in my area. And I LOVE Baklava. I've been craving it for the past couple of weeks. They don't have it at every doner or greek shop. It depends what type of people are running the shop. I love falafel too.

      Delete
  6. Too much to say! I was nodding along to this like those dog ornaments in cars. (you know what I'm talking about?)
    I just heard about the white sausage the other day, and we weren't sure what made it white and what it's made of... now I know and I'm not sure I like the thought of it. But Kartoffelpuffers! YUM! I tried them once and loved them, though I still need to get round to trying a doner... 8 months here and I still haven't had one?! As for the currywurst... there's so much hype about it and it's available everywhere, but I was so disappointed... it's not even that spicey... at least the one we tried wasn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, I'm just not a huge fan of the currywurst. Seems like two flavors that don't go together. My husband loves veal, but it's just a personal choice that I don't eat certain foods.

      Delete
  7. Haha! Brittany we were on the same path this week! I just plan on splitting mine up differently but I love how you laid this out! It's funny to see everyone's different likes and dislikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I saw your post. You had some items that I didn't touch on here besides the kartoffelpuffers. I've been wanting to try a damfknudel at one of the Christmas Markets but every time I have the opportunity, I am way to full to attempt it.

      Delete
  8. So happy to have found your blog! Girl, my fiance's German (descent, not straight out of the country) and I have tried some interesting things at family dinners. He has several friends over in Germany and has taken extended trips there and because of that he's obsessed with carbonated water. I just don't get it. Spaetzle weirds me out too. You're definitely not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this post - such a good idea - I heart Gluwein and Black forest cake so much. My partner has one of those boot pint glasses (weighs so much). This makes me want to visit Germany again very soon (love that country)

    Laura x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would love to try their salad but not those processed oily foods.

    Coming from REAL Food Friday. Come-by and visit me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the food here might be oily but it's not processed. Most of the restaurants make their foods local and fresh.

      Delete
  11. I'm with you on all these! Now I'm dying for Bee Sting Cake...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I keep thinking about it. I don't think we have it at the bakery in my town but maybe it's because I never asked for it.

      Delete
  12. I have that bee sting cake on my radar. This was a fun post.

    M~

    ReplyDelete
  13. Spatzle are wonderful if they are pan-fried in butter to crisp them up, or turned into the german counterpart of mac & cheese -- kasespatzle, ideally with bacon (spek) tossed in too. Flammkuchen is german "pizza" and can be very yummy but is not so bavarian. To your point about being vegetarian, the germans are the only ones I know who actually make several kinds of "meat salad." An oxymoron I find amusing (but I don't eat them). :-)

    My favorite german dessert is poppyseed schnitten (cake), like bienenstick it's rich but not very sweet and i've never had it anywhere else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, I think the spatzle would taste better with cheese and bacon, you can't really go wrong adding those ingredients. I've had the flammkucheen at several Christmas Markets, it's really good. I've never had the poppyseed cake. I'll have to look out for that.

      Delete
  14. Have you tried Zwiebelkuchen? It's much like quiche, but without cheese. It's made with sour cream, onions, bacon, and caraway seed, in a yeast crust. Yum! It's Fest food in Swabia. I happen to love the carbonated water, especially with lemon, Spaetzle, especially with gravy, and I love the German Gingerbread. I had a bit of difficulty getting used to white asparagus- delicious, but it looked a bit anemic to me, at first! :-) I have to agree about the Currywurst. The pumpkin soup must be a regional dish, and not from Swabia, since I never saw it on a menu when I lived in Germany. I loved the iced coffees- coffee, ice cream, and whipped cream! Yum!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never tried the zweibelkuchen but I love onions so that sounds amazing. I didnt' realize that the pumpkin soup was a regional thing but I love it. They have a pumpkin festival in Ludwigsburg every year.

      Delete
  15. Hey Brittany glad you found Real Food Fridays. I come from a very Polish background, and never heard of someone eating potatoes pancakes with ketchup. I guess it varies from country to country, we always eat them with applesauce, but they are also served with sour cream. The potato salad, is it the warm yummy German potato salad, love that stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess that sentence I wrote was misleading. I LIKE potato pancakes with ketchup, I've never seen Germans or Polish eat them that way either. But the applesauce is definitely becoming more of my favorite over ketchup. No one in the states would think to eat them with applesauce but it is so much better!

      Delete
  16. I'm a big fan of jaegerschnitzel with the mushroom gravy spreading into the side of spatzle. My mom-in-law cooks Red Sauerkraut every Christmas and Easter, and the holidays not spent with her definitely have me missing it. Strangely, there are a ton of German restaurants in Penang, Malaysia. I'm going to miss them when I return to Texas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very interesting that there are a ton of German restaurants in Malaysia. I never would have guessed.

      Delete
  17. I'll take a glass of the gluhwein, and the black forest cake. I agree with you, the currywurst sounds revolting!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love bretzen, but you are right, it is an absolute crapshoot whether you will get a good one! I've learned who has good ones and whom I should avoid. Today I bought one from the REWE bakery (not the counter up front) and it was perhaps the best one I've ever eaten; perfectly salted crust but soft inside. Lecker!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You don' like spaetzle? OMG, I miss it so much. The Bad Durkheim Weinfest had the best Kase spaetzle. I miss it so much! And I'm also a weirdo and like the Lebekuchen. Yum, spicy gingerbread... Too funny! This makes me miss my time in Germany SO much!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for this wonderful post :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. There is no such thing as red sauerkraut - it's red cabbage and tastes nothing like sauerkraut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! Maybe I should be calling it red cabbage or red kraut instead, but either way sauerkraut is made out of cabbage and I think they taste very similar.

      Delete

I love to hear from readers! Questions and comments welcome. I try to respond to everyone (I respond back to your comments on the comments page so check back for a response). Thanks for reading!

-Brittany Ruth