One of the most popular stereotypes associated with German cuisine is the myth that it is extremely monotonous, and that the main delicacy for the locals is pork sausages with sauerkraut. However, in reality this statement has little to do with reality. Today, German cuisine boasts very high quality standards and a huge variety of products, thanks to which German cuisine is considered one of the best in Europe.
At the same time, German cuisine is famous for its incredible regional diversity - the same dish can be prepared according to radically different recipes in different parts of the country. At the same time, residents of all regions of the country have one thing in common - the Germans eat a lot, satisfyingly and without haste.
Today, in terms of popularity and variety, German cuisine is in no way inferior to other world cuisines. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to imagine that it actually developed in a rather short time, and more recently, the diet of the Germans was extremely simple and extremely unpretentious.
According to experts, the real history of German cuisine began only after the end of World War II. Prior to this, the food habits of the Germans were very modest. So, in the nineteenth century in the German Empire, talking about food was considered a sign of bad taste, this topic had a reputation for being indecent. There was an unspoken ban on the use of any spices, wine, oils in cooking. The main "delicacy" that was present in the diet of the ruling elite was boiled potatoes with a flour-based sauce. The same sauce was used for vegetable, fish and meat dishes.
The famine that came in the country after the First World War also did not contribute development of local cuisine. It was only after World War II that the situation changed. The range of products in the stores has significantly expanded, and the first cookbooks have been published. German culinary specialists have discovered many recipes of foreign cuisine.
Today, there is a kind of food cult in the country. The Germans are used to eating a lot, satisfyingly and with pleasure. It is customary to serve food in very impressive portions, and in Germany they usually sit down at the table in a large company.
At the same time, German cuisine is regionally structured. So, the notorious meat products, a variety of sausages and sausages, are most popular in the largest region of the country in terms of area - in Bavaria. Bavarians eat their favorite delicacy several times a day; sausages can not only be served on the table as an independent dish, but also act as a component of other dishes. It is Bavaria that is the “homeland” of the legendary white sausages, known as “weisswurst”. They are prepared from veal and lard, adding aromatic herbs and spices to minced meat.
Here, in the south of the country, in Bavaria, the best beer in Germany is brewed from barley and hops, which are grown everywhere on the territory of the earth. It is in this region that the world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival is held.
In the east of Germany, including Berlin, the cuisine is also quite traditional and replete with meat dishes. The most popular dishes here are boiled icebein pork knuckle and deep-fried brisket on ribs. Also in Berlin they cook Eintopf - a very thick meat soup with smoked meats, which can replace a two-course dinner.
In contrast to the south and east of the country, where meat products "reign", in the north they prefer seafood and fish. The latter is present in the diet in fried, smoked, salted and dried form. Various soups are also prepared from fish. Bean dishes are also popular in the region.
Analyzing the characteristic features of German cuisine, several of its most significant characteristics should be singled out.
- Meat dishes are popular almost throughout the country. Moreover, almost every German city has “its own” variety of sausages, wieners or frankfurters.
- Germans don't like too spicy food. Seasonings and spices are used very sparingly here.
- Vegetables in the diet of the country's residents are most often present in boiled form: carrots, potatoes, cauliflower and red cabbage are part of many dishes. Legumes are also widely used, especially beans.
- There are a lot of egg dishes in German cuisine. "Chicken caviar" the Germans stuff, boil, cook an omelette.
- Bread is incredibly popular in Germany. Today, more than six hundred types of bakery products are baked in the country.
The range of German cuisine today is very wide and often varies from region to region.
The most popular type of meat in Germany is pork. According to statistics, every German eats about 84 kg of it per year.
Smoked sausages are mainly made from pork - in total, there are more than 1,500 types of them in the country. It is noteworthy that the standards for the manufacture of meat products in Germany are the most stringent in the world, and therefore the quality of all German sausages is the highest. They are not only served on the table as a separate dish, but also grilled, added to vegetable dishes, and sandwiches are made from them.
Among the most popular meat products in German cuisine, we should mention "Wiener" - the so-called "Viennese sausages", very long and thin. They are made from pork, with the addition of spices and lard. First the sausages are smoked and then boiled. Also popular are sausages made from pork and veal, called "bratwurst" (Bratwurst), intended for frying.
The traditional sausage recipe varies from region to region. There are even variations protected by relevant patents - they can only be made in one particular city. As a side dish, sausages are usually served with fried potatoes, sauerkraut, pasta and vegetables.
In addition, meat in Germany is baked, fried, grilled, often combining several types of heat treatment at once. Among the most popular German meat dishes, Eisbeint is a pork leg that is first boiled in dark beer and then fried or baked; "Schnellklops" - minced meat or pieces of beef, which are first fried and then stewed with onions and sour cream ; "Schmorbraten" (Schmorbraten) - grilled marinated beef tenderloin stuffed with lard and spices.
In Germany, they also prepare yeast dough strudel with meat filling, meat casseroles, salads and other, often rather strange dishes. These are, for example, Bavarian liver cheese, pork stomach stuffed with vegetables, as well as Hackepeter - minced meat with salt, pepper, egg and a huge amount of spices, which is eaten raw.
Most German soups are very thick, rich, with lots of meat and vegetables. Eintopf, a soup that can immediately replace the first and second courses, has gained the greatest fame. There are many recipes for its preparation, but one thing unites them - fresh meat is first fried, then poured with broth and vegetables and legumes are added.
Puree soups are also popular in Germany, which can be not only meat or vegetable, but also fish and fruit. For their preparation, ingredients are often used that may seem very strange: rhubarb, apples, kohlrabi, cucumbers, etc.
Soups in broths are also present in the diet of the Germans, and often they add eggs, cheese and even slices of pancakes. Most of these entrees are very rich and flavorful, with sage, rosemary and basil being seasoned.
As noted above, vegetables in the diet of the Germans are present mainly in boiled form. One of the traditional dishes of German cuisine, which has gained popularity outside the country, is boiled potatoes with the addition of fried lard and onions, which are served with sauerkraut.
From carrots, cabbage of all kinds, lentils, bean pods, vegetable stew, various salads are prepared, they are baked with pasta and sausages. A separate class of dishes is "Schupfnudeln" (Schupfnudeln) - potato sausages with the addition of bacon and spices, which are usually served with sauerkraut.
Potatoes are incredibly popular in Germany. It can act not only as a side dish for meat or fish, but also as an ingredient for salads, various casseroles, rolls and pies, as well as potato pancakes and pancakes.
Seafood and fish
It is noteworthy that fish in Germany is considered a more “festive” product. Dishes from it simply must be present on the festive table on New Year's Eve, since it is believed that it is seafood that brings good luck and happiness.
In Germany, fish is served most often in boiled and stewed form. Fish fillet is also fried breaded and salted. Fish is used to make a soup called “eintopf”, to which cucumber, herbs and meat dumplings are added, as well as fish soup with tomatoes and rice.
Bread and flour products
Germans eat bread not only at breakfast, like most Europeans, but also in the evening, for dinner, as a side dish. In total, there are more than six hundred types of various bakery products in the country.
In addition to bread, the German diet contains a large number of various flour products. These are strudel with sweet and savory fillings, dumplings, pancakes, as well as dumplings with various fillings, cookies, puddings and bagels. Outside of Germany, soft sweet donuts are known - "Berliner" (Berliner) stuffed with jam, jelly, chocolate or condensed milk.
Special attention should be paid to festive German pastries. Spekulatius macaroons, the legendary Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte chocolate and cherry cake, cakes and, of course, the traditional German Stollen Christmas muffin are known all over Europe.
Contraindications and opinion of nutritionists
Today, traditional German cuisine, although very satisfying and high in calories, cannot boast of a very healthy reputation. This is due to the huge amount of fairly fatty foods that are present in the diet of the Germans. Therefore, people suffering from diseases of the digestive system, as well as those prone to weight gain, should not be particularly fond of German delicacies.
In addition, German culinary specialists subject vegetables to heat treatment, during which part of the nutrients, minerals and vitamins are lost.
At the same time, nutritionists note that in Germany the products are of very high quality, and there are also extremely strict standards for cooking, which significantly reduces the risk of food poisoning. In addition, sauerkraut and seafood, which are abundant in the diet of the Germans, enrich the body with fatty acids and antioxidants, the health benefits of which cannot be overestimated.
Cooking mustard cream chicken
To prepare mustard cream chicken you will need the following ingredients: skinless and boneless breasts, two tablespoons of olive oil, the same amount of butter, a tablespoon of mustard, half a cup of heavy cream, a glass of white wine or cognac, a tablespoon a spoonful of granular mustard, three cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Salt and pepper the pieces.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Fry the meat on both sides until golden brown. Put the finished breasts on a plate.
Finely chop the garlic cloves and add to the pan in which the meat was sautéed. Simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, for a minute. Then pour wine or cognac into the pan. When the liquid boils, reduce the heat and simmer until the volume is reduced by half. After that, add both types of mustard to the pan and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the cream and stock. Stir thoroughly until the mass becomes homogeneous. Salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken breasts in the sauce and cook for a few minutes. Serve the cooked chicken with vegetable salad.
Cooking the Black Forest Cake
The Black Forest or Black Forest cake is one of the most famous German desserts. For its preparation you will need: six eggs, 300 g sugar, 200 g butter, 20 g baking powder, 300 g flour, five tablespoons of cocoa powder and three tablespoons of cherry liqueur for impregnation. The cream will take: 500 ml of cream, one tablespoon of starch, four tablespoons of canned cherries, a quarter cup of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of cherry liqueur. For decoration, use grated chocolate and cocktail cherries.
Using a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar. Pour the melted and cooled butter into the mixture. Mix thoroughly and gradually add flour pre-mixed with cocoa and baking powder.
Butter two springform pans. Pour half of the dough into each of them.
Bake the biscuit in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for half an hour. Cool the finished biscuit slightly, and then carefully remove it from the mold and cut it in half. As a result, you will get four cakes.
Soak the biscuit with cherry liqueur and prepare the cream. Mix cream with powdered sugar and liqueur. Dry the canned cherries thoroughly, roll them in starch and add to the cream.
Spread the cakes with cream, decorate with grated chocolate and cherries and refrigerate for several hours.