German Food, Beer, Wine - Culinary surprises
(© picture-alliance / Chad Ehlers)
What do Germans eat - sausages and pork nuckles?
Do they like cooking? Germany - a nation of gourmets ? Here is a selection of topics related to Germans and their food.
When one speaks of German drinks, beer comes immediately to mind. People think of Oktoberfest where the golden fluid made according to the German purity law flows.
But - Germany is also a major producer of wines. Their tastes varies according to area and soil. Australia owes a great deal of her successful and expanding wine industry to the skill of early German settlers.
Berlin boasts some thousands of imbissbuden (snack shops) selling quick food fixes from all corners of the globe. The döner kebab is by far the most popular, but the currywurst is a cult classic.
For Berliners, the currywurst, or curried sausage, with its spicy ketchup sauce is more than just a fast-food snack: it is a means of survival, a tradition and a regional speciality. It comes in a number of variants: served with a bread roll or with chips (and perhaps a dollop of mayonnaise) or – for the absolute purists – on its own; the sausage with or without skin, served whole or cut into ready-to-eat chunks. The currywurst was invented in post-war Berlin, with Hamburg and Ruhr District cities desperately vying for recognition as the place where it all began.
A beer? We can offer you 5000!
This is also true of drinking habits in the various parts of Germany: in general, but especially in north Germany, the light Pilsener with little hops is favoured. Even in Dortmund it has displaced the classic export beer. An amber coloured Alt (a top-fermented dark beer) is popular in Düsseldorf and in the Lower Rhine valleys.
The beer garden (in German: Biergarten), a special type of garden restaurant, was originally
invented in Bavaria in the 19th century. The first beer gardens were merely a side effect of the brewing facilities.
Germany has 300 different kinds of bread
Every German who has visited friends or family around the Mediterranean, in the Middle East or in America knows what they will say when asked what they would l...
German bread and delights
Germany’s winegrowing regions are among the most northerly in the world. That is what makes German wines so distinctive: the grapes enjoy long periods of growth in moderate summer heat, which gives the wines their renowned lightness and fruity aroma. Except for two regions in eastern Germany, all the country’s winegrowing areas are in the south and south-west, where they are subject to the mild Gulf Stream climate from the west and the dry continental climate from the east.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s best-known grape varieties, with some 165,000 hectares planted worldwide. In Germany, however, its cultivation area covers only 270 hectares (Riesling: 21,000 hectares), more than half of them in the Palatinate. The grape is only slowly gaining a foothold in Germany.
Chardonnay wines are suitable for all sorts of drinking occasions. Like many other ancient grape varieties, Chardonnay originated in the Middle East. As viticulture spread, the variety found a new home in France, particularly in Burgundy.
This internationally successful variety is gaining ground in Germany, too, where the cultivation of Chardonnay has only been officially permitted since 1991.