Last semester my German class went to lunch at Herwig’s bistro downtown.  The restaurant features traditional German and Austrian dishes.  After 5 years of German, I know a lot about German culture and food, and Herwig’s definitely provides that.  The menu can be a little intimidating to those who don’t understand the language, but there is a wide variety so there’s something for everyone.  They also have an extensive dessert list (if you’re like me and have an extreme sweet tooth, you will definitely enjoy this).

German cuisine is one with a rich history that has evolved over many social and cultural changes and also differs among the different regions.  Meat is very important in German cooking.  The most popular types of meat being pork, beef, chicken, turkey, goose and duck.  Boar, rabbit and venison are also consumed.  The meat is typically braised and the Germans have a history of sausage making, their wursts.  Bratwurst, being the most popular, is made of pork and a variety of spices.  A popular pasta dish in Germany is Spätzle which is made of wheat, flour and egg yolk.


German food is normally not very spicy or hot and this is due to the spices used in their foods.  The most popular being parsley, chives, juniper berries, and caraway.  They do usually put mustard (senf)  on their wursts and there is a wide variety of mustards throughout Germany.  Horseradish is another popular condiment.

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During Christmas time, many German traditional foods emerge.  The traditional dish for Christmas Eve dinner is the Weinachtsgans, or roast goose.  Another popular food around Christmas time is Marzipan.  This is made of sugar or honey and almond meal.  It is then shaped into different shapes including animals, and in Germany in the shape of bread or potatoes.

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The traditional German meal structure focused around a large lunch.  First there would be breads, cold cuts, marmalade, eggs, and coffee for breakfast.  After this people would  go to work or school and then return home for the main meal of the day, lunch.  Dinner would then consist of sandwiches or something light.  However, over recent times the meal layout has changed into one similar to that in the United States where dinner is the main meal.

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Germany is well known for its beer production with more than 4,000 brands of German beer.  One reason German beer has such a distinct taste is due to the purity law.  This requires all breweries to use certain materials (barley malt, water and hops) and which they cannot.

Fun Facts:

Germany is the cheapest place in Europe to buy beer

There are over 300 different kinds of bread in Germany.

The normal size beer glass, the Mass is 1 liter

One thought on “German

  1. I’ve never really had German food before, but I went to the Czech Republic a few years ago, and the food was somewhat similar. I’m very curious to try Herwig’s downtown, but I’ve never studied German before, so I definitely would not know how to pronounce the names of all the dishes! They sound really good though.

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