Germany is an amazing country and yet for some reason many struggle to see it. The country is steeped in tradition and culture and the food is far more than just sausages and sauerkraut. Geographically, politically and economically Germany sits at the centre of Europe, it a powerhouse of business and commerce and a country that many people visit for leisure. Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fifth largest in the world, so it has plenty of brag about.
The German people love to eat, however the stereotype of all Germans being fat is far from true. Yes, the German diet is rich and hearty with each region of Germany calling their cuisine “Traditional” or typically German. However, as times have progressed Germans have also adhered to healthier lifestyles and that includes their diet.
Pork is the most consumed meat in Germany and two of the most traditional dishes, and very popular too, are Schweinshaxe which is a superb braised pork hock dish and Saumagen. Many people turn their eyes at Saumagen once they realise what it is as Pork Stomach does not sound exactly appetising. Nevertheless, a German menu is full of many Pork delights and one way to navigate your way around this is to speak German, as in any country when you speak the language eating is easier and more enjoyable.
Germans are best known for their sausages and there are many different types. The traditional Bratwurst sausage is one many will be familiar with but head to any butcher or restaurant and you may find up to a dozen different types available to tempt you. Again, speaking the language will help you ask what each Sausage is and some will either make you squirm and little but most will make your mouth water.
Pretty much every traditional German meal is complemented by root vegetables. Potatoes, turnips and beet are often part of the main meal or are made into soup. Today, thankfully, the Germans don’t just boil them they have become a lot more creative as many tourists to Germany will confirm. Of course, the one thing you cannot ignore when it comes to German food is Sauerkraut. This cabbage dish does not come with everything as one may imagine but it is still hugely popular and there are a handful of variances in the dish throughout the country.
And what would a meal be in Germany without a glass of beer? Like their meat, the Germans love their beer. German beer is considered one of the best in the world and the strict brewing laws or “purity laws” laid down in the 16th century are partly the reason why. The beers are brewed to perfection and when you speak to a brew master he or she will explain in great detail how and why the beer you are drinking is as it is. This is another good reason to speak German.
Finally, to end any meal you need that little shot of Schnapps and German Schnapps is something to be enjoyed. Schnapps is the perfect end to a good and filling meal, and of course, will result in making lifelong friends.
Travelling is an exciting opportunity which can be enhanced by learning the language before you go. This blog contains some interesting articles about language and travel.