Dig in to the Simplicity and Deliciousness of German Cuisine

Map of Germany


Germans LOVE to cook and eat. Besides bearing the characteristic European features, German cuisine is often distinguished by its straightforward preparation. The most common ingredients in Germany are potatoes, meat, and vegetables. The “pinnacle” of German cuisine is a very simple dish, sausages with stewed cabbage, can be found on the menu of most restaurants in the country. Almost all dishes are prepared by frying, stewing or baking.

The German love affair with sausage is obvious to non-Germans. The number of traditional German dishes using sausage is more than 300, with each region of the country having their own special recipes. To assume that German cuisine is made up of only sausage dishes would be a big mistake, though.

The culinary history of German cuisine dates back many centuries and each region has its own separate geography and culinary history. In many traditional German and Austrian dishes, the influence of its neighbor’s cuisines is noticeable, especially Italy, Belgium, and France.

In Germany, it is impolite to refuse food offered to you. The German table is usually full of many different dishes, and the portions of are often huge. Lass uns essen!

German Cuisine sausage with stewed cabbage


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German Ingredients

In some regions of Germany, sausages are so popular that they are consumed at any time of the day. Germans use sausages both as a standalone meal and as additional ingredients for salads, soups or main courses. In addition to sausages, different types of meatballs, schnitzels, steaks and auger are included in traditional German meals. It should be noted that the Germans are not too keen on spicy food, so you will not find spicy recipes in traditional German cuisine. 

Vegetables in German cuisine are used for the preparation of almost all meats, soups, main courses, meals and salads. Most often, the vegetables are boiled potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, cabbage, spinach, and turnips. White asparagus called spargel is celebrated in early spring.

Many dishes from Jewish cuisine are German in their origins. Some of those Jewish dishes are chopped liver, matzo ball soup, potato and noodle kugel, latkes (potato pancakes), and challah bread.

German Baking

A huge number of bakeries, pastry shops and eateries can be found all over Germany. The taste of German bread is specific and unusual because of the main ingredient – rye flour. That is why German bread is usually called “earthy”. Over three hundred varieties of bread alone exist, not to mention the numerous other butter cookies, croissants, and other baked goods.  Austria, which shares many of its dishes with Germany, is the gold standard for pastries.

Cakes are also taken very seriously. Desserts and sweets are prepared, as they say, “from the heart”. Each cake is a multifaceted and beautiful masterpiece. MHT’s favorite cake is Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte , the famous Black Forest cake from the southwest of Germany.

German Traditions

Lunch for the Germans is their the main meal, and soup is an integral part of it. The most common soup recipes in German cuisine are cabbage soup with sausages, saxon potato soup with bacon, and onion weimar soup. There are also some unusual soup recipes, such as strawberry soup, which is made with strawberries and wine. Aintopf is the richest soup in German cuisine. It is prepared with several varieties of smoked meats and sausages. Such a dish generally replaces both the first and second courses.

Germany’s most traditional and favorite drink is, of course, beer. Bavaria can rightly be called the beer capital of the world as 965 square miles of green hops are grown there.

The centuries-old culinary traditions of the Germans are well known. A great number of customs and rituals have been preserved to this very day. On holidays, for example, they prepare so-called. “glukshvayn” (happy pig). This is a piglet-shaped pie with a coin in its mouth. Such a dish not only pleases the guests with its entertaining appearance, but also brings luck and financial well-being in the house.    

The German Table

The sequence of German meals has not changed over the centuries. For example, the classic regular German breakfast includes boiled eggs, ham or sausage, bread and sandwiches with jam. Lunch consists of several dishes – soup, appetizer, main course and dessert, accompanied by cheese, fish or sausage sandwiches. At dinner, the Germans eat mostly cold dishes. Meals are accompanied by the traditional German beverage, beer.

On Friday during Holy Week (Good Friday), observers must partake in a strict fast without any meat and other animal products. However, the Germans came up with a curious trick- they began wrapping meat with spices and vegetables in a paste. Thus, when they ate such a dish during fasting, they justified themselves by saying, “God will not notice the meat under the paste.”