German Cuisine Potluck

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Though traditional dishes like dumplings, Wurst, pastries, and beer may make Germany seem the worst possible place to eat healthily, in reality, restaurants are offering foreign foods and neue Küche (modern cuisine). Chefs trained in Switzerland, France, or Italy return to Germany to open Continental restaurants, and Italians and Turks, many of whom originally came to Germany as “guest workers,” own restaurants featuring their own culinary traditions. There are a lot of differences in cooking traditions with corned beef, potatoes, beet roots, herring, eel soup in the north and Spargel, Braten, Spätzle and Brotzeit, a late breakfast with those wonderful brown breads and Wurst, in the south.

Germans favor hearty meals including meat, such as pork, beef and poultry, in that order of popularity.

Vegetables are often eaten in stews or vegetable soups, but can also be served as a side dish. Carrots, turnips, spinach, peas, beans, and many types of cabbage are very common. Fried onions are a common addition to many meat dishes throughout the country. Potatoes, while a major part of the diet, are usually not counted among vegetables by Germans. Asparagus, especially white asparagus known as Spargel, is particularly enjoyed in Germany as a side dish or as a main meal.

The other kind of side dish, noodles, are usually thicker than Italian pasta. Especially in the south-western part of the country, the predominant variety of noodles is Spätzle which contain a very large amount of yolk. Besides noodles, potatoes and dumplings (Klöße or Knödel) are very common, especially in the south.

A wide variety of cakes are prepared throughout Germany, most commonly made with fresh fruit. Apples, plums, strawberries, and cherries are used regularly on cakes. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake) is another very well-known cake. German doughnuts (which have no hole) are usually balls of dough with jam or other fillings inside, and are known as Berliner or Krapfen depending on the region. German Chocolate Cake is a layered chocolate cake filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting.

Bread is a big part of the German diet, and usually eaten for breakfast and as sandwiches in the evening, rarely as a side dish for the main meal. T