5 x 5 German/Bavarian Foods

31 Mar

Food glorious food! No, German cuisine is not renowned the world over, but then again neither is British food and I bloody love that stuff.

So todays 5×5 is food inspired, in part by a blog I’m loving at the moment FoodEssen (go check out some wonderful German American foodiness) and part because I really love food, don’t you?

Five best German dishes 

Schweinshaxe – Pork knuckle. Only order this if you are hungry, and even then be prepared to admit defeat and take the remains home in a doggy bag. Usually huge, with crispy crackling and meat that just melts off the bone, oh and bonus it comes with gravy, proper meat gravy (sometimes flavoured with beer or cinnamon) like your grandma used to make.

Apfelkuchle – Deep fried apple rings in donut batter. Try these in a restaurant or if you can find them fresh at a market, an old sad soggy apfelkuchle is just not worth putting in your mouth. A good one however is bliss, sharp apple cutting through the puffy doughiness of the batter and usually accompanied by a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and vanilla ice cream, now I’m starving, these are the best.

Apfel Küchle at Kitzmann Brewery 2014

Apfelkuchle at the Kitzmann Brewery 2014

Spanferkel – Suckling pig. This is available at certain short times of the year, when it is available I always order it and it has never let me down. In Germany you get very used to eating pork, before I moved here sausages and bacon were the only times I went near the stuff, now I can appreciate the best quality meat just like a good (beef) steak, try it.

Obatzda – A Bavarian biergarten speciality (and a bit of cheesy heaven). A mix of camembert, brie, soft cheese and butter, flavoured with salt, pepper, paprika, caraway and sometimes things like beer and chive. It will usually be delivered to your table with bread and pretzels and garnished with raw onion, chive, paprika, caraway, radish or whatever the chef has around to make it look pretty. This is perfect biergarten sharing food.


Obatzda with Pretzel (and beer) at Entla’s Keller 2014

Käsespätzle – The German version of Macaroni cheese. The pasta is somewhat thicker in consistency and they can be like tiny dumplings or longer and straighter, both taste the same and you can even buy (and make obviously) spinach and wholewheat ones now too. It can be eaten on it’s own or as an accompaniment to a meaty meal with gravy, it is usually one of the few vegetarian dishes on the menu. My personal favourite comes topped with crispy onions for sweetness and a crisp side salad to counteract the stodge.

Now I don’t want to say worst, but, these are the least preferable things you could put in front of me

Currywurst – The worst quality hot dog type sausage thrown onto a plate of chips which is then covered in ketchup and topped off with a sprinkle of curry powder. No it doesn’t sound appetising, it doesn’t look appetising and it doesn’t taste it either, too wrong for me.

Kloß – Potato dumpling. Now I was hugely surprised when I didn’t like these, I love English dumplings but these are just a wobbling mass of jellified potatoness, impossible to cut into elegantly and due to their large roundness are liable to roll right off your plate and down a hill (and kill someone) if you are not careful. I would say that I once had a fresh one of these and it was fantastic, but german customer service has eluded my having one ever again as I confirmed they were fresh on ordering only to taste them and know they weren’t, you just can’t trust some people.

Apfel strudel – The nuts and raisins and squishy apple and soggy pastry do not a good dessert make.

Maultasche – Think a large ravioli. You only need a couple of these and you’ll be full, though I doubt you’ll be satisfied. They are the poorer cousins of ravioli and I think that their origins come from the lenten period, that’s no excuse however for these stodgy bland things, none at all.

Hot sauerkraut – Hot vinegar and cabbage, who thought that this would be a good idea? The consistency of the cabbage is great, really tender but the vinegar just kills everything near it, if you have this with sausages, you won’t be able to taste the sausage. Maybe that the point!

So technically this is a 5x5x5 but I just wanted to add my top German meal accompaniments 

Essiggurke – Pickled cucumber/Pickles – Be it the huge garlic/dill/chilli etc ones you can buy at festivals to the lovely sliced up ones I find in my side salads, I love them. Just the right amount of acidity, sweetness and crunch for me.

Rotkohl – Red cabbage. It doesn’t normally come with apple here (insert sad face) but it does come gently spiced with caraway, clove, cinnamon and star anise. This is a lovely accompaniment to any pork dish you choose

Brezen – Pretzels. You just can’t get away from these things, they are a pretty awesome snack, a ‘butterbrezel mit schnittlauch’ being my absolute favourite train journey snack. Buy a huge festival pretzel at the Bergkirchweih to share and soak up some of that beer you will be ingesting!

Radishes – From the little pink ones to the larger white ones, they are actually a good accompaniment to outdoor beer drinking. At Entlas Keller you can get an A4 sized slice of cheese, some sliced onion and a bunch of radishes (dirt and all) served to your table, and when the sun is out, that’s really all you need.

Fresh sauerkraut – This stuff is amazing, vinegar, caraway and fresh crunchy cabbage, it is my pickled onion substitute.

This blog is also featured on the Young Germany Expat Bloggers Blog Hop


10 Responses to “5 x 5 German/Bavarian Foods”

  1. foodessen March 31, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Yes, I do love food and this is a great post! I love reading which foods people like and dislike. And thanks so much for the mention 🙂 I’m curious, what do you think about Bratwurst?

    • theerlangenexpat April 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Bratwurst is a bit contentious in this house, the husband and I both prefer different butchers versions and I’d still really prefer a good old English sausage if I had the choice.

      • foodessen April 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

        I understand all Bratwurst are not created equal 😉 When I get a currywurst I always have them make it with a Bratwurst because I don’t really like the Rindswurst that is normally used.

        I also wanted to throw in that my very German husband often chooses not to have a Kloß with his meal and replaces it with Pommes or Spätzle. So don’t worry what people think, some Germans do it to!

  2. crowdedearthkitchen March 31, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    I hope you will consider contributing a recipe to the Global Recipe Project – it’s for a good cause! 🙂 http://crowdedearthkitchen.com/global-recipe-project/

    • theerlangenexpat April 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      I’ll definitely have a think about it!

  3. cliff1976 April 1, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    Surprised not to see a mention of Schäufele in there — particularly in Franken. I like to get one of those when I visit. I’m with you on the Kloß. If I dish I want comes with a Kloß (or Knödel here in the Oberpfalz), I usually ask for a substitute to ideally a Semmelknödel (if they offer that) or some other potatoey dish like Püree or Bratkartoffeln.

    In Franken, I have learned, asking for something to replace their Kloß is likely to be met with a cold stare. It’s a pride point.

    There will be some Franken in my life happening later this year: our annual meetup of expatriate bloggers takes place there at some point (probably autumn) TBD: http://slicken.it/16t

    • theerlangenexpat April 1, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      It’s a very personal choice 😉 and for me it’s Haxe everytime!

      I actually just the other night asked to substitute my Kloß for pommes and the waitress tried to talk me out of it, luckily it was in our local and they let me slide because I’m a foreigner. I explained that it’s actually because they do the most fantastic gravy and where I come from chips and gravy is a practically delicacy, she viewed this with suspicion but my cleaned plate proved her wrong!

      If I’m still here in autumn I might join you or even lure you away from the big city of Nbg and the tourist tat.

  4. maritachicita @ mydinner.co.uk April 4, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    I cannot believe you do not like Currywurst! I miss that the most. I am glad you like Rotkohl because thats my favorite as well x


  1. My Five Favorite and Least Favorite German Dishes | Young Germany - March 31, 2015

    […] post was originally published on The Erlangen Expat and was used here with permission of the […]

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