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Traditional German Food: What to Eat in Germany

Traditional German Food: What to Eat in Germany

. 5 min read

The German gastronomy is formed by different plates in which the meat is abundant. In this article, we talk about the typical dishes of current German cuisine, as well as the recipes prepared by the descendants of the Germans of the Volga in America.

Next, you have an index with all the points that we are going to treat in this article.


Bretzel, sometimes written as brezel or pretzel, is a kind of bun or baked bread that has the shape of a bow and a somewhat salty taste. This food has centuries of history, as it was made by the Celts to celebrate the beginning of spring.

Its shape represents the horns of the ram, alleging Aries because at that moment of the year the sun passes through that constellation. However, nowadays it is eaten all year round and on any occasion.

The basic ingredients to prepare them are flour, yeast, milk, butter, water, baking soda, and salt. However, other types can also be found, such as cinnamon.


Although goulash is a dish from Hungary, it is also quite elaborate in Germany. It is a kind of stew formed by:

  1. Beef
  2. Tomato
  3. Pepper
  4. Onion
  5. Garlic
  6. Paprika
  7. Goulash: one of the most complete dishes in Germany

Its taste is quite powerful and it is a consistent dish, ideal for the cold of winter. It can be made broth or drier, depending on the taste of the diners.


Sauerkraut is a staple of German gastronomy, serving as an accompaniment to main meat dishes such as knuckle or ribs. It consists of cabbage or cabbage fermented in salted water.

This food is probiotic because it contains beneficial bacteria for our organism. Therefore, it helps the digestive system and also provides calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. It can be taken cold or hot.


The Strudel is a typical dessert in the form of cake that can be of different types, although the most popular is the apple, called Apfelstrudel, which can not be missing at Christmas. It is prepared with the following ingredients:

  1. Apples
  2. Mass or puff pastry
  3. Breadcrumbs
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Sugar
  7. icing sugar


Spätzle are typical of southern Germany and can be served as an accompaniment or as a side dish. They are a kind of pasta that can have different shapes, the most common being round and elongated. It is prepared with flour, egg, salt, and sugar.


These sausages made with minced meat is one of the most popular foods in Germany, as they can be eaten anywhere and is fast food, perfect for any occasion. The meat used is usually pork. Depending on the area, we find different types.

The typical accompaniment is sauerkraut or potato salad. In the street, stalls are served inside the bread and accompanied by some sauces such as ketchup or mustard.

Schnitzel Holstein

Schnitzel Holstein consists of veal breaded in flour and fried in butter. It is accompanied by a fried egg, fried fish and white bread, although it can also be served with beans and baked potatoes.

The history of this typical German dish is quite curious. Friedrich von Holstein, a 19th-century mayor of Berlin, always asked in a restaurant to be served quickly. That’s why they decided to serve him the first and second course together. Since then, it is a traditional production of Berlin and surroundings.


The knuckle is a part of the pig, specifically the area where the two parts of the leg meet. In Germany, it is known as Hachse. Its preparation is quite long.

In each part of Germany, it can be tested in different ways. While in Berlin it is typical to serve it with pea puree, in the south of the country it is usually cooked in the oven. The most common accompaniment is sauerkraut.


Beer is the most popular drink in Germany. It is part of their culture, as it has been consumed in this territory for thousands of years. It can be drunk as an accompaniment to a meal or alone.

It is usually served in half-litre glasses, although there are also one-litre glasses, and it is usually draught beer. It has its own festival, the Oktoberfest, which has been held in Munich since 1810. If you want to know more about this and other traditions of German culture, we recommend this article: Traditions in Germany.


Knödel is boiled dough balls that serve both as a side dish and as a main dish. Ingredients vary quite a bit, although the main ones are:

  1. Bread
  2. Butter
  3. Eggs
  4. Milk

If you want to know how to make them and what different types there are, you can find out in this article: The Knödel typical of Germany.


The Kassler or Kasseler is a pork fillet that is made in salting and a little smoked. It originated in Berlin in the 19th century. It can be accompanied by sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.

Volga Germans

Germans from the Volga are those German immigrants who were living in the Volga area, in Russia, and that in the nineteenth century moved to some countries in America. They developed their own gastronomy with clear references to German cuisine. Some of their traditional dishes are:

Vickel Klees

Vickel Klees or Wickel Nudel are rolls of dough composed of these ingredients:

  1. 500 g. flour
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 onion
  4. Yeast
  5. Oil
  6. Milk

The ingredients needed to prepare Vickel Klees

First, make a dough with flour, egg, salt, milk and a little yeast. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then stretch to make it smooth.

Pour flour over it and add oil, roll it up and cut it into small pieces. Put these on top of a stew and simmer for 20 minutes.

Kartoffel and Kleis

This recipe is quite easy, so you can prepare it with the help of children. Firstly, to prepare this dish you make a dough of flour, salt, egg, and water.

On the other hand, potatoes are boiled and after a while spoonfuls of dough are added, covered and left to cook. Once finished, add fried bread.


Pirok is a kind of dough stuffed with cabbage, minced meat, onion, and chili or ground chili. Its elaboration is quite long because the filling has to be prepared the day before so that it ferments correctly.

The elaboration of pirok in Argentina

This recipe is popular, especially in Argentina. So much so that some towns celebrate the Fiesta del Pirok, in which this dish that mixes Latin American and German culture is the protagonist.