German food and fast food dishes

Written by Garry on


The hefty regional kitchen was never designed to please calorie counters. The traditional local diet includes much meat, thick sauces, potatoes and vegetables. However, late spring sees the arrival of locally grown healthy and light white Asparagus (Spargel) on the markets.

When in season, Rhenish mussels (Muscheln rheinischer Art) prove highly popular. They are cooked with vegetables in white wine and served with typical German black bread (Schwarzbrot). Another dish is black pudding, either with onions (Flöns mit Öl) or roasted with mashed potatoes and applesauce (Himmel und Ähd). The names are in the Rhineland dialect.

As for fast food (Imbiss), the term might have its roots in North America of the eighteen hundreds but the hamburger originates from a recipe of ground beef-steak-bread combination that immigrants brought from Hamburg. Germans have also been eating fast food for an eternity.

Bockwurst (frankfurter or simmered sausage)

Traditionally made from ground veal and pork and flavored with salt, white pepper and paprika. Other spices, such as chives and parsley, are also often added in Germany. Thicker but smaller in length than a Frankfurter, this classic is warmed in hot water and often served with potato salad, always with mustard.

Bratwurst (grilled sausage)

The classic. A Bratwurst is fried, has less veal than pork and it is usually served with a slice of toast or a small bread roll and mustard.

Currywurst (curried sausage)

A Bratwurst is sliced and doused with ketchup and curry powder, usually not too sharp. Sometimes, someone may order a very colloquial Mantaplatte, which means chips/fries with mayonnaise, ketchup and a Currywurst.

Pommes Frites (chips or fries)

Potatoes are deep fried and eaten in several ways: Pommes Weiss with Mayo (mayonnaise); Pommes Rot with Ketchup (tomato ketchup); Pommes Weiss Rot with both. Fries are never served with vinegar or brown sauce.

Döner Kebab (doner kebab)

In short, Döner is a dish brought by Turks that has captured Germany. Meat is sliced off a rotating spit of lamb (Schaf), beef (Rind) or chicken (Hähnchen) that is grilled. A Döner is accompanied by a piece of Turkish bread filled with onions, salad, coleslaw, tomatoes, cucumbers and either a sharp (Scharf) or a garlic (Knoblauch) sauce.

Frikadelle (meat patty)

Known also as a Bulette, there are many recipes but it mostly consists of ground meat, breadcrumbs, spices and onions and it is ball-shaped. Quality varies enormously.

Halbes Hähnchen (half a chicken)

This is normally purchased at a take away stand or snack bar where the chickens are roasted on spits and already well spiced with paprika and salt.

Schnitzel (cutlet)

A boneless cutlet mostly served with salad and fries, which comes in several variations: Jäger (hunter) Schnitzel is pork with a dark sauce normally consisting of gravy, cream and mushrooms; Zigeuner (gypsy) Schnitzel is pork with a spicy reddish sauce with paprika and onions; Schnitzel Wiener Art (Vienna style) is a crumbed pork cutlet and the original Wiener Schnitzel is veal, both are served without sauce but with a quarter of lemon.



Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz

Rochusstrasse 1

53123 Bonn , NRW


Phone: +49 30 185 290

Fax: +49 30 185 294 262

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