Your online resource

for all things culinary

HOME Search this Site All Recipes Special Sections Articles &  Resources Kitchen Equipment Food & Health Growing Food Directories

Missing an Ingredient ?


German Cuisine and Recipes

German Food, Recipes and cooking

Cooking by Country - April 2003


Scroll down for German Recipes



Go to:-   German Featured Ingredient    German Speciality Dish   |  Cooking by Country Main Page



Germany is situated in Central Europe, with a 2,389 km coastline on the Baltic and  North Seas and borders with France, Poland, Russia,  Czechoslovakia, Holland (The Netherlands), Austria, Switzerland and Denmark, all of  which countries, or at least portions thereof, were part of the German Empire at one time or another.


Ancient Times and Influences on German Cooking


The fertile terrain and ample water supplies made for good grazing and Germany has always been rich in beef, dairy cattle, sheep, and pigs. Thus, until the Middle Ages, the German diet mainly consisted of meat and their by-products i.e. milk and cheese. Smoking, marinating and salting techniques were developed to store the abundance of meat, a practice which has survived and is evident with their myriad of sausages and preserved foods.


The Romans were the probably the first to make any significant comment on German food. Latin literature records that German cuisine was a simple affair, consisting of a lot of meat and a lot of mead. By 96 AD, the Romans completed their colonisation of regions in southern Germany and it is undeniable that their eating and drinking habits influenced the German cuisine.


Not much is known about the period after the Romans withdrew, but there seems to have been a culinary revival with the spreading of Christianity and the inevitable founding of monasteries. Another influence came with the political stabilisation of Western Europe under Charlemagne around the 8th century. It was at that time that extensive cultivation of grapes, vegetables, fruit and herbs was recorded. Also, with this stability came wealth (at least for some) and it was the ruling classes who were responsible for introducing spices from around the adding another dimension to traditional German cooking.


The following period of wars probably had the most influence on modern-day German cuisine. Both France and parts of Italy were conquered and now came under Charlemagne's rule, as did Switzerland and Austria. One doesn't immediately think of German cuisine being akin to French cuisine, but it's certain that culinary customs were picked up from both the French and Italians.


By the 18th century sugar, rice and potatoes (introduced by King Frederick the Great of Prussia) became widely available to the German populace.

Current Day German Cuisine

Today simple but substantial food remains a characteristic of German cuisine. Meat, Game, game birds and rabbit are considered traditional foods, as is the use of juniper berries, with mustard and horseradish being common condiments. The renowned Sauerkraut is still popular as are their vast range sausages (wurst), speciality cured meats and dairy products e.g. cheese, often eaten with Pumpernickel bread which originated in Northern Germany.


As one would expect, the geographical differences and the bordering countries still have an influence on regional cuisine. Cooking in the north still tends to reflect the customs of the nearby Scandinavian countries. The diet here is much heavier than that in the south, with an emphasis on meat and potatoes. In the south, a lighter cuisine can be found with strong influences from nearby Italy and Austria. Also grain products are substituted for potatoes in many instances e.g. Spatzle which is a special type of pasta noodle.



Recipes from Germany - Click here for lots of German Recipes

 Follow us  




 Sign up for Free E-mailings

Still not found what you're looking for?


Try our search facility. Type in your main ingredient (s) or whatever you happen to have available in your store cupboard or fridge and allow us to whisk you up a recipe in seconds!



For full advanced search tips visit our main search page via the red "search this site" button at the top of the page


About Us  |  Contact Us  |   Advertise |    Private Privacy  |   Media Resources  |  Links  |  Sitemap  |

Printing Recipes  |  Abbreviations on this site  




This Web Site was designed and created by Copyright 2000 to date [Recipes4us] All rights reserved.

 Some Photos