German foods I love and loathe

Recently, Deanna at From Casinos to Castles wrote a post on the German foods that she really cannot stand. This has inspired me to write my own list, but to balance things out a bit, I also want to talk about the German foods that I love and will really miss if I ever leave here. I’ll do the ones I hate first so I can end on a high note…

German Foods I Loathe

1. Wurstsalat. I have talked about this abomination that dares to call itself salad before, here. My boyfriend loves it, but I cannot stand it. Firstly, I’m not keen on the meat it’s made with (some kind of soft, mushy stuff), secondly I don’t like the vinegar-based dressing it’s drowned (yes, drowned!) in, and thirdly, it nearly always comes with raw onions, which I also can’t stand. YUK! This is a German food item that I definitely don’t need in my life!

2. Weizenbier (wheat beer). Sorry, sorry, sorry. I know this is practically sacrilege, but I just cannot get on with wheat beers. I don’t like the taste of them at all. Too bitter… too wheaty. Give me a Pils any day (but please not Becks! I don’t like that stuff either…)

3. Mett. The boyfriend insists that good Mett is really nice, but the one time I tried it, I was nearly sick. And now you’re probably all wondering what Mett is. Well, it’s minced pork. Raw minced pork that Germans like to spread on bread. Did I mention that it’s raw! Bleurgh… keep that stuff away from me!

4. Leberknödel. Literally meaning liver dumplings, Leberknödel consist of ground liver that’s mixed with bread crumbs and egg to form a ball. They’re usually served in the form of Leberknödelsuppe (liver dumpling soup), which is basically a bowl of beef broth with Leberknödel floating around in it. I don’t like liver anyway, and it doesn’t taste any better floating in beef stock. Sometimes, Leberknödel also turn up on meat platters, where they are friend rather than drowned in stock. Still not tasty…

5. Erdnussflips. These are basically peanut flavoured corn snacks. They’re shaped like Wotsits (UK – I think Cheetos are the US equivalent), but instead of being flavoured with deliciously morish cheese, they’re covered in peanut dust. The Germans love these, but I find them really dry and the peanut taste is weird… not like real peanuts. It’s a bit like eating vaguely peanut-flavoured cardboard. I definitely will not miss these if I find myself back in the UK.

German Foods I Love

1. Bratkartoffeln. Literally fried potatoes, my family always called these “fritters”. In their most basic form, Bratkartoffeln are potatoes sliced very thinly and fried in oil until they’re crispy. In less basic versions, bacon or onions are fried in with the potatoes to give them flavour. Either way, they are delicious! (Technically, I wouldn’t actually miss these if I left Germany as I often make them myself anyway, but they’re definitely one of my favourite German foods!).

2. Maultaschen. Usually translated as Swabian Ravioli, this sourthern German dish consists of filled pockets made from a pasta-like dough. The traditional filling is a spiced minced pork, that I find very similar to English sausages. You can also get Maultaschen in other varieties, such as vegetarian, beef, turkey or even salmon. They are usually served in one of three ways: in broth as a soup, cut into slices and fried along with scrambled egg or “geschmälzt” – fried in butter along with onions that have been caramelised in the same butter. In Karlsruhe, the third variety is often sold alongside potato salad for a carb overload!

Sausages
Om nom nom

3. Sausages. Obviously they need to be on the list… after all, that is what this country is all about! Little mini Nürnberger Bratwurst, huge Thüringer Bratwurst, Käsekrainer (a type of boiled sausage filled with cheese) or even Currywurst – I’ll take them all! The only German sauage I’m not too keen on is Weißwurst – literally “white sausage”, a veal sausage that is boiled and then eaten by removing the skin and eating the filling. The traditional way of doing it is to suck out the filling… errm, no thanks. I ate mine “normally” with a knife and fork, but wasn’t too keen on the flavouring (cardamom and lemon, among other things)

4. Schupfnudeln. A Schupfnudel, meaning rolled noodle, is a type of dumpling or noodle similar to Italian Gnocchi, in that it is made using potatoes. Unlike Gnocchi, Schupfnudeln are fairly long and thin, with pointed ends. In my region of Germany, they’re sometimes called “Bubenspitzle “, meaning little boys’ willies. It’s probably best not to ask! Schupnudeln are prepared by frying them in butter and can be served alongside sweet or savoury foods. At Christmas markets and the like, you’ll usually find them friend up with Sauerkraut (I never eat Schupfnudeln at markets because I don’t like Sauerkraut!).

5. Kartoffelpuffer, or potato pancakes. Are you sensing a theme here? I may be slightly obsessed with potatoes. Kartoffelpuffer are pancakes made by mixing together grated potatoes, flour, egg and seasoning, forming them into a pancake shape and then frying said pancake. The traditional way of serving them is with apple sauce, but at fairs you can sometimes get them with other things, like garlic sauce or sour cream.  I almost always eat Kartoffelpuffer at the Christmas market.

And there you have it. I could go on forever, but I think five of each will do. Are there any German foods you love or loathe? Or, if you’re living somewhere else that isn’t your own country, what foods do you love and hate in your adopted home?

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40 thoughts on “German foods I love and loathe

  1. Schokolade, Schokolade, Schokolade. Und Broetchen! So, yeah, those are some of my favorites. 🙂 But I’ll agree on sausage and bratkartoffeln. I also love Spaetzle. Sadly, next time I travel to Germany, eating will be a challenge seeing as I no longer eat wheat. But thank goodness I can still eat chocolate. Oh, and also German yogurt rocks!! European yogurt is generally much tastier than the American version. I don’t recall which branch I liked best, but there was a strawberry yogurt in a glass jar that I bought very frequently. As for your foods you loathe – most of them I’ve not tasted, seeing as they just *sound* gross. I mean really – sausage salad?!?

  2. I do not like Weizenbier either. Pfui. Even worse: Bananenweizen! What is your favorite German beer? Mine is Bitburger. And I loooove Bratkartoffeln! I would like to eat them every day but I am usually too lazy to make them! And Kartoffelpuffer rule! Where I come from they are called “Krumperkichelcha”. I also do not like Erdnussflips very much. Chips are better.

  3. I don’t know if I ever ate Maultaschen and Schupfnudeln……at least I can’t remember but I’m from Westphalia though, you don’t really get that here. And I’m with you on all the things you loathe. I don’t like any of those either but I’m vegetarian so that probably doesn’t count 😉
    I discovered my love for cous-cous when I was in France and for chips&cheese whilst in Britain although the latter destroys my waist line completely 😀
    But I’m glad that you didn’t came up with Sauerkraut 😀 That’s such a stereotype. Nobody I know eats that 😉

    1. LOL, I hate Sauerkraut but it is too much of a cliche. I don’t know anybody who really loves it. My boyfriend will eat it if it’s on his plate, but he won’t go out of his way to order it. I don’t actually like cabbage in general, so it seemed like cheating to single out Suerkraut 😉

      Mmmm, cheesy chips! Now that’s something I miss from the UK!

      1. I like sauerkraut, but *only* on hot dogs or sausage. When I have an Ikea hot dog, I go simple- a little mustard, a little kraut, a little bit of that dried onion stuff they have.

        It’s not for everyone, I grant you, but I grew up with sauer kraut as a typical hot dog topping and it stuck.

  4. Surprised about the Erdnussflips – I thought you’d love those! Don’t like Wurstsalat, Weißwurst or Leberknödel much either. Grießnockerl, however, I really miss. Not that they have much in common with Leberknödel other than being served in a broth. Oh, Maultaschen… could do with those right now 🙂

  5. All of those names sound rather off-putting to me, but I could totally live in Germany because of the abundance of potato-based deliciousness. Long live starch!

    1. There is a failing, though. There are no tater tots here. Despite dozens of different potato preparations, none of them is quite like the tater tot. I’ve tried at length to explain tater tots to Germans, and they always get this blank expression…

      1. LOL, you don’t get these in the UK so I obviously don’t miss them, but I do miss baked potatoes with different fillings. I mean, I can obviously make those myself, but I miss being able to order one in a cafe or something and have it turn up with something other than sour cream or quark!

  6. Butterbrezen – buttered pretzels – I love the fresh baed pretzels here, and when it’s got butter, it’s just so good.

    I also love semmelknödel… I like the bread based knödel much more than the potato based knödel. One of my favorite meals when I visited Salzburg was a plate of mixed semmelknödel and egg- so very tasty.

  7. I tried Leberkase for the first time this weekend – ugh. Couldn’t bring myself to try the white sausages after that! But plenty of wurst just the same 🙂 And you take that back about the Weissbeer!

  8. Just dropping by to express my whole hearted agreement with your “German Foods I Loathe” list- BESONDERS Mett. I just don’t get it. It’s meaty but slimey? No thank you.

      1. Then definitely shouldn’t try ethiopian food me thinks. Forget what it’s called but there’s a dish that’s rather popular that consists of raw beef prepared in various ways which is meant to be wrapped in a soughdoughy wrap thing and dipped in sauce. bread = nice. rest of it = hmmm…

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