People think of places like Paris (or France in general), London, Italy, Spain, or just a setting by the sea in a warm Mediterranean country eating fresh seafood when they think of holidays and wonderful meals. Copenhagen (thanks to Noma’s re-election as the world’s best restaurant), San Sebastian in Spain or Tokyo in Japan (thanks to their Michelin-starred restaurants), and, of course, Paris/France.
We would highly recommend a trip to Germany for a fantastic culinary holiday, partly due to a shortage of German eateries outside of Germany, but mostly due to the quality, flavor, and value for money, especially when compared to France, where food is generally cheaper. It’s terrific hearty comfort food, so it’s heavy on the carbs, which is ideal for the Scottish… but perhaps not for those on a diet (Scots included!). The BBC has recommended various Berlin workers’ canteens as a great place to eat lunch, both in terms of price and quality. Many people have never considered it before.
Here’s a collection of goods from Germany that we adore.
Laugenbrezels (pretzels in the United Kingdom) are baked doughy breads fashioned into a loop with a hard crusty shell. They are usually savory and coated in salt crystals, and they look to be becoming more popular in Scotland. Up until recently, the only places we knew where you could get one were Falko konditorei in Edinburgh and Gullane, but now we’ve seen them in Lidl and Sainsbury’s, which are both starting to add bakery sections to their stores (something we noticed in some of their European stores a year or two ago). Though the ones they sell aren’t authentic Laugenbrezels because they lack the best part – the intense saltiness! A Laugenbrezel is recommended for anyone who enjoys anchovies or salty chips/fries/nuts. We’ve seen them for sale all around Germany, but they’re especially popular in the south and in Bavaria.
It is the typical German takeaway food and can be found in almost every snackbar in Germany.
Kebabs and Turkish pizzas
Döner and Schawarma kebabs are highly popular in Germany because of the big Turkish population; in fact, the best kebabs we’ve ever had were all in Germany. Unlike back home, where a Döner (for tourists?) may be promoted. As a result, the kebabs we’ve eaten in Germany tasted considerably better – thinner meat, more veggies, and fresher salads – as opposed to the sweaty greasy lump of spinning flesh on a spit that you see in many UK eateries. In Germany, you don’t have to feel bad about eating a kebab! You’ll also come across restaurants that serve Türkische (Turkish) Pizza. It is a kebab wrapped in a flatbread and consumed on the go.
Marzipan makes my mouth dance with delight, and thanks to Lidl, I can keep my supply in check. However, a trip to Germany is required to truly appreciate good Marzipan.
Germany has over 1,000 breweries (over half of which are in Bavaria) that produce 5 – 6,000 different beers in a variety of styles (light pilsner/lager, wheat, dark, etc.) that have been brewed for centuries according to the Reinheitsgebot (Bavarian beer purity law) which allows only water, hops, and barley. This has now changed slightly and more ingredients are allowed, but the high quality has remained. Although they did not originate beer, Weihenstephan, headquartered in Freising on the outskirts of Munich, is the world’s oldest active brewery, having been in operation since 1040. So the Germans are well-versed in the art of brewing fine beer.
Germans are known for their hearty meaty stews (often based on pig or ham), and many eastern cuisines have made their way into the country, so paprika-laced Goulash may be found on many restaurants.
I don’t know many people who admit to eating sauerkraut because it has a bad reputation, with many people connecting it with, uh, gas, but it’s delicious! All of the fermenting results in a powerful “nippy” vinergary cabbage that has a lot more flavor than regular cabbage and goes well with any German cuisine.