Before a trip to Germany familiarising yourself with the foods, sights, and traditions that await you is important. Embarrassing moments such as ordering a dish only to be horrified to receive blood sausage can by minimised if you do a little research first.
Here are ten of the most famous German foods.
Wurst sausages are synonymous with German culture. Across the country, there are variations on a theme. Currywurst reign supreme in Berlin whereas Rostbratwurst mit Sauerkraut is famed in Thurigen. Currywurst is sausage in a curry sauce which tastes nicer than it sounds.
Rostbratwurst mit Sauerkraut is a sausage served with sauerkraut. Each region has its own specialty sausage but be warned that some are a little unusual even being served in soup.
This is a very tasty option. Trout or Whitefish are cooked on sticks in the way fishermen would do. The fish are popular at Oktoberfest. The fish are marinated in herbs before being grilled which gives them a delicious aroma as well as taste. A bread roll is a usual accompaniment.
Roughly translated as 'little sparrows' Spätzle is an egg noodle dish. Specialty versions of it are served with cheese and sometimes pork. This dish is mainly found in Southern Germany and it is claimed that it originated in Württenburg. Spätzle is often served as a side to the main dish.
These deliciously home-cut fries form the accompaniment to most German meals. The evenly cut chips are often cooked with bacon, green peppers or onions. They make a hearty addition to any meal but are also a yummy snack.
Nothing says German Christmas like sweet scented Lebkuchen. There are soft and hard versions available and are associated with the famous German Christmas markets. The biscuits are made with honey and delicately spiced with cinnamon.
A little like Italian Ravioli, Maultaschen are meat filled pasta pieces. They are significantly larger than traditional ravioli and a serving usually consists of only two or three pieces. In Baden-Württemberg, maultaschen are protected which means that the only genuine versions of the dish come from the state. They are sometimes served in a soup although more often are presented without sauce.
Meat is beaten and coated in flour before being cooked to create Schnitzel. The meat is tender and the addition of the coating makes it incredibly tasty and easy to eat.
Brezeln originate in Bavaria and are better known as pretzels. They are served warm and fresh and smothered in butter. They are quite different from the hard, crunchy versions found in UK supermarkets. The real deal is a must try food on a visit to Germany.
Fermented cabbage is a popular side in Germany. The traditional German version is made with juniper berries or sometimes caraway seeds. It is served warm with pork not cold as is the mistake in other countries. Both red and white cabbage can be used.
10. Bier No trip to Germany is complete without sampling some German beer. A stein of bier or two is the way to celebrate at Oktoberfest. Beer is not just for festivals in fact drinking is commonplace in Germany. It is legal to drink on the streets in the country unlike in many other places around the world. It really is a case of 'when in Rome...'