German Cuisine Article -
Add a Comment

German Cuisine

Meat and potatoes, German style.

German cuisine reminds us of American food in its emphasis on meat and potatoes, but the focus on sweet and sour flavors is strictly German.

Sweet and Savory

Popular sweet and sour dishes like sauerbraten (which combines a sour marinade with a sweet sauce) reveal a taste for flavors that hearken back to medieval cooking, when such combinations were popular across Europe. Vinegars, sugar, and fruits provide popular piquant sauces.

A Taste for the Tuber

The German love of potatoes--enjoyed in salads, dumplings and pancakes--is rivaled only by the Irish. But it wasn't always so. In the mid-1700s, Frederick the Great of Prussia demanded that dubious peasants plant the curious kartoffel. Fondness followed, but gradually.

Meat is Major

Roasted meats (braten), schnitzels, and sausages (there are more than 1,000 varieties) are star players of the German dinner plate. The prominence of meat-eating in German culture goes back to ancient times: Romans derided Germanic tribes for their vigorous meat consumption.

Find more recipes in our German Recipe collection

Save This Article to Your Recipe Box?

It's easy! First, copy the article's web address (Url). Then click My Recipe Box at the top right corner of this page. Click Weblink at the top of your Recipe List and paste the Url in the space provided.

Sep. 23, 2009 12:48 am
Hi Carl, I think the reason that German food reminds you of American food is that American food was heavily influenced by German immigrants. I mean 'Humburger' and 'Frankfurter' are named after the German cities where they originated, and Pretzels and sour-dough also came from German bakeries.
Sep. 23, 2009 12:49 am
Ooops! I meant 'Hamburger' of course! ;)
Sep. 23, 2009 6:39 am
Growing up in a household where German was spken regularly, I enjoyed many of the dishes you described. I have taken my mother's potato salad to many parties, and got many nice compliments.
Sep. 23, 2009 7:34 am
My grandparents were from Germany and I learned how to cook from them. Most of these are really authentic recipes. Thank you for the potato dumplings. These are just the way I remember them !!!
Sep. 23, 2009 9:43 am
We loved the salad dressing served at our German Restaurant before it closed. The salad was just lettuce, cucumber, and vegetables, and the dressing seemed just vinegar, sugar, water and German spices. Can anyone give me a recipe?
Sep. 23, 2009 10:17 am
I was fortunate enough to live in Germany for 6 years. Sauerbraten was my favorite dish ( of about 40)and I am definately going to try the recipe here :-)
Sep. 23, 2009 11:07 am
I was so excited to review these recipes, the weather will be changing very soon in my area. Fall activities the wood burning stove and friends gathered for an Octoberfest Party what could be better. Let's not forget a few German beers.
Dec. 2, 2009 12:42 pm
Surprising to many German food is not all heavy laden with fat and carbs as the perceived outside of Germany. Most favored by the people here are dishes which use fresh vegetables and fruits. What is important is Fresh made served without over cooking or waste. The recipes sound interesting and I hope to be able to contribute and help with more.
Dec. 5, 2010 12:27 pm
Just moved back to the States after living in Germany for a couple of years and these recipes do bring back some memories, but they are all really heavy on meat and potatoes and are primarily reflective of the American view of German food, not what I think Germans think of as German food. The families that I ate dinner with tended to cook lighter things with an emphasis on FRESH ingredients. Lots of different types of fresh salads, Rahmspinat, Linsensuppe, Rotkohl, Tomato-Mozzerella, stuffed bell peppers (yum!). Hopefully some of those recipes will show up here as well. :) -- Although I could skip some of the crazy pizza toppers ;).
Jan. 6, 2011 9:01 am
How does one get hamburger to be less chunky. In former times it was never so chunky. I hope I expressed myself clearly Noel Potts
Mar. 30, 2011 6:19 am
I used to fly to Germany a lot with my prior job and had the best soup. They called it 'Goulash', I have looked every where and can not find the recipe. Anyone?
Apr. 11, 2011 4:43 am
Can any one help me find a Grun Kohl recipe??
Ginny B 
Apr. 24, 2011 5:55 am
To Noel Potts. A trick to keep hamburger less chuncky after you have browned it, is to mash it with a potato masher. The one I use has a 4 x 3 inch base. It keeps the ground beef all the same size. Great for spagetti & sloppy joe sauce.
Oct. 10, 2011 10:23 pm
I am of German heritage living in RSA. Goulasch is more a Hungarian or even Austro Hungarian dish. If look up those countries cuisines you will find an abundance of recipes for this. I love baking. But would like more recipes that are genuine German, French, and Italian. Both big cakes as well as tarts, and Petite Fours. It would also be great to know the towns they originate from.
Aug. 17, 2012 10:20 am
Born in Germany came to Canada at a young age. I still prepare for my father on a weekly basis many of his favorite German dishes. Keep them coming.
Sep. 24, 2012 10:31 am
hi GR8MOM38 - here's an easy "german grandma" -salad dressing recipe for green salad: just mix -white balsamico vinegar -your favourite oil -diced onion -mustard -sugar, salt and pepper to taste. It's a legacy of my boyfriend's grandma Johanna. we love and call it "Oma Henni's dressing" - enjoy! Greetings from Germany ;)
Sep. 26, 2012 8:03 pm
Not a single cheese button recipe on here? The BEST German food ever!
Aug. 20, 2014 5:46 am
I am actually a German member here, and it is true that our cuisine is based on meat and potatoes. However, we Germans are also quite good at baked goods (pastries, cakes, etc.) and bread, especially sourdough varieties. And we also eat quite some cabbage - even though it is not a daily part of our diet - e.g. the infamous Sauerkraut, stewed red cabbage with apple or cabbage rolls filled with minced beef.
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Cool As A Cucumber Salad
Cool As A Cucumber Salad

We have over 100 cucumber salads to help you keep your cool.

Classic Meatloaf
Classic Meatloaf

Meatloaf is the hearty, family-pleasing meal that makes the greatest leftovers ever.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Authentic German Potato Salad

See how to make traditional vinegar-based potato salad with crumbled bacon.

Sherry's German Turkey

See how to take turkey to the next level with bacon!

Kraut Bierocks

Try this authentic German meat-filled pastry for a light dinner or hearty snack.

Most Popular Blogs

Recently Viewed Recipes

You haven't looked at any recipes lately. Get clicking!
Quick Links: Recipe Box | Shopping List | More »
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States