George Schorschi’s Guide to German Cuisine: Part 1

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When I first moved to Germany, I made a promise that each time I went to the supermarket or went to dinner, I would try something new. While that has led to some very interesting experiences (mostly involving the discovery that apparently in Germany, all you need to make a food is a noun and the word “salat” after it), it’s also lead to the discovery of some favorites- and some mistakes. Here’s a few of each.

  1. Käsespätzle

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Ever wanted to overdose on cheese and noodles? Then Käsespätzle is the dish for you! Usually served in a hot skillet, this delicacy tastes best when swished down with a hearty beer. Typically you’ll find other ingredients besides just the noodles and cheese (sometimes mushrooms and bacon bits), but let’s face it- the only reason you’re going for this is because you heard “German mac’n’cheese” and stopped listening after that.
Try it?
Oh hell yes. German mac’n’cheese is the shit.

  1. Schweinshaxe

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A lot of people tend to forget that in the good ol’ days, you would use every part of the animal when you butchered it. So while most butcher shops in the States will offer your usual cuts and limbs, you probably won’t find pig knuckles. Well, for those of you wondering where those delicious, tasty knuckles wound up, look no further than German beer halls. They come in a few varieties (so far I’ve found roasted and broiled), but honestly I was quite surprised at how tasty they were. I was also surprised that there was that much fat and grease to be found in Babe’s appendages. So it’s not health food- but still pretty damn good with mashed potatoes.
Try it?
You only live once- so why not go down with a pig knuckle in your gullet?

  1. Fleischsalat

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Literally translating to “meat salad”, this basically takes all the things you liked about egg salad (the eggs) and replaces it with shredded meat. Imagine you’re eating a sandwich with cold cuts, lettuce, tomato, cheese, bread, and mayo. Now switch the lettuce, tomato, cheese, and bread with more mayo, blend it, then add even more mayo and peas, and you get Fleischsalat. I tried this once after going down the aisle from Kartoffelsalat to Eiersalat to Thunfischsalat to Käsesalat and assumed that Fleischsalat was the next logical step. It wasn’t so much a step as it was a stumble down the stairs.
Try it?
Meh. It’s not the most adventurous thing you’ll find, but the risk/reward ratio here is pretty low. Maybe don’t bother unless you’re

  1. Spargel-“whatever”

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Taking a quick break from the meat for our veggie friends, there’s tasty Spargel for you to enjoy. I’ve already written before about Germany’s love affair with the pale asparagus, which still continues to confound me. But the good news about the Spargel harvest being plentiful is that there’s literally hundreds of ways to prepare it. You can get soup, you can braise it, you can bread it, you can roast it- and all with a large serving of hollandaise sauce. Again, not exactly healthy- but it only comes once a year, so get your fill now!
Try it?
I mean, you pretty much have to if you want to consider your time in Germany complete. I think it’s a requirement to get your Resident Visa (but what would I know?).

  1. Sülze

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And now we’re back to disgusting. I seriously cannot even begin to understand who thought this was a good idea. Onions? Great, love those. Pickles? Ok, I can get behind that. Cold cuts? Sure, why not. All of them stuck together into some weird, clear gelatinous blob with other garbage parts of an animal and then sliced off like cheese? Hold up. Nevertheless, you’ll find it in the deli or even sliced and ready to go in the fridge next to the cold cuts. I tried it once and spat it immediately back out. To this day I cannot find a single person who claims to enjoy it.
Try it?
It’s the equivalent to a waste bin stuck in tasteless Jell-O. Only do it on a dare.

PS: If this post does well, there will be more stories of German food- and I’m open to suggestions of things I should try! Comment below!


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16 thoughts on “George Schorschi’s Guide to German Cuisine: Part 1

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am German and you won’t see me eating any of that yuck stuff ever ever! Ok, Spargel is yummy when green. And George, what about Grützwurst? Or Labskaus?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Try Sauerkrautsaft. Fart in a bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    You will never convince me that steam rollered pork coated in bread crumbs is a dignified way for a pig to go. Not like it tastes of anything.

    Like

  4. Your article made me laugh!

    And i’ve never seen such an horrible picture of Sülze before. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kristen says:

    I really like it when folks get together and share thoughts.
    Great site, keep it up!

    Like

  6. Anonymous says:

    Peas in Fleischsalat? There’s usually pickles in there.

    Like

  7. dee says:

    Sülze can be of many varieties, some of which contain prime meat (no waste meat parts) and it actually tastes very good.

    In Poland it is known as salceson, and the “dressing” for it is vinegar.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous says:

    It looks good to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. melsiefaye says:

    This is great! I’m currently living in Germany and trying to be sure to eat all of the best things (and at least try the wurst, er, the worst). Tried Sülze and I kind of felt bad that I didn’t hate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As promised, the first of (hopefully) many to come: Rollmops!

    Like

  11. Have you ever tried Kochkäse on a Schnitzel? Try it , you’ll love it

    Like

  12. haha made me lol. I live in terror of most meat products in Germany, including that raw minced meat on bread rolls with raw onion that you can buy at the bakerei. Seriously, how do people eat that stuff and not die?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You know you’re not German when you go to the spati for the usual drunken expat snacks (chips, chocolate, icecream, more wine) and see a girl buying bread, liverwurst paste (eww) and pickles.

    Liked by 1 person

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