Germany is a country with a rich history and lots of important tourist sites to see, but surprisingly, it’s also a foodie paradise. Visitors would be amiss to ignore the German cuisine and simply assume it’s all about beers and sausages.

You should try several delicious German dishes while you’re touring the country. You can find most of these dishes all over Germany, but some, such as Fischbrötchen, are limited to coastal areas with fresh fish. Discover six essential dishes you should try in Germany.

Spätzle

Since Germans are often considered to be heavy meat eaters, it’s interesting to know that spätzle is a vegetarian dish. It resembles pasta, but it’s made of eggs, flour, salt, and a bit of fizzy water to make the dough fluffier. Although it’s traditionally a side dish, if you add Emmentaler or Limburger cheese, it becomes a German macaroni and cheese. You can find spätzle all over Germany, but it’s originally from Baden-Württemberg, Swabia.

Maultaschen

Image via Flickr by illustir

Maultaschen is another popular Swabian dish. Oddly enough, it also looks like pasta, but in this case, it resembles ravioli. Legend has it that monks first created maultaschen. Since the monks couldn’t eat meat, they hid it inside the pasta so god couldn’t see it. You can boil or fry maultaschen and stuff it with minced meat, pork, or a vegetable option like spinach or sauerkraut.

Schweinsbraten

You can’t go to Bavaria without trying a traditional schweinsbraten. In fact, any Munich city guide will tell you to sample this roasted pork delicacy. The dish has a distinctive salty and pickled flavor, as it was invented before refrigerators became common. Traditionally, schweinsbraten is served with stöcklkraut, a roasted cabbage, and knödel, or dumplings.

Schnitzel

Schnitzel is one of Germany’s most famous dishes, but it’s originally from Italy. It’s made with pork meat coated with eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs before being deep fried until crispy on the outside. Austrian chefs tend to make it with veal meat, but in Germany, you’ll find recipe variations with chicken or even soy meat.

Currywurst

Invented in 1949 by Herta Heuwer, currywurst is basically pork sausages mixed with ketchup and curry powder. It’s a popular street food snack served with fries and white bread. For the best currywurst in Berlin, head to Konnopke’s Imbiss restaurant and wait in the line for this delicious dish.

Fischbrötchen

When it comes down to it, fischbrötchen is just a fish sandwich. What makes it special is the freshness of the fish, which is usually herring, and the flavorful fillings, such as pickles and horseradish sauce. Restaurants like Bruecke 10 in Hamburg serve this sandwich with shrimp, but you can also find versions that feature eels or even fish eggs.

If you didn’t know that Germany has such a fantastic variety of dishes, you now know that you’ll find a lot more than just sausages on offer. Next time you visit Germany, you can safely order something different, knowing that you’re experiencing a traditional dish.

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