If you like your meat, then you will love Germany. Since we are a Munich based tour firm, we make no apologies if this is a little biased towards Bavaria. However, most of these dishes – or versions of them – can be found across the country.
Bratwurst: grilled – sometimes fried – sausage.Typically pork, although you will also encounter veal, beef and game (when in season) types.
Probably the most widely encountered variant in Munich is the Nürnberger Bratwurst. The Nürnberger is produced exclusively in Nuremberg – the capital of the Bavarian region of Franconia (which also boasts some superb beers). They are not a particularly big sausage – about 8cm long – and so a typical portion will consist of 6, served with potato salad or sauerkraut with mustard. They are seasoned with marjoram and absolutely delicious. To find the best ones in Munich, look no further than here
If you really love sausages, you might be tempted by the mixed plate offered in many places. The Würstelteller typically consists of 3 or 4 different types. In addition to the classic Nürnberger, you might get a Käsekrainer (Pork sausage with emmental cheese through it. The origins are a little obscure – Austria and Slovenia both claim it as theirs), Bockwurst (finely ground veal and pork, generally poached rather than grilled) Wienerwurst (finely ground pork and beef, resembling a hot dog sausage), or perhaps, most tasty of all – the Thüringer Rostbratwurst. This is made from minced pork, beef, or sometimes veal and is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, marjoram and caraway. This last is not a Bavarian sausage – Thuringia is immediately north of Bavaria – but that does not stop it turning up on your plate in Munich.
Schweinshaxe: Grilled or roast pork knuckle. The schweinehaxe – ham hock – is something of a signature dish for the region. Now, the idea of of a pig having a knuckle might seem like an oxymoron since pigs – at least the last time I looked – have a couple of trotters, rather than toes. The haxe is actually the end of the pig’s leg, just above the ankle and below the meaty ham portion. This is served on the bone and is quite a lot of meat, so some places will sell you a half portion.
Eisbein: like the Schweinshaxe, but boiled instead of roasted. A variation is known as Surhaxe: the joint has been slightly pickled before being cooked (marinaded) or cooked in a slightly acidic water with onion, carrots, laurel leaves and juniper berries. Very popular in Northern Germany, where many consider the boiled skin and fat a delicacy – I´m not so sure about that myself! If you are in Berlin, try it here.
Schnitzel: a schnitzel is an escalope, either veal or pork. The classic “Wiener Schnitzel”, hails, as the name suggests, from Vienna but is found all over Germany. (And beyond: the Swiss do them, the South-Tyroleans have it and when I was in what was Yugoslavia in 1989, we had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Wiener Schnitzel is always breaded and typically served with cranberry sauce and some sort of potato side: either Kartoffelsalat , Bratkartoffeln or Pommes. (see below). Another common variation is “Jägerschnitzel” (“Hunter´s Schnitzel”) which is not breaded and served in a creamy mushroom sauce.