One of the best things about travel is trying the food wherever you go, and in Germany each city has its specialty. As you might expect, a fair amount is sausage — there are so many different types!
Germany is known for sausages, but not all are created equal. Munich’s speciality is the weisswurst, or white sausage, which you’ll find for sale in grills and restaurants all over the city — or you can buy your own at a supermarket and cook them yourself. Be aware, though, that custom states that these sausages shouldn’t be eaten after 12 noon. Although this was originally for hygiene reasons (the fresh sausage meat would go off if not eaten quickly), it’s remained a strong tradition in the city. However, despite having to eat them early in the day, beer is still the appropriate accompaniment.
Sausages also reign supreme in Nuremberg, but these ones are smaller and served in a bun — the omnipresent “drei im weckla”. As you may have guessed, that’s three tiny sausages served in a small bun (brotchen). You can also order these as a main meal, in which case they’ll be served with sauerkraut or potato salad. If you’re given the choice of how many to order, you should always ask for three, six, eight, or ten sausages — the traditional numbers.
You’ll notice that the beers in Cologne and the surrounding cities are a lot smaller than in Bavaria — instead of 500ml or a litre, you’ll be served a tiny 200ml glass, usually full of top-fermented beer; in Cologne, this is called Kölsch and 24 small breweries battle for your custom. If you want a snack with your beer, you can order “Kölsch Kaviar” or “Halve Hahn” (literally, half a chicken) — but don’t expect fish eggs or poultry. Kölsch Kaviar is a large chunk of blood sausage, and Halve Hahn is a gernerous portion of Dutch cheese; both come served with a roll. Expect to pay around €5-6.
Dresden’s home sausage is the Thuringen, which is borrowed from the neighbouring region of the same name. It’s large and tasty and comes served in brotchen with mustard or ketchup.
Hamburg is a port city with a strong connection to the sea — so it’s logical that its traditional snack is fish. Fischbrotchen, to be exact. These small rolls can be bought from stalls or bakeries and there are a range of types of fish to choose from. The most popular is probably matjes (herring), which doesn’t look too appealing but is quite delicious. As well as fish, you’ll also get onion, sauce, and perhaps a bit of lettuce.
Currywurst is by no means limited to Berlin (you’ll find it all over Germany), but the city’s inhabitants have certainly made it their own. A grilled sausage is sliced, arranged on a small paper tray, covered with a tomato-based sauce, and liberally sprinkled with curry powder. It’s eaten with a tiny fork, may be accompanied by a roll, and generally costs around €3.
What’s your favourite German snack? Leave a comment below!