GERMAN STAPLE FOODS
Germans tend to eat heavy and hearty meals that include ample portions of meat and bread. Potatoes are the staple food, and each region has its own favorite ways of preparing them. Some Germans eat potatoes with pears, bacon, and beans. Others prepare a special stew called the Pichelsteiner, made with three kinds of meat and potatoes. Germans from the capital city of Berlin eat potatoes with bacon and spicy sausage. Sauerbraten is a large roast made of pork, beef, or veal that is popular throughout Germany, and is flavored in different ways depending on the region. In the Rhine River area, it is flavored with raisins, but is usually cooked with a variety of savory spices and vinegar. Fruit (instead of vegetables) is often combined with meat dishes to add a sweet and sour taste to the meal. Throughout Germany desserts made with apples are very popular.
Knödel, or dumplings, accompany many meals, especially in the north. In the south, a tiny version called spätzle is more common. Knödel may be made either of mashed potatoes or bread (or a mixture of both), and are either boiled or fried. Germans enjoy bread with every meal, with rye, pumpernickel, and sourdough breads more common than white bread. Soft pretzels can be found almost anywhere. Spargel (asparagus) served with a sauce or in soup is popular in the spring.