German cuisine

Unlike, North American meals, where families sit down for supper after a long day’s work, lunch is the important meal of the day in Germany. People come home from work around noon to sit down and eat the largest meal of the day. It is representative of the German culture - hard working, but understanding the value of building relationships.

Customs around eating

Breakfast and supper tend to be smaller meals and often consist of the same foods. Bread, served with meat, cheeses, and spreads, make up a common breakfast or supper. Germans commonly sit down together for supper, in addition to lunch.

While the size of the meals and to some extent the food served, German meals look quite similar to North American meals; people sit around a table with silverware, bowls, plates, and glasses. Meals commence with the traditional blessing of guten appetit, “good appetite” in English.

Common dishes

Bratwurst - Thuringian, the area surrounding Jena, SST’s main city in Germany, is known for its bratwurst. Most commonly eaten at cookouts or purchased on street stands, it still remains a food for special occasions rather than a daily meal.

Thuringian Clösse - Return from Germany SST and you will have encountered a new potato dish, but good luck describing it to friends back home. Germans shred their spuds, dry them, re-hydrate and then cook. The tasty dish is served with sauer kraut, a common cuisine for special occasions, such as Sunday lunch.

Bread - Unlike American bread, which tends to be pre-sliced, soft and purchased at the grocery store, good German bread comes strong, in an uncut loaf, and from the bakery each day. Bread serves as the base for both breakfast and supper. A variety of spreads, such as cream cheese, jam, butter, and more, plus meats and cheeses line the kitchen table for making open face sandwiches. Vegetables commonly are served alongside.

Italian ice cream - More common in Europe than North America, Italian ice cream tends to be richer in taste and smoother in texture than regular North American ice cream. During the summer months, people commonly buy Italian ice cream after a walk around town or at the mountain top café on a long hike.