Who doesn’t love Bavarian foods? What comes to your mind first?
It’s probably beer, pretzels as well as the typical Bavarian meats and sausage.
Bavarian food is characterized by its heartiness and authenticity. Its origins are very rural, since farming was the main source of income. So it comes as no surprise that Bavarian cuisine is dominated by flour and milk based products and hearty meats.
Why is Bavarian Food So Unique and Tasty?
Let’s look at its roots to answer this question: To this day, Bavaria is considered the richest state of Germany. The Bavarian dukes have certainly had a large role in that, especially the Wittelsbach family. They’ve pretty much ruled Bavaria and the Palatinate since 1180.
It was this royal family who developed the typical Bavarian cuisine and with that made it suitable for the royal court. Over the centuries, other wealthy families in Bavaria and Palatinate adopted it. Austrian and Bohemian shaped it further. A little flavor from France was added. The recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. …And Voilà!
With that being said, let’s dive into some heavy, hearty, pancreas- and gallbladder-killing foods. Bavarian cuisine is not for wimps! So buckle up!
The 6 Hottest Bavarian Foods:
Brotzeit (literally: bread time) is a Bavarian specialty. You have a savory snack that is served between breakfast and lunch. Of course, it starts out with freshly baked sourdough rye bread with lard spread and topped with caraway seeds. Instead of bread, you can also opt for a Bavarian pretzel, preferably sliced in half and spread with butter and, if handy, chives or fresh cress.
On the side you have garden-fresh veggies, such as tomatoes, onion rings, small red radishes, white radish as well as German pickles.
Cheese is another important piece. But not just any cheese will do. The Bavarian Obazde is a must. It is made of camembert, butter, cream cheese and onions seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, caraway seeds …and for perfection a slug of beer. In addition, it can also be a blue cheese, e.g. Bavarian Romadur or Limburger.
Salads are also very common. However, not what you have in mind! In Bavaria it has to be a hearty sausage, cabbage or potato salad.
The highlight is the meat or sausage. What would be Brotzeit without the famous Leberkas (literally: liver cheese)? However, it has nothing to do with liver or cheese. This is pretty much a meat loaf made of finely ground beef and pork meat and baked in a bread mold.
Weisswurst is another famous option. Literally this means ‘white sausage’. When you see a Weisswurst, you’ll notice that it looks kind of pale but its flavor is anything but… In other words, very flavorful made of minced veal, pork and beacon. Now, if you know anything about German sausages, you probably know that Germans have the ‘grown-up’ version of what Americans understand of breakfast sausage. Bigga… if you know!
Never have Brotzeit without sweet Bavarian mustard and “Eine Maß Bier” – a Maß (one liter) of beer!
Heroic Bavarian Lunch & Dinner Options:
Pork knuckle (Schweinshaxe) with potato dumpling
This can be kind of overwhelming when you order it for the 1st time: A gigantic piece of pork paired with a humongous potato dumpling. But trust me, you’ll eat it! The scent of the crisp fat crackling will lure you in. The potato dumpling feels fluffy and moist when you cut into it. A side of red cabbage or sauerkraut will take this meal to perfection.
Steckerlfisch (fish grilled on a stick)
Another Bavarian delicacy! This used to be fish from local lakes in the beginning of the 20th century. Today herring and mackerel are popular. The fish is lengthways pinned on a long stick and grilled over charcoal.
Last but not least the popular spaetzle, a stable of Bavarian cuisine. The name literally means “little sparrow”. They taste similar to egg noodles. Spaetzle go great with roasted pork or schnitzel and are easy to prepare. You just need flour, salt, nutmeg, eggs and milk or water.
Here are a 5 fun facts:
- Leberkas was ‘invented’ more than 200 years ago. But NOT by a Bavarian as many of you may assume. Responsible for having this delicious meaty dish is a Palatine chef. He was elector Karl Theodor’s chef, and moved from Mannheim to Munich with his master when inherited the throne from the childless elector Max III.
- The Munich “Steckerlfisch” origins in the Bavarian word “Steckerl”, which means “a little stick”. Steckerlfisch was ‘invented’ by the local family business “Fischer Vroni” in the early 1900’s as a new ‘fishy’ twist to the Oktoberfest.
- The Weisswurst was born in the kitchen of the “Zum ewigen Licht Gasthaus” on Munich’s Marienplatz on February 22, 1857. It actually was a mishap. However, the guests of the pub liked it as we all know, and today, Munich’s butchers stuff more than 75 million of these pale sausages per year.
- According to Bavarian traditions, Weisswurst is eaten for breakfast or Brotzeit and is not supposed to hear the chime of the noon church bells.
- Do you know what the “Weißwurstäquator” (literally, white sausage equator) is? According to Bavarian tradition it delineates a virtual cultural boundary that separates other linguistic and cultural areas from Southern Germany. In other words, it separates the Weisswurst-eaters from the rest of the nation!