In the days that followed my grandmother’s death, I suddenly became aware of the fact nobody in our family had any of her recipes. When I was growing up, my grandmother spent countless hours crafting delicious (and frighteningly complex) recipes from her native Germany. While I wasn’t always a fan of what she put on my plate and forced me to eat, I always had an appreciation for her hard work and love of food.
For the “big” events throughout the year, she made potato dumplings, rouladen (which she was always tweaking and unhappy with given the dirty sounding German words she was uttering) and whenever she was gifted her favorite sausages or other German delicacies from the German deli, the entire family gathered for an evening of traditional German dinner. There was always a heaping dish of her fabulous red cabbage, potato salad or cucumber salad. The pastries and a celery root salad were my great-grandmother’s thing.
German food isn’t for everyone; there are a lot of bold flavors that take quite a bit of time adjusting to (hello sauerkraut), but as I’ve matured, I’ve actually found the majority of German dishes aren’t that bad. Except liverwurst or blood sausage, keep that shit away from me.
While I’ve yet to visit Germany (it’s on my bucket list), I’ve recently come to realize like so many other traditional foods, the flavors completely change from region to region. For example, my grandmother’s family was from a little town called Breslau (it’s now Wrocław, Poland) and my in-law's family came from Munich—the rouladens of the different regions is as different as night and day! I go into restaurants and find myself panicked about what version of a favorite dish I’ve just ordered.
8 Traditional German Recipes
For more German recipes, be sure and check out our Pinterest board, filled with lots of delicious (and mostly unhealthy) foods.