Weird (and Wonderful) German Foods, by The Expat Hub

logo_the-expat-hubThis post was written specifically for readers of Oh God, My Wife Is German, by The Expat Hub. For more expatriate articles, visit their site at

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Weird (and Wonderful) German Foods

It’s official. People will eat anything. There are some truly weird foods in this world, and for reasons unknowable, otherwise sensible individuals are more than happy to put them in their mouths.

Now, Europe has some particularly…interesting… delicacies on offer, many of which seem to involve some form of animal appendage.

Despite an abundance of McDonald’s restaurants, some people still find it necessary to munch on a cow foot in Poland, sample a little sheep head in Norway or slurp up some cold pig brain soup in Hungary. (I’m sure I’m not the only one whose mouth is watering.)

And Germany, the undisputed king of Europe, certainly isn’t excluded from the weird food awards.

The winner of ‘weirdest-supposedly-edible-thing’ has to be Schwarzsauer, a German stew made of goose giblets, blood, vinegar and peppercorns. I wish I could say it looks better than it sounds, but that would be a dirty lie. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even make some blood dumplings to bob about on top!

Now, if that soup doesn’t satisfy your blood lust, you could always give blutwurst, or blood sausage, a go. It’s hugely popular in Germany, both as an ingredient and as a ‘tasty’ snack food in its own right.

Himmel und Erde is another less-than-appetising German offering, but this one’s sneaky. The translated name of the dish is (misleadingly) Heaven and Earth. Apparently the ‘heaven’ part refers to the apples involved in its creation. Apples are cooked until squidgy and mashed into potatoes – the ‘earth’ element. Blend in blood sausage and friend onions and you’ve got one weird food party on your hands.

If you fancy a sweet treat to get you through the afternoon, and a cookie just won’t do, how about a nice wedge of Fantakuchen? Various forms of Fanta cake are served in Germany, and yes it really is what it sounds like – cake featuring that famous orangey liquid-sugar beverage as a main ingredient. So is the brand’s catchphrase true? More Fanta more fun? No. In this case, no.

Germany is also the place where fish, liquorice and chilli meet. Chili Heringe are liquorice treats flavored with chilli and shaped (for some reason) like fish. These actually aren’t bad if you can get past the whole inappropriate-shaping thing.

Well, those are some weird German foods, but what about the wonderful ones? If you’ve still got an appetite, here are a couple of the tastiest German offerings.

In a nation where drinking beer from anything smaller than your average house cat is frowned upon, is it any wonder that bierkase is so popular? Bierkase is a specialist German cheese made with beer yeast. I know it sounds like it should belong in the weird list, but it’s actually pretty tasty (if a bit smelly…). Germans recommend eating it with dark bread and, unsurprisingly, a side of beer.

Now, eating sour, fermented cabbage might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but sauerkraut (that German classic) is actually a whole lot nicer than it sounds. And looks. And smells. This sharp, tangy condiment actually goes with everything, from hotdogs and burgers to tacos. Well worth a try.

As everyone knows, Germany takes Christmas seriously. Really seriously. And there are a couple of festive pastries the nation is famed for. One of them is Stollen, or German Christmas cake. These sweetened breads stuffed with fruits, spices and marzipan are sold at Christmas markets across the country all through December. If you’ve got a super sweet tooth you should check out Stollenfest in Dresden – a whole festival devoted to the cake!

Another sweet festive treat are Lebkuchen, baby gingerbreads. These are like cake/biscuit/bread hybrids and are usually sold with either a thin coating of icing or a rich chocolate shell.

So that’s a selection of the weirdest and most wonderful foods in Germany. If this has tempted you to give blood soup a go, then you’ve completely missed the point of the whole article.

‘This guest post was provided by The Expat Hub – the number one online stop for expatriates looking for advice, support and information’

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10 thoughts

  1. Interesting article
    Now as I am German let me leave a comment:

    I never tried Schwarzsauer, Blutwurst or Himmel und Erde.
    I think I don’t want to try Schwarzsauer, but Blutwurst is interesting and Himmel und Erde sounds really good for me.
    (Is the imagination of apples with potatoes really that strange to you?)

    You don’t taste it’s Fanta in Fantakuchen. It’s just like orange flavour.
    But better try Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Frankfurter Kranz.

    Chili Heringe are coated with salmiac (salt), and theres a kind of herring conserved with salt, called Salzhering, which is also the name of the classic katjes liquorice treats. They use some puns in the advertising.

    When writing Bierkäse without the “ä” on your keyboard please use “ae” or Alt + 132
    (Never tried Bierkäse as well)

    How can you eat Sauerkraut with hotdogs?
    Maybe it’s because I only know the kind of Hot Dog eaten in Denmark.
    Better try with hog roast, fried potatoes and remoulade.

    So let’s come to our Christmas sweets:
    Stollen is delicious if you like Zitronat and Orangeat, or if you got one without that.

    Lebkuchen ♥
    I love Lebkuchen and I could eat them every day even in summer.
    Marzipan is mentioned too short. It belongs to Christmas as well (Marzipanbrot), but also to New Year’s Eve (Lucky Pigs)

    Nice to see German food with the eyes of a non-German person ☺

    And YES! We drink a lot of beer! Prost.

    Greetings from Germany


  2. Ok the Fantakuchen is a new one on me, I thought we Americans were the only ones to use soda in our baked goods. My wife received an American bakery cook book from my mother, and in it was Coca Cola Chocolate Cake. It has become the favorite cake of at least two of our three children.


  3. we Germans might have some funny food, but even after 27 years in the states I have to ask ” what the hell is up with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?” that is about the most disgusting thing on earth besides the awful grapes juice they have here I can never get used to either one.


  4. I’m Polish and I’ve never heard of eating a cow foot in Poland. Nobody eats “cow foot” in Poland, lol. Where did you get that info from?


  5. Worse part of peanutbutter/jelly sandwiches is the bread. My mother spent 25 years in USA, she went back to Germany for the Schwartzbrot. Unless you have a German bakery, you can’t get a decent loaf of bread. (Not to mention healthy bread).


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