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6 of Germany’s Strangest Foods

Now Germans aren’t renowned for their sense of humour, but some of their food is rather funny!

Considering unusual cuisines are usually a result of either tradition or making the most of limited resources, I’m not sure how these delicacies came about, but we recommend learning some basic German to ensure you don’t accidently order some of the following!

Photo by Clemens Pfeiffer

1. Schwarzsauer

This is a popular traditional dish which would make a vegetarian go weak at the knees – a stew made up of goose giblets, pig blood, cloves, vinegar and peppercorns is definitely not for the faint hearted.

As much as we’d like to recommend this meal, we have to admit that while we’re fans of extreme cuisines, this looks, smells, and tastes as bad as it sounds!

2. Souse or Head Cheese

As with the French version, this is not dairy-related at all; it’s actually a terrine made up of meaty bits like tongue, brain, and snout from an animal’s head, usually a pig. But sheep and cows aren’t exempt – you may get a bit of foot or heart in there if you’re lucky too!

3. Aspic With Everything!

Germany has a strange affinity for aspic, using it in all sorts of recipes, many of which seem to have jumped off the pages of a 1970’s cookbook!

Aspic is usually made with a stock and gelatin that sets like a jelly around various meats and vegetables, and although that’s not so strange, it’s a bit odd how obsessed they are with this outdated technique!

Whether it’s the aforementioned Head Cheese, a ham hock terrine, jellied herring, or bell pepper aspic with gammon, they’re seriously hooked on that jelly feeling!

4. Beer Soup

With 1,500 different brands and types of beer in Germany it’s not surprising it has infiltrated their cuisine – in fact, in some regions it’s listed as a food product, not a drink!

This soup cleverly uses up left over stale beer – unlikely I know – and adds it to sugar, milk, egg yolks, and cinnamon for an unusual concoction that only its mother could love!

5. Bierkase

Along the same theme, there’s a popular bar snack called Bierkase which is basically pungent cheese cooked with beer yeast.

It’s smelly, bad for your cholesterol (and probably a few other organs) and could affect your driving, but despite all this, or maybe because of it, it’s actually quite tasty!

6. Himmel Und Erde & Blood Sausage

The literal translation of this popular dish is ‘Heaven and Earth’ which reflects the use of apples (heaven) and potatoes (earth), which are both served mashed up together.

That’s a bit strange, but it’s the blood sausage (blutwurst) it’s often served with which may make you a bit more squeamish.

So, it’s not all beer and sausages – there are a few other things to try when you visit Germany, but if you want to make sure you know what you’re eating, brush up on your German, or at least test your language skills here!