What do Luther, Goethe, Napoleon, Bach, Schiller, and Wagner have in common? Thuringia.
Located in the geographical center of Germany, the Free State of Thuringia (Thüringen) was once called a “patchwork of principalities” and helped shape not only German, but European, history.
Its central location made it a main hub of trade and commerce, giving the area a great diversity of customs and traditions.
With its abundance of forests and mountains, this “Green Heart of Germany” has one of the best known hiking routes in Europe.
The “Rennsteig Walk” is a 105-mile trail runs along the spine of the mountains.
The remaining half of this region is blessed with rich, fertile soil that provides for its flourishing agriculture.
Wheat, rape, sugar beets, barley, cauliflower, white cabbage, broad beans, onions, and cucumbers are among the most common crops. This shows itself in the favorite foods of the area.
Well known are its bratwurst sausages, dumplings, and cakes.
Even the onion is celebrated with its own festival in Weimar held on the second weekend in October. The famous Quiche Lorraine is rumored to have originated with the Weimar Onion Tart (the recipe taken by Napoleon's troops.)
The best invention of regional cuisine are Thüringer Klösse (aka Rohe Klösse, Hüts or Hebes). Passed down through the generations, this potato dumpling recipe varies from family to family.
Popular quote: "A Sunday without dumplings is no Sunday at all."
The dumpling is often regarded as the main dish and everything else, including the meat, just being mere accompaniments.
Here's the recipe that was handed down from my father's family – I spent many hours as a girl peeling and grating potatoes for our Sunday dinner.
Here's my recipe (and unhappy memories) for Thüringer Klösse. I think you'll love them as well!
Try some regional German food for your next dinner party! Spread your culture and enjoy learning about some other areas of German cooking.
Germany is divided into more than 50 regions usually based on landscape and geography. Politically, there are 16 federal states in Germany, each one unique in its history and cuisine.
Let's travel to each one and see what's different.
You'll need to join my Kaffeeklatsch to see more info, extra recipes, and special tips from me, Oma Gerhild!
Starting January, 2016, I'll be adding a German state every month. After that, we'll start on the regions!
Do share with us! If you add a recipe, do include any memories or history related to it!
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*Kaffeeklatsch: /ˈkafeːˌklatsh / (noun) an informal gathering for coffee and chatting
Experience Germany: food, people, country, & RECIPES!
Regional German Food
Recommended by Chef Glenn
"Sehr Gut, Gerhild!
Your Quick Fix Soups e-book is wonderful. My Swiss wife is going to love the soups that I make for her with your recipes. She already loves my soups, but your e-book will greatly expand the variety
Thank you for making the recipes easy to follow and see with the beautiful photos. The extra tips and options that you give after each recipe are very helpful. Thanks for the printable recipe cards, too!"
Quick answers to your questions? Go to my Facebook page. You'll find lots of German foodies ready to help!