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Regional Traditional German Food: Hesse

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

More than 2,000 years ago, the Germanic Chatti tribe settled in the region just to the west of Thuringia and the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name.

In the northern part of Hesse, the poor soil had created an impoverished people heavily dependent on potatoes.

In the south, fertile soils and warm sunshine influenced the foods as much as the merchants that traveled through the area.

Years later, Hesse has become one of the largest and healthiest economies in Europe with one of the best transportation networks of autobahns, high-­speed trains, and waterways crisscrossing the state.

Hesse, Germany map

It was in Hesse that Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) Grimm, both law students, were persuaded to study ancient German folklore.

Among the best-known story tellers of folk tales from Europe, the Brothers Grimm collected, wrote, and compiled hundreds of folk tales, many from Hesse including the enchanted Rheinhardswald, the fairytale forest, which is part of the largest forestry area in Germany.

Among the tales is the story of Hansel and Gretel and the Gingerbread House. Now, with Christmas almost here, the Gingerbread House is a staple treat to have under the Christmas Tree. Read more about this Christmas tradition and others.

Get ready for Christmas! Grab your copy of Oma's collection of her favorites in Christmas Cookies e-Cookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Christmas Cookies eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine this Christmas.

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

Frankfurters also originated in Frankfurt. These generously spiced pork sausages are coldsmoked. Simmered for 8 minutes in hot water (NOT boiling), they are served with mustard.

Hesse's Favorite Foods

  • Green sauce (Grüne Sosse) ... recipe below
  • Frankfurter Würstchen ­ 100% pork sausage and Frankfurter Rindswurst ­ 100% beef sausage
  • Sausages of all types and using all types of meats, including the rind (Schwartenmagen) and the head (Presskopf)
  • Potato (Kartoffeln) in salads, soups, baked, braised in broth, in cream, mixed with apples (Himmel und Erde), and even as sausage stuffing
  • Fruits such as apples (Äpfel) for juice and wine and in drinks such as Apfelschorle, pears (Birnen), strawberries (Erdbeeren), cherries (Kirschen), and plums (Pflaumen)
  • Desserts such as Frankfurt Crown Cake (Frankfurter Kranz) and Marzipan Cookies (Bethmännchen)

My Favorite Hesse Recipe

Green sauce and eggs? That's a favorite that originated in Frankfurt, Hesse. Borage, chervil, cress, parsley, burnet, sorrel, and chives are the seven herbs that make this special sauce that's often served with hard boiled eggs. Traditionally eaten on the Thursday before Easter, it's also served with fish and meat dishes together with boiled potatoes.


More Recipes from Hesse ...


Visit more of Germany's Regions  and States ...

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