➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson
North Rhine-Westphalia, Nordrhein-Westfalen, was created in 1946 by bringing together parts of the Prussian provinces: Rhine and Westphalia.
This fourth largest German state is now the most populous of all the 16 German states. Filled with universities, museums, concert halls, and theaters, North Rhine-Westphalia is a cultural treasure.
This is the place to be really active. With over 14,000 km. of cycling routes, 1,500 km. of rivers (including the Rhine and the Ruhr), 200 lakes and 78 reservoirs for water sports, and two of the largest city-center shopping malls in Europe, one really needs the spas, thermal baths, and health resorts (that are also numerous) to relax.
Nestled in its geography are many well-known cities, such as
The merging of the two provinces also provided an interesting culinary mix. The Westphalians liked hearty foods and the Rhinelanders liked sweet and sour combinations.
A wonderful mix of dishes that are traditional in this area. For example, sauerbraten, that traditional German beef dish, in this part of Germany uses raisins and lebkuchen (gingersnaps) to sweeten the gravy for that sweet-sour taste.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼One of the most delicious treats to enjoy, either sweet or savory, are potato pancakes. To make them extra easy, I've a quick version of the traditional recipe at Kartoffelpuffer. Although nothing quite beats the "grating-by-hand" texture, using the blender makes for quicker and easier preparation of the potatoes.
Pop right over to my private Facebook group, the Kaffeeklatschers. You'll find thousands of German foodies, all eager to help and to talk about all things German, especially these yummy foods.
I pop in all the time as well, to chat and to answer questions.
Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.
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