Potatoes play a great role in German cooking. Whether boiled, steamed or roasted there is an inehaustable range of side dishes from this great tuber! from simple boiled potatoes, sprinkled with parsley, crispy roast potatoes and various types of potato cakes. Although dumplings are foound all over Germany in various forms, Bavaria is undoubtedly the number1 capital for these tasty, hearty balls! knödel, the most well known being the semmelknödel, are to be found on every menu as there are very few dishes they do not go with. Semmelknödel are made with bread, eggs, onions, and milk and there are varieties made from potatoes, bread, eggs and butter. Serviettenknödel is a large rolled dupling which is sliced before serving.With vegetables the traditional way of eating seasonal fare is important to the germans. Best loved vegetables are white cabbage-Bayerisch Kraut is cabbage cooked with apples, onions, caraway, white wine and vinegar-Cabbage salad served with bacon, red cabage, sauerkraut, and cabbage rolls containing minced meat.
In autumn there is an assortment of mushrooms with many regional recipes, the wild mushrooms go exceptionally well with game dishes. The summer provides all the favourite seasonal vegetables and many households will grow their own produce either in their own garden or in allotments. In mid-May begins Spargelzeit ( asparagus season) this ends on the 24th June (St.John’s Day). The main way of serving asparagus is peeled, boiled and rolled in ham with a dollop of hollandaise sauce. The Asparagus in Germany tend to be thick and white and it will be found on every restaurant menu across the land. Numerous road side stands appear, during this season, to sell bundles of asparagus and the Germans love them. Salads have an important role to play and are served with most meals, the variety of salads are only limited to your imagination, with everyone putting together their particular favorite ingredients. Noodles and rice are also a large part of the German cuisine but Spätzle are the most popular. Spätzle are a form of pasta, but unlike pasta dough the Spätzle dough is quite wet. Little drops of the dough are dropped into bubbling, hot water (not boiling) and cooked until they bob, about 2-3 minutes. Dried versions are available from the shops but do not taste the same.
The Spätzle can be used in all manner of ways, either served with sauces drizzled over them, or smothered in cheese (Käsespätzle) or served with Lentils, a dish from Swabia. They can also be serves with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs fried in butter, a topping that is often used in traditional German dishes. To make spätzle you will need: 400g Plain flour, 4 eggs, salt and 22ml water, mix to a soft dough and leave to stand for 1/2 hour. The hard part is forming the spätzle, there are various implements to do this job, although chefs will place the dough on a board and chop quickly with a knife pushing the drops into the water at great speed. A colindar with pea sized holes can be used and the dough forced through the holes. Himmel und Erde (heaven and earth) is a popular dish in the Rhineland, Wetphalia, Lower Saxony and Silesia. It refers to apples from heaven and Erdapfel, apples from the earth-potatoes. The dish consists of black pudding served with potato puree and apple sauce.
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