If you are a self-confessed foodie then it’s not just mealtimes that are likely to be related to cuisine. Sampling some of the local dishes in restaurants and cafés is sure to be a highlight, but there are many other food-inspired things to do that will have you licking your lips and trying to cover the sound of your rumbling stomach.
From Bavaria to Brandenburg, Germany is home to some exciting, enticing and often quirky culinary attractions. Here are just a few to look out for.
Currywurst Museum, Berlin
Amongst Berlin’s myriad of museums is an attraction that will offer an intriguing change of scenery from the historical artefacts and intricate paintings that line the halls of the Bode Museum and Alte Nationalgalerie. The Currywurst Museum is a homage to one of Germany’s most-loved dishes and will immerse you into a strange world where all five senses are stimulated. As you walk around, you’ll enter the spice chamber to experience the alluring smell, lounge on a giant hot dog sofa, learn the timeline of the currywurst and then taste the real thing at the end.
One of the best ways to sample local food is to visit a market and Munich’s Viktualienmarkt is one of the largest and best in Germany. This farmers’ market is open every Monday to Saturday and can be found close to the historic Marienplatz, the square in which it started life. Since then, it has been expanded, rebuilt following WWII and turned into a pedestrian zone. Across 22,000 square metres of stalls, you will find everything from pastries to pasta and spices to squeezed juice. Buy something fresh to take home with you or try something prepared in front of you from the hot vendors.
If you have a sweet tooth and you find yourself in the wonderful city of Cologne, make your way to the Chocolate Museum on the banks of the Rhine. Detailing the journey from bean to bar, the exhibits show you how and where everyone’s favourite treat is produced. You’ll see cocoa trees, admire Mesoamerican antiques used by the Mayans, and learn how chocolate went from a luxury for the upper classes to an indulgence enjoyed by the masses. Then, at the end, you can try the finished product by dipping a wafer into an oversized chocolate fountain.
Eis Fontanella, Mannheim
Although this next treat is made to represent an Italian staple, you will struggle to find it outside of Germany. Dario Fontanella, of Eis Fontanella in Mannheim, tips his hat to his heritage in one of the most creative ways you’ll ever see. His ice cream parlour specialises in Spaghettieis, a German sensation that recreates a traditional spaghetti Bolognese from ice cream.
A large scoop of vanilla is pressed through a potato ricer to produce noodle-like strands and these are then covered in strawberry sauce to represent the tomato. The masterpiece is topped-off with grated white chocolate in place of parmesan. Although you can find this wacky invention in many ice cream parlours around Germany, this one in Mannheim is where it all started.
Black Forest Ham Museum, Feldberg
The Black Forest is famous for two creations – cuckoo clocks and air-dried ham. And with one being much tastier than the other, foodies visiting the area will enjoy a look around the Black Forest Ham Museum. Located at the top of the Feldberg Tower, at the highest point in the Black Forest, the interactive attraction shows you how the regional speciality is smoked over conifer wood and which breeds of pig are used. Smell and touch your way through the exhibits and then take some handy cooking tips away to enjoy the ham at home.
A department store may not sound like much of an attraction, but when you hear that two of the eight floors are dedicated entirely to food you’ll see why it’s definitely worth a visit. Kaufhaus des Westens, shortened to KaDeWe, is the second-largest department store in Europe behind the famous London retailer Harrods. Whether you want to enjoy a sit-down meal in the restaurants on the 7th floor or graze your way through 30 different food counters on the level below, the range of options here is enough to satisfy any foodie.
Spezial Brewery, Bamberg
By calflier001 [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
When you take a culinary tour of Germany, it’s not just about the food that’s on offer. The country also has a rich history of brewing beer, largely thanks to a 500-year-old purity law that stipulates only water, barley and hops can be used in its production. You’ll find interesting and insightful brewery tours in most major cities, but if you are looking for something a little bit different then head into the cellars of Bamberg’s Spezial Brewery. This Bavarian town is famous for a smoked beer that was created accidentally when the malt was toasted in a fire. Known as Rauchbier, it is only sold in a nine-mile radius of this iconic brewery where you can see the smoking process for yourself.
If you would like to taste some of the regional dishes Germany has to offer, or visit any of the foodie attractions above, we can tailor-make your holiday just the way you want it. Call us on 0800 988 3369 or submit your enquiry online by clicking here.