Monday, October 6, 2008

German Food Myths Exposed

If you are going to a German restaurant these days, you will find several items on the menu that any American would consider essential German cuisine. Hence you will find these items on every menu in every German restaurant in America. Nobody ever thinks about that some of those menu choices are not even of German origin. Even though all of them are popular in Germany some them should be in the restaurants of other nationalities. Here's a list of German foods that are not really German.

Wiener Schnitzel: Schnitzel is probably considered THE most essential German food. Its origins point to a different country though. Actually it's a quite obvious one, since it's called "Wiener" schnitzel, Wien being the Austrian city of Vienna. Some even say, that the breaded cutlet dish actually originated in Milan, Italy and then was brought to Austria from there.

Goulash: It seems that every German restaurant has incorporated at least one form of Goulash in their menusm, either as a full meal or an appetizer. Goulash, if you don't know, is a beef stew made with onions and paprika. The dish actually originates from Hungary. The word itself is Hungarian for "herdsman."

Roulade: The roulade is a dish in which a slice of meat is rolled around a filling. Sometimes this dish is also considered Hungarian

German Chocolate Cake: German chocolate cake is not German at all. A clue might be, that it's made with coconuts and pecans. Neither one of those grow very well in the colder climate of central Europe. Wikipedia tells me that the reason it has the word German in the title has to do with the fact that it was first made with a sweet chocolate product created by an Englishman named Samuel German. Hence German Chocolate cake. The recipe itself was sent in to a newspaper in Dallas, TX.

Ragout: Often you will find at least a Chicken Ragout on a German menu. And again, ragout is stolen from a different culture. This time it's the French that gave us this meat stew.

Bratwurst: Just kidding. The Wurst is still as German as you can go, originating in the region Thuringia, in the eastern part of the country.

Now that you know where all these foods come, go check them out at your local German restaurant and pretend you've never heard of this article.

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