There is a saying in Germany: "breakfast like a lion, lunch like a king and dine like a beggar." Breakfast is usually a selection of cereals and jam or honey with bread. Some Germans eat cold meats or cheese with bread for breakfast.

The midday meal is usually the main meal of the day. In many towns,people buy lunch in open-air markets. Snack stands, called Imbiss, serve Bockwurst (boiled sausage), Bratwurst (grilled sausage) and Currywurst (spiced sausage), as well as hamburgers, french fries and roast chicken. North American food, including pizza and hamburgers, is also popular.

Supper may be lighter than the midday meal. Many families serve sandwiches, cold cuts, cheese and yogurt. German specialties include Sauerkraut (pickled green cabbage), Apfelrotkohl (red cabbage with apples), Schnitzel (pork cutlets) and Schweinehaxe (grilled pig's knuckles). German desserts include Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake).

 Did you know?
German beer gardens date back to the Middle Ages, when brewers planted chestnut trees around their storage areas to shade the beer from the sun.

There are many regional specialties. In the southwest people eat Spätzle (a type of pasta). In Bavaria, dumplings (Knödel) are popular. In the north people enjoy Labskaus, a dish made with boiled potatoes, pickles and corned beef.

The German diet is changing because of efforts to improve health and the influence of other cultures. Lighter, lower-fat food is becoming popular, as well as international dishes such as kebabs or pizza.

Although wine is popular in many parts of Germany, the national drink is beer. The Germans consume more beer per person than any other nation in the world: 143 litres annually. Beer is so important to Germans that the right to drink beer for lunch is written into some labour contracts. Beer varieties include Alt, Bock, Dunkel, Kolsch, Lager, Malzbier, Pils and Weizenbier.


1 kg beef
250 ml red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 large onions, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
200 g potatoes, cut into cubes
l bouillon cube
250 ml water
2 tbsp sour cream


Place meat in a large bowl; cover with vinegar. Add bay leaves, pepper. Keep in the refrigerator for 3 hours, turning meat at least once. Remove meat from marinade. Brown in oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook until brown. Add potatoes, carrots, bouillon cube, water and the marinade. Simmer for an hour on low heat in a covered pot, turning once. Remove meat and add sour cream to sauce before serving.