Book Review: Culinaria Germany

Take an armchair tour of the sights, history and tastes, especially tastes of Germany through the lushly illustrated pages of this comprehensive gastronomic celebration. With more then 1,400 photos, the authors do an outstanding job of documenting the fare and food culture of Germany’s sixteen states, frequently following a favorite dish from sprout to table. Readers will gain a new appreciation for such common ingredients such as cows’ milk and the broad range of products derived from it as the authors reveal the labor that goes into its production. The lovingly photographed breads and baked goods will leave you reeling, and then searching for a tasty artisan loaf. Seafood, chestnuts, potatoes, pork, beef and naturally, beer and wine are given similar treatment. A variety of authentic recipes complete with proper German names and English translations allow readers to recreate such classic dishes as Sauerbraten and Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte.

If you have ever been curious about what goes into making sauerkraut, sausage or learning more about monastic medicine, look no further. From trout fishing in Niedersachsen to a bizarre Wurchwitz cheese filled with tiny dust mites, marzipan to the art of smoked meats, this and so much more will entertain, delight and occasionally repulse while expanding your knowledge of German food culture, history and influence on world cuisine. Some ingredients such as oxtails, pig trotters or tongues may be a bit much for some palettes yet make for interesting reading. The only shortfall is the lack of a glossary, which would allow readers to figure out what a bunch of rockets might be or how to make a quark, and we’re not talking the kind that drives physicists crazy. 


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