Traditional German foods include a variety of schnitzels, or fried cutlets of meat; wursts, or sausages; spatzle, or small, noodle-like dumplings; and rolled pastries called strudels. Additionally, sauerbraten, which is a pickled and stewed roast, is considered a national dish of Germany.
German cuisine is often very hearty and features a large proportion of red meats. One the most well-known German dishes is schnitzel, which refers to a broad variety of dishes that bear different names depending on the meat used. Generally, schnitzel is prepared by tenderizing, breading and then pan-frying a thin cutlet of meat. Wiener schnitzel is prepared with a veal cutlet. Other varieties include schweine schnitzel, which uses pork, and puten schnitzel, which uses turkey breast.
Wursts are similarly varied in their ingredients and preparation. Bratwurst contains minced pork and beef and is typically served with mustard sauce. Blutwurst, or blood sausage, uses congealed beef or pork blood with some meat fillers. Frankfurter, or bockwurst, is made using ground veal with some pork filler and most closely resembles an American hot dog in color and shape.
Spatzle is a common side dish made from a simple batter cooked in boiling water or broth. It is a common side dish in German cuisine. Strudels, German pastries wrapped around a variety of fillings, can be sweet or savory.
Sauerbraten is a bottom round roast that is marinated in a highly acidic liquid for approximately three days, essentially pickling the meat. The meat is then roasted in the marinade for a long period of time, resulting in a very tender and flavorful roast.