Meat-lovers are in for a treat when exploring the streets of Bamberg – traditional local cuisine here often revolves around pork, potatoes and the smoky flavour of the local dark beer. Here are the top seven foods you need to try when in town.
Schäuferla is the name for the local take on a roast shoulder of pork, a staple food in the local brewhouses and gastropubs. Still on the bone and covered with a thick layer of fat, the meat is placed in a deep pan together with a blend of meat stock and dark beer to be roasted in the oven for several hours. Once done, the meat should almost fall off the bone when it’s served with potato dumplings and cabbage.
Another hearty pork dish is Fränkische Rauchbierhaxe, the Upper Franconian pork knuckle dish. The meat is slowly cooked in a root vegetable stock, and the twist comes once again with the smoky flavour of Bamberg’s dark beer which is used for the gravy afterwards. The slabs of meat are often served with fried potatoes and a side salad.
Hörnla describes not only one but two local specialities – one is a local potato variety, the other a delicious croissant-like pastry. The recipe is rooted in the 15th century and is based on butter, eggs and wheat flour. You can find the crescent-shaped treats at virtually every bakery in town, on breakfast menus at local cafés, and at farmers’ markets. Locals enjoy them simply with a cup of coffee or as a to-go snack on the way to work
What was one of the go-to meals about 200 years ago was long forgotten but is now experiencing a renaissance. Local chefs have brought back and modernised the Krautbraten dish, which is a composite of white cabbage, minced beef and bacon. The meat is first pan-fried with onions and then placed in an oven dish, covered with cabbage and cooked until done.
Stuffed onions might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this local dish is surprisingly good. For the recipe, the top of large white onions is cut off before being peeled and hollowed. Together with smoked pork belly, the rest of the onion is put through a meat grinder and then mixed with soaked bread, eggs and spices. The meat mixture is then used to fill the onion and slowly steamed in the oven. The leftover stew is thickened and blended with Rauchbier, the local beer.
In Franconia, a sandwich snack in between meals is referred to as Brotzeit, and you’ll see a whole bunch of different versions on the menus of local bistros and restaurants. The bread base often comes as slices of Frankenlaib, a rye-and-wheat bread with a crunchy crust. Zwetschgenbaames and Gerupfter are commonly found in Bamberg’s traditional eateries. The former is thinly sliced raw beef which has been smoked over plum tree wood, with butter and gherkins. The latter describes bread topped with butter, camembert cheese which has been mushed together with a tad of white wine, onions and paprika powder.
Blaue Zipfel translates to ‘blue ends’ and is the name of a local sausage speciality. The recipe is based on raw, Bamberg pork sausages that are simmered in water with vinegar, onions, cloves, bay leaves and juniper berries. As they heat up, the sausages ends take on a slightly blue tint – hence the name. Once cooked, they are most commonly served with slices of rye bread, potatoes or sauerkraut.