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While Saxon cuisine is known for hearty meat-based dishes, the state capital knows how to woo you with cake and other sweet, delightful treats as well, so brace yourselves for some delicious desserts. Here are the seven foods you need to try when you’re in Dresden.
Dresden’s most famous export has long made it beyond Saxony’s borders and for the Christmas season becomes a staple food in most German households. The city’s take on fruitcake banks on a combination of butter, rum-soaked raisins, almonds, candied lemon and orange peel and a secret mix of spices – and it’s delicious. The name is protected by German law, which dictates the ratio of ingredients and design of the packaging. So, if you’re looking for an authentic souvenir from Dresden, how about you bring home an entire cake?
Saxony’s most popular open-faced sandwich creation might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but most locals swear by it. A Fettbemme describes a slice of dark rye bread on which is typically spread pork or beef lard, topped with sliced gherkins and sprinkled with salt. Some also add apple and onion chunks, but either way, a Fettbemme is a great choice if you want to try a local dish, but you only have time for a quick snack.
We continue our list with more dessert and another one of Dresden’s most loved creations. You’ll find Eierschecke on the menu of most cafés and coffee houses throughout Dresden all year, so there’s no excuse for not trying it. The sheet cake recipe has three layers: the yeast-dough base is topped with quark cheese creme, followed by a thick layer of milk, butter, eggs and vanilla pudding. You might also find variations with apple and poppy seeds, raisins or chocolate coating.
Potato soup is a popular snack or starter all across Germany, and the base of potatoes, onions and greens are truly easy to prepare. But while the country’s northern states often add prunes or diced bacon and people in the Palatinate throw in some of their Dampfnudel dumplings, a bowl of Saxon potato soup usually involves chunked up and browned sausages.
Since Dresden locals can’t survive on sweets alone, the local cuisine also boasts some hearty must-try dishes. The city’s sauerbraten recipe takes a leg of beef and soaks it in a stock of herb vinegar and malt beer, bay leaves and spices for several days. It’s then briefly fried in clarified butter before being put in the oven for a couple of hours along with the stock. Slices of the tender meat are usually served with red cabbage and bread dumplings.
Coming close to being one of those notoriously lengthy German words, with Holunderbeerensuppe we have another soup on the list. This special culinary creation uses thickened elderberry juice that is refined with lemon and a bunch of spices and then served with a dash of cream and croutons. Some restaurants and gastro pubs create a more substantial meal by adding so-called Grießklößchen, a Saxon version of semolina dumplings.
Quarkkeulchen can be served both sweet and savoury, and both types are based on a dough of curd cheese, boiled potatoes and raisins. Palm-sized patties are then pan-fried and the sweet variety is often sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and served with apple sauce, hot cherries or vanilla ice cream. Savoury cravings are satisfied by Quarkkeulchen with fried mushrooms and a side salad.