Other than a dreamy landscape, the state of Bavaria boasts some of the tastiest dishes in German cuisine. Some are sweet, some savory. Some are beer garden staples, while some are straight-out gourmet. But all are undeniably delicious. Here’s our pick of the best.
Käsespätzle can roughly be described as rich man’s mac and cheese. Spätzle, a noodle made from a batter of eggs and flour with the help of a special grater, is a specialty of the Swabian region of Germany. Käsespätzle was born when the mountainous regions of Bavaria and Austrian Alps decided to add an extra sinful layer of deliciousness to Spätzle. Käsespätzle is made by baking alternate layers of Spätzle and grated cheese, and the result simply melts in the mouth.
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What’s better than pancakes? Apparently, scrambled pancakes! Kaiserschmarrn is a heavenly-smelling, mildly-sweet dessert consisting of roughly-broken pieces of caramelized pancake mixed together with berries, apple mousse, nuts, raisins and seasonal fruits and topped with powdered sugar.
Bavarians don’t always eat sausages for breakfast, but when they do, they make it count. None of that finger-thin sausages for the folks of this part of the country. They like to kick start their day with thick juicy Weisswurst (white sausages) fresh from the farmers’ markets. These mean veal sausages are tender and utterly delicious, and traditionally dipped in sweet mustard. These are usually served with a side of brezels.
When life gave cabbage to Bavarians, they made Sauerkraut, and we couldn’t thank them enough for it. Sauerkraut is a side dish, but it has to be among the most famous side dishes in the world, right up there with mashed potatoes. Sauerkraut is a tangy, sour dish made of finely-shredded, fermented cabbages, served with sausages, pork dishes and just about anything. Though Sauerkraut is huge all over Germany, the Bavarian version stands apart because of the creative addition of onions, pork fat and grated apple.
Obatzda and brezel
Bavarian brezels are famous for their delightful tenderness, but a layer of Obatzda takes them to another level of awesomeness, making the ensemble the star attraction of any beer garden. This thick, creamy dip is prepared by mixing two portions of soft cheese (camembert or Romadur) and one portion of butter. It is then seasoned with salt, paprika, pepper, garlic, cloves and myriad spices. Obatzda is often served with freshly-sliced onions for an added zing.
Schweinshaxe is yet another staple of Bavarian beer gardens. It is made by marinating pork knuckle for several days and then slow-roasting it. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth hunk of meat almost falling off the bone, with a brown, crispy crust. Its most famous accompaniment is Knödel (potato dumpling). Make sure you’re starving when you order it, as this thing can be humongous (borderline intimidating).
Though its preparation and name vary across the country, in Bavaria, Fingernudeln is made by hand-shaping a batter of rye flour, eggs and potatoes, and boiling the resultant finger-shaped noodles in water. It is served with sauerkraut or potato salad. Another version of Fingernudeln that is a signature dish of Bavaria is Mohnnudeln, made from potato dough and sprinkled with poppy seeds and butter.
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