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German Cookbooks

Cookbook Reference

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14 replies to this topic

#1 gfron1

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 05:37 PM

I've been perusing the Cookbooks & References topics from years past and didn't see anything on German Cooking. What are your favorites?

BTW, any mention of German food leads me into my story of being 18 and in Bavaria for the first time. I refused to translate menus since I eat anything, and after 10 days of eating way too much meat, when I sat at a certain restaurant and saw "Wurst Salat" I was overjoyed at the chance to get a salad with a bit of meat on top. What came to my table 30 minutes later was a massive bowl of shredded bologna marinated in some dressing. No ruffage at all - none! Mmmmm...I ate 3 bites and was done.

Now back to the books!

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

#2 tim

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 05:53 PM


This is really a tough question since there has never been a cookbook that really "taught" the art of German cooking.

Mimi Sheraton's book "The German Cookbook" is filled with good recipes. Nevertheless, there is no information about history, techniques, ingredients, recipe development or changes to the cuisine.

German cuisine deserves better! Where is the German Julia Child?


#3 Kent D

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:37 PM

My very German grandparents bought me "The New German Cookbook" by Jean Anderson (available pretty much anywhere). I need to dig it out and find something interesting for Oktoberfest -- I've grown tired of the same brats & saurkraut meal. Sometimes I'm a disgrace to my good peasant ancestry.
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#4 ludja

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:14 PM

In addition to those already mentioned, I'll add two other favorites for German cooking:

"The Cuisines of Germany" by Horst Scharfenberg (very nice selection of recipes for all the regions in Germany; nice background on the dishes and ingredients as well)

"Culinaria Germany" from the wonderful Culinaria series. The photos and detailed background on ingredients, wines, beers, other beverages, dairy products, breads, sausages, breads etc are very extensive and help put the whole cuisine in context. There are lots of recipes as well. Good description of the wines, ingredients and dishes of the various regions as well. This is probably the best book I've seen that really describes all aspects of the cuisine.

I have lots of Austrian cookbooks as well but that is really a different cuisine although there is some overlap.

edited to add: Here is a thread dedicated to books on German baking and pastries: click

Edited by ludja, 14 September 2007 - 04:17 PM.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

#5 Honkman

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 01:01 PM

As a German I can only say that I haven't seen a reasonable good German cookbook here in the US. If you want to read good German recepies I recommend buying a German cookbook written in German. It is not that difficult to understand German recipes especially if you use one of the German online dictionaries (e.g. www.leo.org is one of the best). A good German cookbook would be then "Die echte deutsche Kueche" http://www.amazon.co...9972505&sr=11-1 (I always have problems to get the links correct in eG). It covers a lot of recipes from the different regions in Germany and is pretty authentic. In addition the publisher Graeve & Unzer puts a lot of thoughts in their cookbook and has also very good pictures for each dish (something I really miss with American cookbook which often look very cheap).

Edited by Honkman, 16 September 2007 - 01:03 PM.

#6 budrichard

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 01:29 PM

I'll second "The Cuisines of Germany" by Horst Scharfenberg ". I have been using this book for almost 20 years. Today, roast suckling pig, German potato salad and red cabbage are being cooked with the book as a guide.
My college German is not very good anymore so a book in German is out. -Dick

#7 doughgirl

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 11:56 PM

I like Dr. Oetker German Baking Today, Dr. Oetker German Cooking Today and The Best of My Grandmother's German Cookery.

I bought them all from germandeli.com. They have a whole series of the Dr. Oetker baking cookbooks as well, that I hope to get some day. I think there is 10 volumes in all.

#8 ChefJohnny

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:00 PM

Im not sure what level of cuisine you are looking for, but for the high end stuff check out books by Juan Amador and Deiter Muller. Amador's restaurant is in Frankfurt and is amazing! I spent 4 months in Germany working in various Michelin restaurants and ended my time with Amador. Just incredible.

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#9 Terrasanct

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:11 PM

That's interesting--I just sold German Cooking Today on Amazon and wonder if one of you bought it.

Are German recipes a lot different from the German-American ones that immigrants brought with them?

#10 adey73

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:17 PM

Chef Johnny,
Did you pick up any bilingual high-end German cookbooks, if so which?
The ones you mention are German only, is it pretty easy to work out what's going on in the recipes?

The only one I have found is by Bernd Siefert his Sweet Gold.

Thanks in advance.
“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

#11 gfron1

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:24 PM

I hadn't thanked everyone yet - so thanks! Coming from a very German family (Okenfuss) its funny that the only German food my family prepares is liver dumplings - blech! And we get them every single family get together.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

#12 weinoo

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 05:26 PM

I have a pretty good book called German Traditional Cooking, by Tony Schmaeling, published in 1984. Not a lot of history, but a good book none the less.

The seminal Time-Life Food of the World series has one (actually two, if you include the recipe book) as well - The Cooking of Germany, which will undoubtedly have lots history, techniques, stories, etc.
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#13 johung

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 03:27 PM

Hi all,

I'm trying to locate some good and comprehensive German cookbooks in English. I looked up at amazon.com and it appears a lot are rather old and seems to omit dishes from the former East Germany (GDR). I have Konemann's Culinaria Germany but obviously it can't attempt to cover everything.

Does anyone have good suggestions in addition to Mimi Sheraton's The German Cookbook or Nadia Hassini's Spoonfuls of Germany? It needs not be confined to homestyle cooking only, any good book covering dishes that are more restaurant, or bakery/cafe type would be welcome.


#14 Nayan Gowda

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 04:00 PM

I can't help, but I will follow this thread with interest because I'd love to know too.

Had a lot of great food when I worked out there a couple of years ago; turned my (prejudiced) view of German food completely on its head. I still dream about Saumagen mit Castagnien from the Pfalz. :wub:
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#15 Honkman

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:32 PM

Most likely not the answer you are looking for but even if you don't speak German it is not that hard to translate recipes (which are normally quite short )with the help from online dictonaries (e.g. leo.org). Based on this I would recommend to buy a German cookbook written in German. One of the best to cover all regions of Germany might be "Die echte deutsche Kueche" (The real German Cuisine) which is a quite popular book in German.


If you have problems to get the book in the US I recommend ordering it through amazon.de which I do on a regular basis (see link). Shipping is not that expensive if you take the slowest one.

Edited by Honkman, 12 March 2010 - 08:32 PM.

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