The Four German Meals You Can’t Miss
In Germany, we don’t eat three square meals a day. At least, not by American standards. There’s no piping hot breakfast, and we eat our cake in the middle of the afternoon instead of after dinner.
Of course, we Germans are hardly going hungry. In fact, we do quite well with our German food. Our secret? It’s our four meals a day. ;-)
Breakfast is known as Frühstück, and traditionally served cold on a specially carved board. Often this is shaped like an animal, and these boards are usually bought from local artisans in the town markets. A typical German breakfast consists of bread (of course!) with cheese, yogurt, fruits, a boiled egg, or muesli. Coffee, milk or tea is more common than juice.
Lunch is the main meal of the day, and we take the Mittagessen very seriously. Eaten between noon and 2 pm, it usually consists of soup or salad followed by a main course and a light dessert of custard, fruit salad, or ice cream. Drink whatever you like with lunch, including alcoholic beverages, but save a bit of thirst for the strong coffee that traditionally closes the meal.
Later in the afternoon, it is time for the third meal, Kaffee und Kuchen. This is a sit down affair with coffee or tea and pastries. Eaten between 3 – 5 pm, all the rich cakes and cookies others might think of as desserts we take care to consume at our leisure well before the evening meal.
The final meal of the day is generally eaten at around 7 pm. Known as Abendessen (or Vesper in the south-west), it is traditionally a cold meal of bread, cheese, and meats eaten at home. Modern families having been shifting it to a large, hot meal as more and more German parents work.
Evening meals in restaurants, of course, will be hot, with multiple courses and large portions. After dinner liqueurs are common, or there is always to option of a little espresso to counteract the effects of a heavy meal.
As you can see, although we don’t have the same dining traditions as other countries, we Germans are certainly not starving. ;-)
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