Influences From Outside Germany

Information about some of the other influences on German cuisine...

Turkish culinary influences can be seen right across the country; most major cities have a Turkish quarter offering fresh produce direct from the market and a variety of cafés, restaurants and fast food stalls ranging from the take-away doner kebab to high-end sit-down eating establishments. Some examples of Turkish products are:

  • Doner kebabs: Chicken or lamb meat is stuffed into Turkish pitta bread with salad and a choice of herb, spicy or garlic sauce
  • Stuffed filo pastry: Börek is a traditional snack filled with spinach and feta or minced meat
  • Stuffed vine leaves: Rice and vegetables wrapped up in a vine leaf is also a Greek speciality
  • Lamb sausages: Köfte are eaten in a sandwich with salad and a choice of sauces
  • Olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Houmus

Influences from the Middle East include Shawarma (chicken, salad and sesame sauce in pitta bread), Falafel (mashed chickpeas deep-fried and served in pitta bread with vegetables and sesame sauce) and Makale (mixed grilled vegetables in pitta bread with sauce). Variations of these dishes can be ordered from most fast food stalls with side orders including taboulé salad (couscous and parsley), pickled chilli peppers and a range of flavoured feta dips (red pepper, avocado or garlic for example).

All cities have restaurants serving cuisine from Italy, France, Spain and Greece, India, Vietnam and Thailand. In the former East Germany Vietnamese food is readily available as a result of the past relationship between the socialist governments of Russia and Vietnam.

An element of Jewish cuisine has also returned to German food with fresh bagels, matzos and other kosher products widely available.