Cultural Tastes

Exploring the world of food, culture, and personal experience

October 30, 2012 German Foods , , , ,

Schweinsbraten mit Semmelknödel (Roast pork with dumplings)

Germans love pork. According to a recent survey in 2010, Germans eat close to 90kg meat per year, and of that, 54kg is pig meat (in contrast, the recommended total of consumed meat is 15.6kg). I think it’s interesting, because where I come from, Calgary, the city is famous for beef and you can get a steak practically anywhere. In Germany you have to pay a very generous amount to obtain a decent steak dinner.

One of staple pork dishes is Schweinsbraten, or roast pork. Although there are various ways to prepare the sauce, in Bavaria (where I tried my first one), it is commonly a mix of dark beer and meat broth. Celery, carrots, and onions are commonly added. The meat is commonly a cut from the shoulder, neck, back, or hindquarters (in the picture below, the shoulder).

Traditional German

But what’s that beside the meat? I was confused at first. It was explained to me that it is a Semmelknödel, or dumpling. They must be the biggest dumplings ever! They are made of mashed bread, egg, flour, and spices. For North Americans, you would think it’s turkey stuffing shaped into a huge ball. They are rather bland and expand in your stomach. A lot of my friends visiting Germany don’t seem to like them, claiming they dry out your mouth, but I don’t think they’re bad at all. It’s just the shape! Why is it so huge?

The picture was taken at a restaurant in Munich, the Weisses Bräuhaus.

Leave a comment