HISTORY AND FOOD

What Are the Oldest German Foods?
In prehistoric times German fare was likely bland. Unlike the Mediterranean countries, the growing season limited them to early forms of wheat, barley and pasture land for livestock. Sheep, cows and goats were used for milk, butter and cheese and occasionally meat products, which were served most often during feasts.

The earliest spices were parsley, celery and dill, which you still see used today. The Romans introduced fruit tree cultivation and grapevines. Oats and rye were also added into cultivation, as agricultural methods became more sophisticated. The areas around Cologne were especially rich in exotic spices and food due to its powerhouse status as a trading city.

Modern Times
Today, Germans still fall back on their rich heritage, serving wild game, lamb, pork and beef with old and new ways of preparing them and their side dishes. Popular spices are mustard, horseradish and juniper berries, which are found, for instance, in the Luneburger Heath. Still, modern German chefs have started to create newer, lighter fare, incorporating traditional foods into their menus.

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