At first sight, German food might seem bland to you, and there is nothing wrong with that. Let me guess: when thinking about German cuisine, the first what comes to your mind is Schnitzel, second: pork roast, and third: pork knuckle. Am I right? If yes – don’t worry, you have landed on the right page! Our goal here is to show you that traditional German food is regional and more compound than you think. Let’s have an open mind about it and dive into one of the most enjoyable of German cuisines: Frankfurt food and drink.
Frankfurt Traditional Food – 12 Specialities to try in Frankfurt
1. Apfelwein, Stöffche, Ebbelwoi, Schoppen – Apple Wine
Hessen is the biggest producer of apple wine in Germany. Furthermore, on average, every person who lives in Hessen drinks 12 times more apple wine than any other person who lives in Germany.
Frankfurt apple wine is tart in taste when you order it pure. The producers don’t add sugar to it. Also worth mentioning is that by the production of apple wine they release carbon dioxide, so the Frankfurt apple wine is usually still.
There are two variations of apple wine that you are allowed to order: pure (German: Apfelwein pur) and mixed with sparkling mineral water (German: gespritzt). If you want to maintain any level of respect to the tavern owner, don’t even try to mix it with lemonade. If you don’t like it you have two options: drink it up and don’t order it again or order another two those, because they say that you might change your mind after the 3rd glass.
Apple wine always comes in the apple wine glass (300ml). If you order apple wine for a bigger group, you might get a jar (Bembel). Bembel is made of clay and it keeps the drink cold.
More about traditional Frankfurt apple wine you will find in our Ultimate Guide to apple wine.
If you would like to know where to drink apple wine in Frankfurt, make sure to see one of the videos I filmed:
2. Handkäse mit Musik – Hand cheese with music
If you are adventures, you cannot skip Handkäse mit Musik. Hand cheese with music is a starter with a slice of bread, butter, raw onion sauce and a knife. Notice: not a knife and a fork, so please don’t use the fork when eating it. Locals will be watching you!
Hand cheese is a high protein cheese that it used to be shaped by hand. This is what its name comes from. It’s popular here in Hesse because it is simple and low-calorie treat!
The real deal here is the “music”. It is the raw onion sauce that contains oil, vinegar and sometimes some apple wine. In the past oil and vinegar was served in two small glass jars that made “the music” (sounds of two glasses banging) while being brought by the waiter to the table. Although the locals tell a different story;)
3. Sachsenhäuser Schneegestöber – Cheese Dip
Sachsenhäuser Schneegestöber is another great appetizer with a strong fragrance. Let this not scare you off! Schneegestöber (translated to the snowstorm) is a smooth paste and its main ingredients are Camembert, cream cheese, butter, raw onions, peppers and paprika powder. It goes very well with wine, apple wine or beer.
4. Frankfurter Würstchen – Frankfurt Sausage
Frankfurter is a sausage that has protected geographical status and therefore if you haven’t been to Frankfurt: you have never eaten it! Frankfurt sausage is a thin, firm-textured, smoked sausage that comes with hot sauerkraut and rye bread on the side – never as a hot dog! Frankfurt Sausage is an ideal souvenir that you can bring home from Frankfurt. Just don’t forget to heat it in warm, salty water when you want the sausage to keep the taste and prevent the skin from bursting.
5. Rindswurst – Beef Sausage
Beef sausage has a firm texture. On the contrary, to Frankfurter, it has harder skin and stronger taste. The beef sausage recipe was developed in 1894 by company Gref-Völsing to meet the requirements of the Jewish population in Frankfurt. Although the sausage contains beef only, it is not kosher. On Hanauer Landstraße you can still find the first Gref-Völsing shop where you can enjoy the beef sausage for lunch. I don’t know how they do it, but the beef sausage tastes there much better than anywhere in Frankfurt.
6. Frankfurter Grüne Soße – Frankfurt Green Sauce
Frankfurt Green Sauce is the freshest & nutritious sauce that you will find in Germany! It contains seven herbs: parsley, sorrel, chives, chervil, salad burnet and borage. The herbs are chopped and mixed with sour cream, mashed hard-boiled eggs (that give the sauce thicker constancy) and seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon juice and sugar. Although the sauce contains hard-boiled eggs, the traditional way of serving it was with additional hard-boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. Nowadays the restaurants serve it also with Schnitzel as well as hot cooked beef.
People from Frankfurt are crazy about the green sauce. Last year on a Green Sauce Festival I have tried green sauce ice cream – that’s how far the craziness goes. I hope that now you are convinced that Frankfurt food is extraordinary.
7. Rippchen mit Kraut – Pork loin rib with Sauerkraut
This moist and tender pork loin rib is cured and then either cooked for several hours in Sauerkraut or grilled. It is offered traditionally with hot sauerkraut and rye bread. Curing gives the meat a particular colour, taste and texture. Thanks to this process, it is incredibly tasty – a perfect addition to Frankfurt Apple Wine.
8. Schäufelchen – Pork Shoulder
Frankfurt pork shoulder is another very tender piece of meat! Guess why? Because of the curing process! There are two ways to serve Schäufelchen: boiled or roasted. Roasted is my favourite way of eating it. When ordering it you need to be careful though, as some of the apple wine taverns glaze it with bbq sauce, and as a traditional food lover – you don’t want to eat that!
Let’s talk digestive now! Romans brought to Frankfurt a fruit called Mispel. It looks and tastes similar to apricot. We serve it soaked in Calvados, which is apple brandy that comes from Normandy. The drink is both rich in alcohol and sweet – a perfect way to finish your Frankfurt dinner.
10. Frankfurter Bethmännchen
Frankfurter Bethmännchen is a treat, but only if they contain high-quality marzipan! The legend says a French chef developed that recipe for Bethmann Family. Three almond halves decorate Frankfurt Bethmännchen, and they represent three sons of Moritz Bethmann. The best Frankfurter Bethmännchen you can find in Konditirei Jamin and ConditCoiture.
11. Frankfurter Kranz
Frankfurt crown cake is a pound cake with butter-cream, red jam (sour cherry or raspberry) and brittle nuts, that give the cake golden colour. In the times of the Holy Roman Empire, the coronation of the emperors took place in Frankfurt, and this cake is reminiscent of those times. The pice of cake is very rich in taste, and it goes perfectly with a cup of coffee. You will find Frankfurt Crown Cake in most of Frankfurt bakeries. If you would like to check the oldest once in Frankfurt, please go ahead and watch this video:
12. Wacker’s Kaffee
If you are coming to Frankfurt and would love to know more about Frankfurt Food and culture book the Food Tour Frankfurt or contact me directly through the contact form on this website. For more traditional food information, please head to our YouTube Channel and Cooking Blog.
I wish you a lovely stay in Frankfurt and as always safe travels and happy eats!
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