Bavarian cuisine

Here is a list of some traditional food and drink in Bavaria. Even though Bavaria is a rather small region, there are regional variations within Bavaria, with both Swabia and Franconia having their own regional dishes and lacking tradition of some of the other dishes that are mostly Bavarian. The term "Weißwurst-Äquator" (white sausage-equator) originated to jokingly refer to the culinary and cultural differences one experiences when crossing the Danube. As much of the state of Bavaria as it exists today was annexed during the Napoleonic wars, the Bavarian state in its pre-19th century borders is often referred to as "Alt-Baiern" or Old Bavaria.

As for other icons of Bavarian culture, many Bavarian dishes are known around the world as "German", though far from all of them are popular throughout Germany.

Breads and salads

A Bavarian Lunch.

Main courses with meat

Schäufele with Klos (potato dumpling)

Main courses with fish

The carp season lasts from September to April.

Trout is available all over Bavaria, in the south around the lakes there also are Coregonus, char and other white fish.

Deep-fried Carp, the price is on the flag
Deep-fried Carp filet, the fishbones are cut so fine that they become barely perceptible
Forelle Müllerin

Vegetarian

Although the region is well known for meat dishes, there are vegetarian options to be found in Bavaria:

These and much other meals are really traditional Southern Bavarian as before 1900 the Allgäu in the south of Bavarian was a poor region, and meat was very expensive for the farmers. However the Allgäu has been - and still is - a dairy region, so cheese is readily available.

There are also plenty of Asian and restaurants that can cater to vegans and vegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians can consider the numerous Italian restaurants in the region.

Desserts

A slice of Prinzregententorte

Bread, rolls and others

Bavarian bakeries have a great variety of bread and rolls. Bavarian bread is made of rye and wheat flour, Some are more pale, others more dark. Esp. traditional Franconian bread is often made of sourdough, has a crispy crust and may contain spices.

Sweet pastries

Some famous yeast based pastries:

other pastries and cakes:

Beer

Drinkers hoisting 1-liter Maß mugs, a speciality of Oktoberfest and other festivals

Bavarian beer purity law

The "Bavarian Beer Purity Law" or sometimes called the "German Purity Law" in German "Deutsches Reinheitsgebot" was a regulation concerning the production of beer in Germany. In the original text from 23 April 1516, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley and hops. German breweries claim to still abide by it, though both yeast and some methods of production in use today (e.g. hop extract instead of hops, filtration with coal) are not mentioned in that law.

Quantities

The standard serving for a beer is 0.5L, called eine Halbe or a Hoibe (Bavarian), a Seidla (Franconian). Unlike in other parts of Germany, where you can get 0,2l or 0,33l of beer, there is no really "small beer" in Munich or upper Bavaria. If you order a "small beer", you will show that you have no idea of drinking Bavarian beer and get 0.5L anyway. Sometimes, you might be able to get einen Schnitt, which is a normal 0.5L glass filled half with beer and half with foam. Traditionally a "Schnitt" is only served as the last drink of the evening after you have had at least one regular beer.

If you see a restaurant in Upper Bavaria selling beer (except pilsener) in quantities of only 0.3L you should know the only reason why they do this is because they can ask for a higher price (per litre) without you noting it.

Bavarian taverns do usually offer 0.3L servings, but they are considered women's servings. A man ordering such a small serving would probably get a chuckle from the bartender.

Types

There are two main types of Bavarian beer: Helles and Weißbier.

Helles - which literally means "pale" - is the most popular Bavarian beer. It is a type of lager beer, similar to the pilsener, but contains less hop and tastes sweeter. The "Reinheitsgebot" (purity law) allows only water, barley and hop to be used to brew this beer, which is like the Helles is the Dunkles (meaning "dark") that has a stronger taste because it is brewed with more dark (roasted) malt.

Weißbier, literally meaning "white beer", is made of barley and wheat. Because of the use of wheat it is called Weizenbier (meaning "wheat beer") in other regions of Germany, but do not use this word in Munich or Upper Bavaria - the locals insist on using Weißbier. It tastes more sour than Helles. Because the yeast is still in the beer, it looks more cloudy then Helles but it is not lighter in color as the name would imply. If you order "eine Halbe Weißbier", you usually get it in a special glass. Often you will get the bottle and the glass and are expected to pour it yourself. Normally, you do not order "eine Maß Weißbier".

There is also a version brewed with more dark malt with the paradoxical name dunkles Weißbier meaning "dark white beer". The name "Weißbier" has nothing to do with beer's colour. It's foam during fermentation is pale while foam of barley beer is darker. In Franconia and all other regions of Germany, Weißbier is called Weizen(bier).

Other common types esp. in Franconia (north Bavaria) are Dunkles, Märzen and Kellerbier.

Normally, in a restaurant, you will order and get "eine Halbe". At festivals in Old Bavaria, you usually get "eine Maß" which is 1 litre. On some (like the Oktoberfest), it is the only quantity you can get. But at festivals in Franconia both "a Maß" or "a Seidla" is usual. At festivals and in beer gardens, it is very common to share "eine Maß" with your partner or a good friend.

Mixed with non-alcoholic drinks

Strangely, nobody sells Helles mixed with Coke.

Popular with young people is eine Goasnmaß (meaning "a goat's Maß"). This is 0.5L Weißbier mixed with 0.5L coke and an unknown quantity of cherry brandy. It tastes very sweet, and you can swallow it like water, but at least it has the quantity of alcohol as does pure beer.

Brands

Besides some great breweries Bavaria has hundreds of small and local breweries, most of them in Upper Franconia. They make several types of beer, e.g. Helles, Weißbier, Dunkel, Kellerbier, Mäerzen, Bock and many more. Often these breweries are connected with an inn (Brauerei-Gasthof in German) and sometimes the brand is only available there and in casks but not in bottles.

Some Munich breweries are:

Augustiner is the oldest brewery in Munich, founded in 1328. Though it does no advertising or sponsoring, it is very popular among young people. Maybe this is due to the fact that it is one of the sweetest Munich beers. You find mostly Helles, called "grüner August" or "green August" (Bavarian) by the locals because it has a green sticker on it. Often, you can get Edelstoff too, slightly more bitter than Helles. There is also a Weißbier brewed by Augustiner, but it is served only in a few restaurants.

Franziskaner the Weißbier section of Spaten. Popular with the locals, young and old.

Hacker-Pschorr

Hofbräu Because all the tourists think Hofbräu (and the famous Hofbräuhaus) is the real Bavarian beer culture, there is no Hofbräu beer left for the locals. If you drink Hofbräu beer, you are a tourist.

Löwenbräu Like Spaten, this beer is not so popular with the younger people.

Paulaner A popular beer (both Helles and Weißbier) especially liked the elders. Paulaner is one of the few breweries that make rye beer.

Spaten You will find this beer in many Munich clubs and discos. Nevertheless, the young locals do not really like it.

Ayinger is not truly a Munich beer because it is brewed in the rural district of Munich, but it is served in some restaurants in the city.

Some other larger breweries:

Herrn-Bräu Ingolstadt. well-known Weißbier

Erdinger, Erding near Munich.well-known Weißbier

Maisel Bayreuth. wellknown-Weißbier

EKU Kulmbach. another large one with several types

Tucher Nürnberg and Fürth. Most of their beer is typical "large brewerie beer", but they have a very tasty brand: Grüner, an old-fashion Helles brewed in Fürth.

Some typical local or smaller breweries:

Andechser from Andechs near Munich. A very famous place: Brewery, Abbey and place of pilgrimage.

Weihenstephan from Weihenstephan near Munich. They claime to be the oldest still existing brewery of the world. True or not, they make very tasty beer

Hofbräu Traunstein, Flötzinger Rosenheim and Wieninger Teisendorf (Berchtesgadener Land). typical old bavarian breweries with many types of good beer

Dornbräu Ammerndorf (Fürth district), Hofmann Pahres (Neustadt/Aisch district), Weißenohe Klosterbräu Weißenohe (Forchheim district) and Ott Oberleinleiter (Bamberg distric). typical franconian breweries with very tasty beer. Dornbräu and Hofmann are famous for their Dunkel, Weißenohe Klostersud is a very tasty kind of Märzen

Stadter Sachsendorf (Bayreuth district) and Adlerbräu Schlüsselfeld (Bamberg district). typical brewerie inns. Sorry, their very tasty beer is only available there.

Apostelbräu Hauzenberg (Passau district). Their speciality is spelt beer

Schlenkerla Bamberg. Their speciality is Rauchbier, a fumy tasting beer thats only brewed in Bamberg

Weltenburger from Weltenburg Abbey near Kehlheim. An old Abbey, a biergarten, good beer and a wonderful landscape

Unertel Haag (Mühldorf district) Some people say its one of the best Weißbier

Wine

Franconia is an important wine region. Most vineyards are along the Main River around Würzburg, Kitzingen, Volkach and Marktbreit and in Steigerwald (Schwanberg, Rödelsee, Castell). Smaller areas are around Ipsheim (Neustadt/Aisch district), Aschaffenburg, Taubertal and Bamberg/Haßfurt. Franconia is famous for dry white wines. Wines are often filled in Bocksbeutel, a special shaped bottle. Most important grape varieties for white wines are Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner and Bacchus and Domina for red wines.

Bavaria also has smaller vineyards around Lindau, Regensburg and Neuburg/Donau

The standard glass of wine is 0,2 or 0,25l. In Franconia you usually order a "viertele" (0,25). Wine is drunken pure but white wine can be mixed with mineral water, called Schorle.

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