10 things you won't find at a German grill party

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Burgers

If hamburgers come to mind when you think of barbecuing, then think again. The beef patties may be named after a northern German city, but rather than a hamburger you'll catch a whiff of all kinds of sizzling sausage and every cut of pork on a German BBQ. Don't worry, though. If you're craving a classic burger, you'll find a McDonald's in every German city.

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Buns

Even though Germans are so big on grilled sausage, they don't put them in buns. Well, not exactly. If you buy a grilled sausage at a street-side stand, you'll get it in a round bread roll with the Wurst hanging out inconveniently on either end. At grill parties, though, the sausage is usually served naked and eaten with a fork and knife - not with your hands.

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Ordinary ketchup

Ok, of course Germans eat ketchup at their grill parties - but not just any old ketchup. More common than the standard tomato variety is curry ketchup. It's practically the most important ingredient at any BBQ shindig and can be readily paired with any meat from bratwurst to chicken. A popular thing to do is mix ketchup with mayonnaise to create a sauce referred to as "red-white" or "gate."

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Gas grill

With roughly 93 percent of German owning a BBQ, it seems that grilling is truly a national pastime here. According to a recent survey, more than two in three German barbecue owners chose a charcoal grill, while less than half prefer a gas model. Charcoal is sooty and slower to fire up, but also cheaper. It's kept up its manly, authentic image despite some gourmets resorting to gas.

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Slow food

From Texas to Argentina, barbecuing isn't a spontaneous weeknight whim, but something that takes hours, even days. And the resulting pulled pork or spare ribs really taste like it. Nope, in Germany, waiting for the coals to get hot takes long enough. Since a typical sausage is charred in around five minutes, Germans are pros in speed grilling. We're hungry! So, guten Appetit.

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Sauerkraut

The stereotype is that Germans eat sauerkraut for breakfast, lunch and dinner. While sauerkraut may be a traditional side dish, it is almost exclusively found in southern Germany. There, it is eaten with all kinds of large, fatty chunks of meat, as well as sausage, but typically in cozy winter settings. It would be embarrassingly out of place at an outdoor summer BBQ party.

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Vegetarian

Indeed, times are changing and more and more healthy alternatives to fatty bratwurst and pork strips are making their way onto German grills. Neverthless, at a German grill party it's still common to find meat even in the side dishes, from bologna in the pasta salad to ham in the potato salad. True vegetarians should bring their own - or have lots of practice in picking out the meat products.

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Rye bread

Germany is world-famous for its excellent varieties of dark bread. Germans love their own bread so much that they eat it for breakfast and a light dinner (which is fittingly known as "bread time"). But you won't find the whole-grain stuff at grill parties. There, Germans indulge in the bleached white varieties beloved by their European neighbors, like French baguette and Turkish flat bread.

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Beer shortage

Everyone knows that Germans like to drink beer. But not just any beer. Not, for example, the beer from the next city over. Each region, city or even village has its own specialty. You'll only find Kölsch in Cologne (don't dare drink it in Dusseldorf!), Astra in Hamburg and Fiege in Bochum. So when you're at a German BBQ, you'll have to drink the local brew - but at least there'll be plenty of it!

10 things you won't find at a German grill party

Heavy desserts

Germany has rightfully earned its reputation as home of the world's best cakes and tortes. Those with a sweet tooth might be tempted to bring some Black Forest Gateau to every party. But no, these caloric creations are reserved for afternoon coffee and cake time. After dinner, Germans refrain from dessert or go light. Grill parties are often rounded off with a dish of yogurt and fruit.

Want to grill like a German? Then bury your clichés. Germans probably don't throw BBQ parties like you think they do. Here are 10 things to stay clear of when throwing the perfect German grill party.

While many tourists come to Germany for the sauerkraut and dark bread, those typical foods can't be found at a traditional German grill party. Click through the gallery above for some other surprising absences at a German BBQ.

What can you find on German grills? Sausage is, of course, a staple, and it comes in many different forms, which you can discover in the gallery below. For more on German lifestyle and culture, visit dw.com/meetthegermans

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Bratwurst

It is a favorite in Germany, and each region has its own version. There are over 50 kinds of bratwurst, and they all vary in size, texture and seasoning - so no wonder it's confusing. Although Germans now associate "Brat" with "braten," which means to fry, broil or grill, the name originally derives from Old High German: "Brät" meant finely chopped meat.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Nürnberger (Nuremberger)

Among the different varieties of Bratwurst, you can recognize the one produced in Nuremberg by its size. It's surprisingly small, not much bigger than a pinkie finger. Historical documents already mentioned this wurst back in 1313. These sausages are traditionally grilled over flames, served six at a time, and accompanied by sauerkraut and potatoes with horseradish or mustard on the side.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Currywurst

A currywurst is simply a steamed bratwurst seasoned with ketchup and covered with curry powder. In a country specialized in high-tech cars, it sounds a bit exaggerated to call this fast-food snack an "invention," but Herta Heuwer, the Berlin cook who developed the special sauce, actually patented it in 1959. It's since become a street food classic. There's even a currywurst museum in Berlin.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Weisswurst

This veal Bavarian sausage translates as "white sausage" for its color. It has no preservatives, nor is it smoked, which is why it's meant to be eaten fresh the day it was made. A German saying recommends the Weisswurst should never get to hear the church bells ring at noon. To eat it, some suck out the meat from the skin, or, more discreetly, cut it in half and roll out the filling with a fork.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Blutwurst

The German Blutwurst (blood sausage) is usually made with pork blood and bacon. As it is already cooked, it does not need to be eaten hot - but some people do. Some regions include it in dishes with colorful names: the Rhineland's "Himmel und Erde" (Sky and Earth) combines it with mashed potatoes and apple sauce. "Tote Oma" (Dead Grandma) is Berlin's way of serving it with liverwurst and potatoes.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Landjäger

The Landjäger is a smoked semi-dried sausage traditionally made in different German-speaking countries. It can be kept without refrigeration, which is why it became a popular snack for everyone spending time outdoors, from hikers to soldiers. "Jäger" means "hunter" in German.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Mettwurst

This is another type of sausage which can be very different from region to region. Strongly flavored, its minced meat (usually pork, but sometimes beef) is preserved through a curing and smoking process. In the South of Germany, it is usually spreadable, whereas the northern varieties are harder and more like salami.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Leberwurst

There are different forms of Leberwurst, which has its anglicized form, "liverwurst." They can generally be defined as German pre-cooked sausages which are spreadable. As the name reveals, they usually contain liver - often from pigs or calves, but some varieties are made from goose, turkey or even anchovies.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Teewurst

From breakfast to that last evening snack, Germans have traditionally found a way to eat sausage throughout the day. Teewurst means "tea sausage," a name which is believed to come from it being served in sandwiches at teatime. What makes it so easy to spread? The fat: It makes up about 30 to 40 percent of this rich wurst.

10 ways to eat a German sausage

Salami

Salami is typically Italian, but it is just as popular in sausage-loving Germany - and it's much more than just a pizza topping. If Italians usually stick to coffee and sweet bread rolls for breakfast, Germans will gladly serve slices of salami first thing in the morning, too. They'll enjoy it all day, as salami shows up for the simple evening meal called "Abendbrot" as well.

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