German foods that are tastier than they sound

German foods with funny names

Kalter Hund (Cold dog)

Dogs don't usually land on plates in Germany – except for dessert. At least figuratively speaking. Known as "Kalter Hund," or cold dog, this simple no-bake dessert is made by layering butter cookies and chocolate frosting. When it cools in the fridge, the surface is said to "sweat" like a dog's nose. But the form also resembles a mine trolley, which, in old miners' speak, was also called a dog.

German foods with funny names

Falscher Hase (Mock hare)

You can throw just about anything into a meatloaf – pork, beef, onions, even an egg. When it's all cooked up, with a bit of sauce on top and a side of potatoes, there's no way of telling exactly what is in it. Nicely patted into a baking dish, it might resemble a hare's back. But, particularly in difficult times like after World War II, it most likely contained less expensive meats.

German foods with funny names


Before you start letting your imagination run wild, Muckefuck is much more banal than it sounds, and refers to coffee substitutes made from barley malt or chicory. It is said that the word derives from "mocca faux," French for "fake coffee," as it was used during the Franco-Prussian War. However, we think that the name comes from the verbal response provoked by drinking the stuff.

German foods with funny names

Bienenstich (Bee sting)

It's not known exactly why this treat – almond cake filled with vanilla pudding – is called Bee Sting. But according to one legend, the town of Linz wanted to attack the town of Andernach in the 15th century. Andernach bakers were collecting honey when the Linz soldiers approached and threw bee hives at them, forcing them to retreat. Andernach residents reportedly celebrated by baking this cake.

German foods with funny names

Maultaschen (Feed bag)

In the southern region of Swabia, the faithful observe Maundy Thursday and Good Friday by not eating meat. Hungry Swabians, however, came up with a way to secretly still their Easter appetites by hiding the meat inside dough. The origin of the name is unclear. Perhaps they were first eaten in Maulbronn. But we prefer the theory that they simply resemble a Maultasche, or feed bag.

German foods with funny names

Himmel un Ääd (Heaven and Earth)

Blood sausage doesn't often come to mind when thinking of heaven, but it's an crucial part of the German dish called Heaven and Earth, which also includes fried onions, mashed potatoes and apple sauce. Though blood sausage is the key ingredient, the name stems from the apples, which come from the heavens (well, very tall trees), and the potatoes from the earth. Ääd is dialect for Erde (Earth).

German foods with funny names

Armer Ritter (Poor knight)

What Americans know as French toast has a much more romantic name in German: Poor Knight. To prepare it, simply take day-old white bread, dunk it in a mixture of milk, egg, sugar and vanilla, and fry it in a pan. The dish has been around for many years and got its name during the Middle Ages, when the wealthy ate meat and the poor could only afford bread.

German foods with funny names

Halver Hahn (Halver rooster)

If you order a Halver Hahn in the Rhineland, don't expect to get anything that used to fly. Rather, it's a rye bread roll with Gouda cheese and butter, often served as a snack in local pubs. Most of the various legends behind the name have to do with acoustic misunderstandings and anecdotes of mistaken dining orders.

German foods with funny names

Beamtenstippe (Public servants' dip)

Taken from the verb "stippen" - "to dip" in Berlin dialect - a Beamtenstippe is the sauce served with dry potatoes to spiff them up a bit. Originally it was a poor man's dish, since lower-ranked public servants weren't particularly wealthy, and could include all kinds of leftovers.

German foods with funny names

Spaghettieis (Spaghetti ice cream)

Noodles in your ice cream may sound disgusting, but spaghetti ice cream is one of Germany's popular summer treats. But don't worry: No pasta is actually used. Instead, vanilla ice cream is put through a press to create long, noodle-like strands. Whipped cream, strawberry sauce (for tomato sauce), and white chocolate sprinkles (for Parmesan cheese) are dalloped on top to complete the illusion.

You can argue about just how tasty German cuisine is. But these dishes have such quirky names, you just have to sink your teeth into them. Here's a look at our favorite 10 unusually named dishes.

Would you eat a cold dog or spaghetti ice cream? And "Muckefuck" can't possibly be edible, can it? Actually, these are all names of German food items that are arguably more delicious than they sound – whether or not they're your cup of tea. 

Culture | 10.07.2017

Click through the gallery above for more German food with funny names. In the gallery below, you'll find a German classic that has a standard name, but can be eaten countless ways. 

For more about German culture, language and lifestyle, visit

10 ways to eat a German sausage


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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.

Related Subjects