Germany now boasts 300 Michelin-starred restaurants

New addresses for gourmets visiting Germany: The country now counts 11 three-star establishments, with newcomer Atelier in Munich. Two vegetarian restaurants have also made it into the prestigious Michelin Guide.

The 2018 Michelin Guide for Germany was released in Potsdam on Tuesday, revealing eight new locations distinguished with the coveted honor. 

The restaurant Atelier is the 11th to be recognized in Germany with Michelin's highest rating, three stars. The restaurant, housed in the Munich Hotel Bayerischer Hof, is run by 35-year-old chef Jan Hartwig. "You can't expect anything like this," he said. "I'm completely happy."

The number of two-star establishments rose to 39, thanks to four new additions, and 250 eateries now detain one star.

For the first time, two purely vegetarian restaurants have obtained a star: Cookies Cream in Berlin and Seven Swans in Frankfurt.

Read more: The world's best restaurant

Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

Single topping

Stulle, Bemme, Bütterken, Knifte – a simple slice of buttered bread has many names all over the country. Despite the wealth of fast snacks available everywhere, it's still a classic at any time of the day. The CMA agriculture marketing group declared the Day of the German Butterbrot in 1999. The CMA no longer exists, but the day celebrating Germany's buttered bread lives on.

Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

Evening meal

Germans eat one hot meal a day, so bread with butter and a slice of cold meat or cheese is a common German evening meal - it really is called "Abendbrot," evening bread. Unlike a sandwich, the traditional Butterbrot has few, if any, other toppings.

Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

Endangered species?

Butterbrot fans created a website where they campaign for the preservation of the traditional buttered slices of rye bread "in the era of baguettes, sandwiches and croissants." They post recipes, art, quotes, literature and cartoons – and profess: "Yes, we butter our bread slices!" Above, the bread is spread with delicious Schmalz: rendered pork fat.

Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

Varieties

The Butterbrot has a fancy party variety, too, often seen on buffet tables. In the 1970s, when entire families sat glued to the TV on Saturday evenings, moms would prepare and serve plates of sliced, cut and topped bread.

Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

Bavarian specialty

Hearty, solid food: the Bavarian Brotzeit (again, bread is a staple ingredient) is a snack that was originally munched between breakfast and lunch, but is now widely available at any time of the day in southern Germany.

Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

Snacktime

If you peek into children's and teenagers' school bags, you can be sure to find one or two "Butterbrote," usually not just the buttered kind but topped with cheese, cold cuts, jam or a gooey chocolate spread. It's a common second breakfast at work and on trips for adults, too.

Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

'I love Butterbrot'

Many years ago, my grandmother in the western city of Dortmund would invariably make us kids slices of buttered bread ("Bütterken") for the road after a visit, for our two-hour drive back home. Stuffed as we were after lunch, cake and Abendbrot – there was always room for another Butterbrot.

Beyond bratwurst and beer

The 2017 edition of the guide featured 292 starred restaurants in Germany. Among this year's 300 prized establishments, one of the addresses is actually a freebie, as it's technically not even located in the country: a hard-to-reach one-star restaurant located in the Austrian Alps.

Although Germany's cuisine is no longer restricted to beer and bratwurst, the country is still far behind other fine-dining meccas. France — the birthplace of the famous Michelin Guide — counts 600 Michelin-rated restaurants, while Japan boasts more than 30 three-starred establishments. 

Read more: French chef Alleno earns sixth Michelin star as haute cuisine gets 'uncomplicated'

Still, Michael Ellis, international director of the famed restaurant ranker, said that when compared internationally, "Germany has become a top location for high-class cuisine."

Known as the "bible for gourmands," the first Michelin Guide was published in 1900. Germany obtained its first Michelin star in 1966.

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Euromaxx | 05.06.2018

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eg/cmk (with dpa)