German Culture

Francine A. McKenna

Germany is a "Bread Paradise". With over 3050 registered varieties, almost all available types of grain used, from wheat, rye, barley and oats to millet, corn, rice and potato starch. While bread rolls go under so many different names in the various regions it is easier just to point.

Francine A. McKenna

German Unity Day - Tag der Deutschen Einheit on October 3 commemorates the day in 1990 the German Democratic Republic, (East Germany), became part of the Federal Republic of Germany, (West Germany). Following the first peaceful revolution in history.

Francine A. McKenna

It had taken 600 years, but in August 1880 Cologne Cathedral was complete at last. When construction began the city was part of the Holy Roman Empire, it finished in a newly United Germany with Wilhelm I its first Emperor. A stunning building it is one of the country's most important monuments.

Francine A. McKenna

German Beer Gardens and Oktoberfest would not be the same without "Steckerlfisch". A Bavarian specialty for anyone who likes fish and has hunger pangs, it's a delicious well seasoned grilled fish, complete with head, tail and a stick running through it. And perfect for a BBQ.

Francine A. McKenna

Beer has its own day "Tag des Deutschen Bieres", in Bavaria it is "flüssiges Brot/liquid bread", a food, and it's important not to forget to raise one thumb when ordering. Fun facts you probably don't know about German beer.

Francine A. McKenna

They disappear in the fall, re-appear with spring and spend summer protecting Germany's gardens. Garden gnomes are as much a part of Germany as Bratwurst and Fussball/soccer. Kitsch, folklore, good luck symbols, and for a protector about as far from frightening as it is possible to be.

Francine A. McKenna

Federweisser looks like grape soda but is young wine with a powerful KICK, and short end of summer season. Its traditional harvest time accompaniments are Zwiebelkuchen and Treberwurst, a rich onion pie and sausages marinated with grapes then fried, and enjoyed at any time of the year.

Francine A. McKenna

It began as a horse race in honor of a royal wedding, in fields outside Munich. More than 200 years later those fields are part of Munich, but Oktoberfest, the world's largest Volksfest, is still a festival of Bavarian exuberance, draft beer, food and tradition.