Needed: German cookbook advice

Fall’s a great time to dive into German food. Sausage, cabbage, potatoes, it just fits? I’m going to make rotkohl mit apfeln for a tailgate this Saturday, actually. But I could use some suggestions on the cookbook front. Anyone have a favorite collection of German recipes? Preferential treatment to those that pay attention to regional differences. Thanks in advance.


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

5 thoughts

  1. I asked Angela if she had any German cookbooks, since that’s her heritage but she said with 7 siblings, they didn’t really have German food, they had meat and potatoes — stretched to be filling. She has a lot of stories.

    My two favorites are the liver casserole (even the cats and dogs wouldn’t eat it) and coconut put on top of cakes: “Mom, why do you keep putting coconut on the cakes? We don’t like coconut.”

    “It makes the cake last longer!”

  2. I recommend “The German Cookbook” by Mimi Sheraton. It’s an old-school, Joy of Cooking-esque thorough look at traditional German household cooking. Detailed, thorough, uses lots of real ingredients that can still be substituted for as necessary, just very very interesting and useful.

    My other German cookbook, “The New German Cookbook” by Jean Anderson, is a much modern modern, fusiony effort that is long on the froo-froo and short on the straightforward German cooking. It keeps repeating things like “Germans have always done it this way, but hip young chefs like X are now doing it this way in fancy Berlin restaurants, so that’s what we present here”. I’m more interested in the traditional housewife approach, thanks.

    Everything I have made from the former has been excellent, and I’ve basically stopped looking at the latter for ideas because all the recipes seem to have taken something traditional and made it twice as complicated for no real gain. I can lend either/both to you for a bit if you want to look at them.

  3. OK, I am going to change the subject a bit here in order to make a recommendation. You want to cook AUSTRIAN food this fall.

    One of my favorite cookbooks, a reprint of a Viennese volume originally published in 1960, is Elisabeth Meyer-Browne’s ‘Best of Austrian Cusine.’ Her Rotkohl recipe is on pg. 83. The apples are mandatory, but should you be able to acquire chestnuts, flip to pg. 84 and try the Blaukohl mit Kastanien.

    Austrian and German cuisines are not the same thing, but you will find that many favorite German dishes are either enjoyed in Austria or have Austrian counterparts. Mayer-Browne’s book is household cooking, not fusiony, and as authentic as I’ve ever seen in an English-language publication.

    Guten Appetit!

  4. Thanks for the recommendation, Michael. We ate often at an Austrian-Italian place in Alexandria, VA and miss it terribly. I should probably check this out.

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