German comfort food comes home

Photo by Amy Phelps Cheese noodle casserole and bacon-wrapped meatloaf are delicious dishes that are German comfort food.

From cookbook author Gerhild Fulson, a German native who moved to Canada as a toddler, traditional German dishes prepared by her Mutti and Papa are home favorites. She has taken Oma (grandmother) favorites and translated them for modern cooks in her cookbooks and continues to do so in “German Meals at Oma’s.”

This time, the author takes readers on a culinary journey throughout Germany, from Berlin to Thuringen, sampling grandmotherly dishes along the way.

This cookbook is laid out like a tour guide, and has several dishes representing each city. The dishes are all called by their German (and then translated) names.

Berlin, for examples, overs Pork Hocks with Sauerkraut as a dish. Hamburg has Sauerbraten. Nordrhein-Westfalen has Peppered Beef Stew. Bavaria has a Cabbage, Noodles and Bacon Dish. Baden-Wurttember has Bread Dumplings. Lower Saxony has Goulash Soup. Rhineland-Pfalz has Potato Casserole and Bacon. Bremen has Kale with Sausages. Brandenburg has Cabbage Rolls. Hesse has Schnitzel with Cream Sauce. Schleswig-Holstein has Ground Beef Stew. Saarland has Braised Pork Roast. Saxony has Pork Roast on a Bed of Salt. Saxony-Anhalt has Kale and Potato Casserole. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has Chicken Fricassee. And Thuringa has Red Cabbbage with Apples.

My own ancestry has a hefty dose of German in it, and while we may not have made these dishes, potatoes feature highly in the dishes of my youth, and I noticed that across all of Germany, that seemed to be true as well. There are a lot of meat and potato dishes throughout.

A friend who also has German ancestry told me about a cheesy spatzle casserole that her grandmother made and that she now makes occasionally. Lo and behold, I found it in the cookbook – Kasespatzle or Cheese Noodle Casserole. I really like spatzle, little pieces of noodle basically, to begin with, so adding cheese sounded good to me. And I really enjoyed making the spatzle and then making a basic cheese sauce to go over it.

To go with the Kasespatzle, I made Falscher Hase, which is bacon-wrapped meatloaf with hard-boiled eggs inside. How could that not be good? Thanks, German ancestors! I like the flavor the bacon added to the meatloaf, I’m just used to some sort of sauce on meatloaf and kind of wished this had it as well. I think next time I would make it with some sort of sauce and then wrap the bacon around all of that. Sounds good to me!

For those wanting to try German food, those who have a German background or those who just want to make a dish for next Octoberfest, give this one a shot!

“German Meals at Oma’s” is published by Page Street Publishing. It is $21.99.


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