Strudel with vanilla sauce, whipped cream and ice cream. Photo: DPA. Apple pie. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Strudel is the national cake of Austria but it is also a firm favourite of the Germans. It is made with a lighter, thinner pastry than a pie and is rolled into a long shape before being baked without a tin. While you’d have to be mad to say no to a slice of either pie or strudel, the layering of pastry and fruit in a Strudel and the lower likelihood of a soggy bottom are what make this dessert superior to a simple apple pie.
Germany 1 – 0 UK
Schweinshaxe vs Pulled Pork
Schweinshaxe mit Knödel. Photo: DPA. Pulled pork in a bun. Photo: DPA.
Schweinshaxe is a pork knuckle, previously considered a ‘poor man’s dish’ due to the less favourable cut it is made from. The meat is marinated for days before being roasted on a very low heat until it is almost falling off the bone. Pulled pork is similarly marinated and roasted for a long time but it is then shredded and often mixed with a BBQ sauce. Both ways of cooking pork are equally delicious, but there’s something appealing about not having to worry about removing the meat from the bone which gives pulled pork the edge.
Germany 1 – 1 UK
Lebkuchen vs Gingerbread
Lebkuchen. Photo: DPA. Gingerbread men. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Due to the high likelihood of breaking a tooth on a gingerbread man, Germany wins this round. Lebkuchen tend to be softer in texture and also come with the added bonus of a chocolate or sugary shell which keeps them fresh.
Germany 2 – 1 UK
Weisswurst vs Haggis
Weißwurst, a Bavarian delicacy, and haggis, a Scottish traditional dish, are both well-loved but also rather acquired tastes. Weißwurst is a veal sausage, or occasionally pork, often served with a pretzel. It gets its name from its pale colour which is a result of it being boiled rather than fried or grilled.
Haggis is also boiled but is made of a sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oats, suet, spices, salt and pepper, traditionally encased in the sheep’s stomach and served with gravy, tatties and neeps (mashed potatoes and turnips). While neither are likely to win first prize in a beauty pageant, both are considered delicious. But haggis wins this round for its nutty texture and rich, savoury flavour.
Germany 2 – 2 UK
Stollen vs Fruitcake
Stollen. Photo: DPA. Christmas fruitcake. Photo: Pixabay.
Although both contain dried fruit and both are served at Christmas time, Stollen is more like a sweet bread, while fruitcake, as the name suggests, is a cake. What’s more, fruitcake is often “fed” for weeks with Madeira, sherry or brandy meaning it tends to be moister (and more alcoholic). For this reason, fruitcake beats Stollen.
Germany 2 – 3 UK
Bratkartoffeln vs Roast Potatoes
Bratkartoffeln. Photo: DPA. Roast potatoes. Photo: Pixabay.
This was a very close competition as both types of potato are the ultimate comfort food. Although the bacon and onion give the Bratkartoffeln the edge of decadence, nothing beats a perfectly cooked (crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside) roast potato.
Germany 2 – 4 UK
Sauerbraten mit Knödel vs Shephard’s Pie
Sauerbraten with Knödel. Photo: DPA. Cottage Pie. Photo: Flickr.
With both these dishes, there are variations in the name based on what kind of meat they use. Badische Sauerbraten is made with beef, while Rheinische Sauerbraten is traditionally horse meat, however nowadays the dish is more commonly made with beef. Along similar lines, shepherd’s pie is made with lamb mince and cottage pie uses beef.
While shepherd’s pie is a great comfort food, Sauerbraten is marinated for days making the meat incredibly tender and earning the German dish the point for this round.
Germany 3 – 4 UK
Deutsches Frühstück vs Fry Up
Compared to the daintier habits of the French and Italians, Germany and the UK don’t hold back when it comes to breakfast. A proper fry-up is delicious and a great hangover cure, but it does tend to leave you feeling like you need a shower and a nap afterwards. So with a huge range of spreads, cheeses, cold cuts, fruit, cereal and great breads, German breakfasts are the champions.
Germany 4 – 4 UK
Schnitzel mit Pommes vs Fish and Chips
Schnitzel. Photo: DPA. Fish and chips. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Although originally from Austria, it is safe to say Schnitzel has been widely adopted into German cuisine. Fish and chips, on the other hand, is the dish most stereotypically associated with the UK. Schnitzel is a thin cut of breaded pork or veal, served in a number of ways such as topped with mushrooms, onions or cheese. But nothing beats a simple piece of battered cod with mushy peas and chunky chips with salt and vinegar.
Germany 4 – 5 UK
Currywurst mit Pommes vs Bangers and Mash
Currywurst. Photo: DPA. Sausage and mash. Photo: Maxpixel.
One is a classic street food, the other is the epitome of home cooking. The sausage in a Currywurst dish is sliced up and covered in a sweet curry ketchup and served with chips, usually sprinkled with paprika. In the end, both dishes are essentially sausage, potato and sauce, but the point has to go to the UK for that winning combination of sausage, mashed potato and gravy.
Germany 4 – 6 UK
Käsespätzle vs Cheese on Toast
Käsespätzle. Photo: Flickr. Cheese on toast. Photo: DPA.
The simplicity of cheese on toast makes it a favourite for first thing in the morning or late at night but Käsespätzle (soft egg noodles served in the pan with melted cheese and fried onions) is even more delicious and wins this round.
Germany 5 – 6 UK
Paprika Chips vs Salt and Vinegar Crisps
Paprika is the most prolific flavour of crisp in Germany. the UK, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have one flavour which they prefer above all others. But the salt and vinegar crisp brings in mind chip-shop chips with salt and malt vinegar and is, therefore, a truly traditional English flavour. The point has to go to paprika crisps for this round though. Germany has such a range of shapes and styles of paprika flavour crisps and it’s not hard to see why, they taste great and they don’t make your lips go white after eating them.
Germany 6 – 6 UK
Bratwurst vs Sausage Rolls
Bratwurst on a grill. Photo: DPA. Mini sausage rolls. Photo: Pxhere.
Bratwurst are a matter of national pride in Germany. They are sold at imbisses and street food stalls throughout the year and range from tiny Nürnberger Bratwurst to the monstrous 1 metre Bratwurst you can sometimes find at Christmas markets and Oktoberfest.
Sausage rolls are a common occurrence at most British bakeries but the day has not yet come where you can buy a 1 metre long sausage roll at your local Gregg’s.
While both are fine examples of traditional finger food, Bratwurst is usually only served in a standard white bread roll, meaning the humble sausage roll is the champion of this final round due to its delicious, flaky pastry coating.
Which makes the final score: Germany 6 – 7 UK, meaning the UK wins (for once)!