In Germany, beer is an integral part of the daily culture for many adults. It is estimated that Germans drink an average of over 100 liters per person yearly.
Despite the availability of locally-produced wines and fruit-based brandy (schnaps), beer remains the most popular beverage for the citizens.
Here are some fun facts about Germany’s beer culture and history plus a recipe for a favorite main dish to pair with a helles or dunkel – light or dark – beer.
Many governments around the world strive to curb excessive consumption of alcohol by levying heavy taxes on beer, wine and liquor and regulating drinking hours.
The opposite was true for King Frederick the Great, who ruled of the kingdom of Prussia from 1740 to 1786.
He wanted his subjects to drink more beer than coffee or anything else, even once pointing out how disgusted he was to notice the increase in the quantity of coffee being consumed by his people instead of beer.
To him, beer was not just a recreational beverage, but a drink on which he and his ancestors were brought up. Subsequently, the revered military campaigner banned coffee, replacing it with “beer soup”.
It begs the question; why would the king want his subjects to be drinkers of beer, taking into account how liquor makes people drunk, silly, and less productive?
Well, it turns out that he had some sensible reasons:
Besides his people’s heritage, King Frederick also wanted to safeguard his kingdom’s economy by lowering the importation of coffee, which had increased over the years.
Following his order, beer consumption went up, contributing to the popularity of beer in Prussia and in the rest of Germany, which continues to this day.
Germans Love Taking Their Beer with Schnitzel
A traditional German dish is schnitzel, or cutlet, which can be either a thin slice of veal or pork, coated in breadcrumbs and fried. It can be served for lunch or for dinner, either with roasted potatoes or spaetzle (small dumplings), rotkraut (red cabbage) or beetroot. And – of course – beer.
Germans love to take their beers with snacks. While there are many options for snacks from which they can choose, pork schnitzel remains one of their topmost picks.
Here’s an easy recipe for pork schnitzel that serves two, using a meal kit with a recipe from Hello Fresh.
Meal kits are growing in popularity everywhere, and there are many competitors, including Home Chefand Sun Basket.
Before you sign up, you should compare what each one offers.
Here’s a quick link that compares and contrasts various aspects of meal kits and meal plans.
These include the meal prices, shipping costs, dietary preference plans, meal variety, meal kit delivery and packaging, as well as how easy it is to order from each brand.
But I digress.
Back to the recipe for pork schnitzel.
What You Will Need
- An oven.
- Two bowls – one large, one small.
- A baking sheet.
- One plate for food preparation and four for serving.
- A rolling pin.
- A frying pan.
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Ingredients in the meal kit:
- Four pork loin steaks.
- 1kg. white potato
- 100 g. breadcrumbs.
- ½ kg. Beetroot.
- 60g. mayonnaise.
- 2 lemons.
- 25ml. balsamic vinegar.
- 5g. dried oregano.
- 30g. honey.
- 25g. mint leaves.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
- Prepare and cook the potatoes;
- Chop the potatoes into bite-size chunks and transfer them to the baking tray.
- Drizzle the potatoes with oil.
- Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the potatoes to coat.
- Spread out and roast the potatoes on the middle shelf of the oven for about 35 mins or until golden and crispy, turning them halfway.
Prepare and add the necessary ingredients
- Trim and peel each beetroot.
- Chop each beetroot into several wedges.
- To the half-cooked potatoes, pop the beetroot wedges and shake the tray gently before returning it to the oven for the remainder of the time.
Prepare the breadcrumb mixture
- Zest the lemons and pop them into the large bowl.
- Toss in the dried oregano, bread crumbs, and olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the mixture to a plate.
Prepare and cook the pork steaks
- Bash each pork steak with the rolling pin until fairly flat (1 cm thick, preferably).
- Smear both sides of each pork steak with a little mayo to cover it, to ensure that the breadcrumb mixture adheres. (Purists might want to use lard, rendered chicken fat or olive oil)
- Place each steak onto the crumbs and flip over so both sides are coated with bread crumbs.
- Heat oil in the frying pan on medium-high heat,
- Carefully lay in the pork schnitzels and fry them for about 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through, turning them halfway.
Prepare a sauce using the remaining ingredients
- Pick the mint leaves from their stalks and roughly chop them, discarding the stalks.
- Stir together the honey, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in the small bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in half the mint leaves you prepared earlier.
- Serve the roasted potatoes and beetroots on the individual plates.
- Top each plate with the pork schnitzel.
- Finish each plate with the remaining dressing and let people eat! Mahlzeit!
Germany’s Beer Culture Is Linked To Namibia
Namibia is on the southwestern coast of Africa some 7400 miles from Germany, linked to German history and culture for more than 200 years.
Namibia History, Briefly
Namibia was one of Europe’s colonial conquests in the 1800s, then called German West Africa.
In 1920, Germany surrendered it as part of the peace agreement following World War I, allowing the territory to be administered by the League of Nations. Namibia gained independence 70 years later.
The National Museum of Namibia, in capital city Windhoek, is a must for visitors, for more than 3,000 years of history, including the Colonial period and since.
German Beer in Namibia
Namibia Breweries was founded in 1920 by Carl List and Hermann Ohlthaver and has grown to become a premium beer brand with strong footprints in Germany. Its beers are relatively popular in the Western country, lending directly to the German’s beer culture.
You can find German-style beer everywhere in Namibia, from the capital of Windhoek to the guesthouses and hotels serving visitors to Namibia’s national parks, such as the amazing Etosha National Park, and wildlife viewing. Also schnitzel.
In addition to wildlife viewing, Namibia is famous for its giant sand dunes, the largest in the world, some of which are open to climbing. That’s a photo of me, ecoxplorer Evelyn Kanter, about to climb one more than 300 feet high in Sousevlei.
Guaranteed that I needed a good, cold German beer afterward. Make mine a hefeweizen!