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zum Inhalt springen Beer garden in Erfurt © Andreas Weise, Thuringia Tourist Board

Fun Fact

Every November 11th on St. Martin's Day, bakeries throughout LutherCountry sell the traditional "Martinshörnchen". This regional delight is a yeast bun shaped like a croissant and goes great with marmelade, jam or Nutella!


Just like in Luther's time, the regional cuisine of LutherCountry uses fresh, local ingredients for recipes that date back hundreds of years. German cuisine is traditionally heavy and hearty, boasting an array of aromas and tastes to satisfy even the pickiest of palates.

We have gathered a few traditional recipes below for you to try at home!

»Thuringian Bratwurst

Thuringian bratwurst was first mentioned in official records in 1404, making this recipe older than the Reformation! The original bratwurst consisted of pork, or sometimes beef and veal, as well as salt, pepper, garlic, caraway, and marjoram. In order to be called a "Thuringian Bratwurst", at least 51% of the ingredients have to come directly from Thuringia.


2.2 lbs. of pork
20 g of salt
3 g of pepper
a pinch of marjoram
a pinch of caraway

Mince the meat (coarsely), season with salt and spices, knead and mince again (finely). Fill sausage skin with the mixture and twist off at approximately 20 cm. The bratwurst can either be grilled straight away or stored in the freezer.

»Thuringian Potato Dumplings

Thuringian potato dumplings are a mixture of mashed and grated potatoes and bread crumbs. They are traditionally served with a roast, sauce, and red cabbage.

Ingredients (for approximately 8 dumplings):

4.4 lbs. of potatoes
1 loaf of bread
¼ cup of butter

Peel and wash potatoes, boil ¼ of them and grate the rest. Squeeze the grated potatoes and wait until the starch separates from the water. Add starch to the grated potatoes. Mash the boiled potatoes. Crumble the loaf of bread and fry them carefully in a pan. Finally, mix the mashed with the grated potatoes before adding flour and salt to taste. Form the dumplings and place 2 to 3 fried bread crumbs in the middle. Bring saltwater to boil, add the dumplings, and reduce the heat. Gently boil for 20 min. and serve immediately.

»Thuringian Bratwurst with Sauerkraut


8 Thuringian bratwursts
3 cups of sauerkraut
250 ml of white wine
2 onions
Salt, pepper, caraway seeds

Chop onions and sauté with butter in a heated pan. Add sauerkraut and season with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. Add white wine and cook at medium heat for approximately 30 min. Fry bratwursts in a separate pan until golden brown on both sides.

»Thuringian Plum Cake

Thuringia is not only famous for bratwurst and roasted meat, but also for its sweets and cakes. One of the most popular Thuringian cakes is plum cake, which is made with a yeast dough.


For the dough:
4 cups of flour
2 packets of dry yeast (American Style)
250 ml of milk
2/3 cup of sugar
½ cup of butter
1 egg
A pinch of salt and ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 liter of milk
½ cup of sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar
½ cup of semolina
3.3 lbs. of plums
375 ml of sour cream
½ cup cornstarch

Stir the yeast and sugar into the lukewarm milk. Add the flour, butter, egg, salt, and nutmeg, and knead to form a dough. Let it rest until it has risen to twice its original size. Knead the dough again and spread on a baking tray. For the topping, heat the milk in a pan before adding the sugar, vanilla sugar, and semolina, stirring until thick and creamy. Spread the mixture on the dough. Place the plum halves evenly on top. Mix the sour cream with some sugar and cornstarch and pour over the plums. Bake at 390–430°F for 25 to 35 minutes.


Cabbage is a popular side dish in Germany and traditionally served with roasted meat and potato dumplings. It can be prepared in a variety of ways depending on seasoning and personal preferences.


1 or 2 heads of cabbage
Approximately ¼ cup of lard
1 onion
2 tablespoons of flour
3 tablespoons of vinegar
Salt, sugar

Heat up lard in a pan and sauté chopped onions. Add chopped cabbage, salt, sugar, vinegar, and a bit of water. Slowly steam the cabbage, adding water from time to time. Just before serving, add flour and season again with sugar and vinegar.

Add pieces of apple to red cabbage.
Add caraway seeds to white cabbage.

»Thuringian Roast

What makes a traditional Thuringian roast so special is its marinade, whose unique flavor takes approximately 24 hours to fully unfold. A Thuringian roast can either be grilled or prepared in a pan and is usually served with bread or roasted potatoes.


8 pork chops
8 onions
1.5 liters of pilsner beer
8 tablespoons of mustard (e.g. Born mustard)
Salt, pepper

Season pork chops with salt and pepper and marinate with mustard. Chop onions and put the pork chops and onions in a deep pan, layer upon layer. Pour beer into the pan and let set for approximately 24 hours. Fry the onions and meat in a pan. Serve the roast on a piece of bread and cover with onion rings.


Stollen is the most popular cake in LutherCountry during the holiday season and a hallmark of local Christmas markets. This heavy cake is filled with various combinations of dried fruit, nuts, and marzipan and is sprinkled with powdered sugar.


4.4 lbs. of flour
3 packets of yeast
3 1/3 cups of butter
2 eggs
½ liter of milk
2 cups of sugar
Vanilla sugar
125 ml of rum
2.2 lbs. of raisins
3 1/3 cups of almonds
1 ¾ cups of candied lemon peels
1 cup of candied orange peels
Grated lemon peel (from 2 lemons)
1 1/8 cups of butter
Powdered sugar

Wash raisins, cover them with rum, and let them rest overnight. Mix yeast with sugar and lukewarm milk, add 1/3 of the flour and let it rest for approximately 1 hour. Add the rest of the ingredients, knead the dough, and let it rest overnight. Form 4 Stollen and bake them at 350 F° for approximately 45 minutes. Butter the Stollen and cover them with vanilla sugar. Let them cool before sprinkling them with powdered sugar.

»Pork knuckle with sauerkraut

Bötel mit Lehm und Stroh (pork knuckle with puréed peas and sauerkraut) is a traditional dish from the region around the LutherCity of Magdeburg.


2 cured pork knuckles
500 g sauerkraut
150 g diced bacon
350 g dried yellow peas (soaked the day before)
2 bunches soup greens (carrot, leek, parsnip, celery)
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 onions
1 tbsp. clarified butter
5 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
2 dried cloves
1 tsp. chopped marjoram
1 tsp. black peppercorns and pimentos
Salt and pepper to season

1. Put pork knuckles in three liters of boiling water. Stud an onion with the bay leaf and cloves, and add to the pot along with one bunch of the soup greens, black peppercorns and pimentos. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes. Then lift out the pork knuckles and strain the broth.
2. Chop an onion and sauté it in the hot clarified butter until translucent. Add the sauerkraut, crushed juniper berries, and 250 ml of the pork knuckle broth. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pork knuckles and simmer for another 30 minutes.
3. Strain the peas and place in a pot with 250 ml of the pork knuckle broth, the remaining chopped onion, the potatoes, the second bunch of soup greens and the marjoram. Season and cook, covered, over medium heat for 1 hour. Purée and season to taste. Cook the bacon in a skillet and sprinkle over puréed peas and sauerkraut. Serve with the pork knuckles and sauerkraut.

»Reformation buns

Reformation buns are originally from Luther’s homeland, LutherCountry, where they are served on Reformation Day, on October 31. Nobody really knows how this tradition came about.
Presumably, a resourceful baker created the buns to commemorate this event, which has been celebrated since 1667, 150 years after Luther nailed his famous 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church. There are many types of Reformation bun, but they are always in the shape of a stylized Luther rose.


500 g flour
40 g yeast
30 g sugar
250 ml milk
50 g butter
100 g raisins
50 g chopped almonds
1 tbsp. chopped candied lemon peel
1 tsp. lemon zest
200 g strawberry jam
Powdered sugar

1. Place flour in a bowl and make a small hollow in the middle. Add the yeast, sugar and 8 tablespoons of milk . Mix and let it proof, covered, in a warm place.
2. When the dough has risen, mix in the butter, raisins, almonds, candied lemon peel, and the remaining milk. Knead, cover and set aside until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Form balls the size of buns. Cut each bun crosswise at the top with a knife and place a blob of strawberry jam in the middle.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F and bake buns for 20 minutes. Place on a rack to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

»Onion tart


3 onions
2 tbsps. oil
100 g diced bacon
200 g sour cream
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
150 g quark (low-fat curd cheese)
300 g flour
1 egg
6 tbsps. oil
1 tsp. baking soda

1. Chop the onions in slices. Heat oil in a frying pan and lightly sauté the onions and bacon, then cover and cook for 15 minutes.
2. For the dough: mix the quark, oil, egg and salt. Mix the flour with the baking soda, add to the quark mixture and knead. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F, grease baking tray and line with dough.
3. Add the sour cream to the onions and bacon in the frying pan, season with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of balsamic acid. Spread the mixture evenly on the dough and bake in the hot oven for about 20 minutes.

»Wittenberger Knäzchen (meat patties)

Wittenberger Knäzchen (meat patties) is simple traditional fare from Lutherstadt Wittenberg.


4 onions
500 g ground meat (mixed pork and beef)
2 eggs
4 tbsps. breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. mustard
Salt and pepper 
1 tsp. ground caraway seeds 
1 tbsp. chopped marjoram
Oil to sauté
1 tbsp. flour
50 g butter or margarine

1. Peel the onions.
2. Finely chop 2 onions and slice the other 2 into rings.
3. Put ground meat in a bowl. Add chopped onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, mustard, salt, pepper, caraway and marjoram, and mix.
4. Form palm-sized meatballs and press flat.
5. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the patties and fry until crispy brown on both sides.
6. Roll the onion rings in flour.
7. Heat the butter in a second pan, fry the onion rings until golden and arrange them on top of the meat patties. Enjoy!

»Carrot and apple salad 

Carrot and apple salad is a real vitamin bomb, especially in the cold season. This recipe uses fresh, healthy ingredients and produces a very tasty salad that is popular at Christmastime.


400 g carrots
300 g apples
1 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley

For the dressing
Juice of half a lemon 
1 tbsp. honey
1 pinch salt
250 ml natural yogurt
1 tsp. vegetable oil

First, prepare the dressing. Mix the natural yogurt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Stir in the honey and oil, and season with salt.
Wash the carrots and peel them. Then, either coarsely grate them or cut them into fine sticks.
Wash the apples, remove the stem and core, and grate directly into the dressing.
Now add the carrots to the rest of the ingredients and mix everything quickly and thoroughly so that the apple does not turn brown.
Season the salad, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve immediately.