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10 reasons why Germans love potatoes

Germans have a preference for potatoes. You can see that not only in the numerous ways to prepare them but also in the language.

Traditional potato slice food in Thuringia (Photo: picture-alliance / dpa / M. Reichel)

The tuber as the main food

Potatoes are a firm and big part of the German diet. Regardless of the form: Whether as soup, chips, or chips – the German eats an average of 67 kilograms of potatoes a year, which is almost 1.3 kilos a week.

Frederick the Great: painting potato harvest (Photo: picture-alliance / akg)

Royal advertisement for the potato

It actually comes from the Bolivian and Peruvian parts of the Andes. The potato did not come to Germany until 1630. Frederick II of Prussia tricked his peasants into growing the unknown crop. He had his gardens converted to protect soldiers’ potato plants. The trick worked – forbidden fruits taste best.

Various types of potatoes on the market (Photo: picture-alliance / dpa / H. Hollemann)

Matching potatoes for every recipe

With over 5000 different types of potatoes available today, it is important to find the right one for your recipe. Potatoes are not sorted by color or size, but by consistency. Solid and dense varieties are particularly suitable for dishes such as potato salad, gratin or fried potatoes. The soft, floury potatoes, on the other hand, are preferred for pounding and baking.

Potato salad (Photo: Fotolia / Printemps)

Party hit potato salad

There is regular excitement at private parties in Germany, because usually several guests bring potato salad with them to the buffet. It’s good that there are many different recipes for this. Some swear by the preparation with broth and bacon, others prefer it cold with lots of mayonnaise and pickled gherkins.

Roast pork with potato dumplings and red cabbage (Photo: Quade / Fotolia)

Dumplings – the perfect side dish

They simply belong to the hearty German cuisine: dumplings. They are an absolute must, especially as a side dish with Sauerbraten. Dumplings are also available in many different versions. During the preparation, attention must be paid to the consistency of the potato dough. Depending on the desired firmness of the dumplings, flour or starch must be added.

An open bag of potato chips (Photo: etiennevoss - Fotolia)

Currywurst flavored chips

Some of the 67 kilos of potatoes that the German eats on average per year are probably consumed like potato chips – four kilos of tubers are needed for one kilo of chips. Chips originally do not come from Germany, but there are now also typical German flavors: for example chips with currywurst taste.

 Portion of french fries with ketchup (Photo: picture-alliance / dpa / G. Breloer)

Fried potato sticks always work

Colloquially they are often only called fries or fries. The french fries are one of the favorite dishes of the Germans. They are available in every snack bar, at every funfair, at every community festival, in every football stadium. Germans consume around 300,000 tons of fried potato sticks each year. They probably invented the Belgians – where the fries are also national dishes.

Jacket potatoes on a plate (Photo: picture-alliance / Lars Halbauer)

Delicious even with a bowl

So simple and yet so good: the jacket potato is inextricably linked to German cuisine. But it cannot only convince as a side dish. With a big dash of herb curd and a fresh salad, it forms a wholesome and very tasty meal. And the best thing about the jacket potato is that you save yourself from peeling.

A girl eats grated cake (Photo: picture-alliance / dpa / W. Thieme)

Also a pleasure flat and greasy

Especially in German Christmas markets, their scent rises in your nose. Grated cakes – pancakes made from grated potatoes – are popular with young and old: in the sweet version with apple sauce or hearty with salmon. But watch out when eating: these delicacies are hot and greasy!

Piled up potatoes (Photo: Igor Kovalchuk -

German idioms with potatoes

“The stupidest farmers harvest the thickest potatoes” is a popular German saying. The tuber is also numerous in idiomatic expressions: if you suddenly don’t want to have anything to do with someone anymore, you have to drop it like a hot potato. The potato not only has a permanent place on the German plate but also in the German language.

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