Hessian cuisine

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Hessian cuisine is based on centuries-old recipes, and forms a major part of the Hesse identity. Reflecting Hesse's central location within Germany, Hessian cuisine fuses north German and south German cooking,[1] with heavy influence from Bavarian cuisine and Rhenish Hesse. Sour tastes dominate the cuisine,[2] with wines and ciders, sauerkraut and handkäse with onions and vinegar popular.


A bembel and a traditional ribbed Apfelwein glass

The Rheingau, which overlaps with western Hesse, is one of the main wine-growing regions in Germany, and the smaller Hessische Bergstraße region produces dry wines popular in South Hesse. Cider is also widely drunk, especially in the Frankfurt-am-Main area. The local Apfelwein ("apple wine", known as Ebbelwoi in the Hessian dialect) is traditionally served from a large clay jug called a Bembel and drunk from a glass with a diamond pattern called a Geripptes ("ribbed").[3] Hesse also includes a number of breweries, with local brands tending to dominate the market in each area.


Handkäse, a strong sour milk cheese, is associated with the Frankfurt area, where it is often served "mit Musik" ("with music") — a dressing of vinegar and onions — the "music" referring to the flatulence brought about by the raw onions.[4] Another dish traditional to Frankfurt is the green sauce (Grüne Soße or locally Grie Soß) — a mixture of herbs, eggs, oil and vinegar — which can be served with boiled eggs, potatoes, dumplings or meat.

Outside the Rhine-Main area, the north Hesse town of Kassel has its Ahle Wurst, an air-dried or smoked sausage; Speckkuchen, a bacon quiche; Weckewerk, a brawn sausage; and its Duckefett - a sauce of bacon, onions and cream.[5][6]


Although the area is not known for its sweet recipes, Bethmännchen are popular in Frankfurt at Christmas time, and Haddekuche, a form of hard gingerbread scored like a Geripptes, is a traditional accompaniment to Apfelwein.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (German) Peter Lesniczak (2003). Alte Landschaftsküchen Im Sog der Modernisierung. p. 137. Reflected in the cookbooks, Hessian cuisine is a transitional form between North German and South German cuisines 
  2. ^ (German) Hannelore Dittmar-Ilgen (2008). Familien-Erinnerungen: Ein kulinarischer Streifzug. p. 49. My Grandma frequently cooked vegetables this way; it is a sour style typical of Hessian cooking. 
  3. ^ a b "Hesse: A Culinary Tour of Hessen and Frankfurt". GermanFoods.org. German Foods North America, LLC. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Elizabeth Riely (2012). The Chef's Companion: A Culinary Dictionary. p. 139. 
  5. ^ (German) "Kassel: Die Gebrüder Grimm Stadt". Logitravel. Retrieved 20 January 2013. Typical dishes that you should try are Speckkuchen, Kasseler green sause and Weckewerk. 
  6. ^ (German) Walter Steinmetz (1999). Meine Kinderheit in Nordhessen 1943-1950. p. 73. Duckefett is a simple meal typical of north Hesse, made of a roux with rich bacon and fried onions, served with jacket potatoes.