Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
German breakfast habits are much the same as in other countries. A good, traditional breakfast includes bread, toast, and/or rolls, marmalade, honey, eggs, cold meats, such as ham and salami, various cheeses, all washed down with a strong cup or pot of tea or coffee.
However, with today's busy lifestyles there is a growing trend towards eating a more simple breakfast. Today, you are more likely to see people eating cereals rather than a hearty meal of bread, cheese and sausage. Nevertheless, on the weekend the family has more time for a traditional breakfast of breads accompanied by a cheese or meat selection.
Traditionally, Germans eat their main meal during the day, between 12 and 2 p.m. However, today, the midday meal is often eaten away from home, i.e. at work. With the increase in health and weight consciousness, lunches are becoming more light, and sometimes are nothing more than a snack.
This is the main meal today, usually eaten at home with the family in the evening. Traditionally, the German dinner – called “Abendbrot”, meaning "evening bread", consists of a selection of whole grain bread, deli meats and sausages, cheese and a cold or warm drink. Yet, eating habits changed over time and today, many families eat the warm meal in the evening.
Pork, beef, and poultry dishes are the favourite main courses. But here too, change is in progress. Seafood used to be the domain of the northern coastal areas. But seawater fish like fresh herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines or freshwater fish like trout, salmon, bream and carp are popular across the country today.
Germans have always liked their side dishes. Noodles, potatoes and dumplings in all forms are very common - especially in the south. A wide variety of vegetables can be found nationwide. Many towns and cities have farmer's markets where you can buy potatoes, red cabbage and other fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meats, fish and much more.