Cuisine: Hearty dishes and mouthwatering sweets

As an international student or researcher, you are probably curious about the typical dishes served in Baden-Württemberg. The Swabian cuisine is rich with hearty vegetables and salty meats. But if that is not your taste, don’t worry. Towns in Baden-Württemberg usually have many international restaurants where you’ll find anything from hamburgers to vegetarian dishes, Asian specialties, Mediterranean cuisine to fine dining.

While Swabian dishes are maybe not as well-known internationally as other German regional specialties, they have fans around the world. One good Swabian restaurant is located in San Francisco, another one in Berlin. Fun fact for food-lovers: Baden-Württemberg has more Michelin-starred restaurants as any other state in Germany.

Swabian specialties

The most famous Swabian specialties are most likely Spätzle (a special kind of noodles, often home-made) and Maultaschen (akin to oversized ravioli). Schupfnudeln, which are also called Buabaspitzla, are made from potatoes and flour. They are often served with sauerkraut, especially at wine festivals or country fairs. Wine festivals also often serve Zwiebelkuchen, a hearty flatbread with an onion and sour cream topping.

Swabian potato salad is a traditional dish that is often served with sausages. Families often have special recipes passed down from generation to generation. More elaborate dishes include Schwäbischer Zwiebelrostbraten – roast beef with roasted onions – Leberknödel - liver dumplings – and badische Schäufele – smoked pork shoulder.

The cuisine in Baden-Württemberg is seasonal. During spring, you’ll find many dishes with white asparagus. In the winter, hearty stews and cabbage dishes are more popular.

Bread and sweets

Bread is usually served for breakfast and sometimes for dinner. Thus, you’ll find an artisan bakery in almost any town with freshly baked rolls, different kinds of breads, pretzels, and sweets. Swabian pretzels are famous and have a special place in the local cuisine. With a rounder belly and thinner arms, the Swabian pretzels are distinct from Bavarian pretzels that are usually thinner overall and drier. While the origin of the pretzel is not exactly clear, pretzels were often mentioned in historical documents in Baden-Württemberg in connection with fasting during lent. A tradition dating back to 1533 is the outdoor pretzel market in the Hungerbrunnen Valley on Palm Sunday.

Pies and cakes are also important in the Swabian cuisine. On Sundays and holidays, families often have coffee and cake as an extra meal in the afternoon, especially when guests are invited. If you get the chance, try the famous “Black Forrest Cake” – chocolate sponge cake filled with cream and cherries soaked in a special cherry liquor.

The swabian pretzel

Beers and wines

Baden-Württemberg has several local and regional breweries with craft beers for every taste. It is also famous for its wine regions with red and white grapes. In the state, you’ll find many wineries with a variety of wines such as Müller-Thurgau from Tauberfranken, Pinot Noir from Lake Constance, Trollinger from Hohenlohe and Riesling from the Rems.