German potato is a tuber used to prepare various dishes of German cuisine. Apart from the varieties indigenous to the country, the government of Germany requires the new forms to be registered before they can be cultivated on a large scale. The registrants are also eligible for a license which gives them the exclusive right for selling the seed potatoes for the next 30 years.
The potatoes are usually cooked with their skins in Germany and peeled before eating. The food regulations of Germany also require disclosure of treatment techniques including radiation which is used to enhance the shelf life of potatoes.
The potatoes are consumed as part of every meal in Germany with fried, boiled and baked varieties being exceedingly popular. The German potato salad is one of favorite food items across the country and is regarded as a comfort food. Potato noodles and dumplings are also commonly eaten by the Germans although the tuber is not considered to be a vegetable in the country.
Origin of the German Potato
The potato was first introduced to German tables in 1732. The tuber had actually been introduced in Bavaria fifty years earlier but the common people refused to eat them as they were thought to be poisonous. Karl V ordered his subjects to include potatoes in their daily diet and declared that he would cut off their noses for disobeying him. The potatoes thus entered Germany and became a staple of the country.
German Potato Varieties
- Festkochend- They are waxy and low in starch content. They are considered to be ideal for preparing soups, casseroles or fried potatoes and salads.
- Vorwiegend Festkochend- These are particularly popular in Germany and are used for creating dishes requiring mashed potatoes. Gratins and potato salads are also made with them. They are comparatively richer in starch content than the Festkochends.
- Mehlig Kochend- They are also known as starchy potatoes and are light and fluffy when boiled. The Germans use them to prepare baked dishes and a variety of dumplings.
- Frühkartoffeln- the new potato can be of any of the three main varieties. They are small in size and eaten after scrubbing instead of peeling the thin skins. They are considered to be great delicacies with the most popular form of consuming them being as an accompaniment to butter and dill. They are available from May to August usually.
Popular German Potato Recipes
- Salzkartoffeln- Potatoes boiled in salt water and served with their skins on.
- Pellkartoffeln- New potatoes eaten with a dollop of butter and sprinkling of salt.
- Kartoffelbrei- Potatoes mashed to a smooth paste with cream or milk.
- Bratkartoffeln- Potatoes fried in butter or oil until they become crisp and turn golden in color.
- Kartoffelsalat- A potato salad which consists of boiled potatoes and a number of other vegetables along with seafood, wursts or chicken broth according to regional preferences. The salad dressing can made from mayonnaise, mustard or vinaigrette.
- Saures Kartoffelgemüse- A Bavarian dish of potatoes and other root vegetables which is seasoned with vinegar and sugar to give it a sweet and sour taste.
Statistics reveal that each inhabitant of Germany consumes almost 70 kilograms of the German potato annually.