Eisbein | Word of the Week | DW | 20.12.2013
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Word of the Week


How do you stay warm in the winter?

Eisbein wasn't made for summer - there's no point in it then, because it's a filling piece of pork knuckle with lots of fat, which helps insulate us from frigid winter temperatures. Although the name literally means "ice leg," frozen water has nothing to do with this hearty dish.

The word stems from a similar-sounding 10th century word, īsbēn, which was a technical term used by hunters and doctors to refer to the hip-bone and the bones surrounding it. But even if some people might think the name has something to do with the fact people use their legs when iceskating, everyone in Germany knows exactly what an Eisbein is. It's part of traditional German cuisine and is eaten hot, stewed or baked, with a side of sauerkraut or peas. And you definitely won't get cold eating that.

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