German foods with funny names
You can argue about just how tasty German cuisine is. But these dishes have such quirky names, you just have to sink your teeth into them. Here's a look at our favorite 10 unusually named dishes.
Kalter Hund (Cold dog)
Dogs don't usually land on plates in Germany – except for dessert. At least figuratively speaking. Known as "Kalter Hund," or cold dog, this simple no-bake dessert is made by layering butter cookies and chocolate frosting. When it cools in the fridge, the surface is said to "sweat" like a dog's nose. But the form also resembles a mine trolley, which, in old miners' speak, was also called a dog.
Falscher Hase (Mock hare)
You can throw just about anything into a meatloaf – pork, beef, onions, even an egg. When it's all cooked up, with a bit of sauce on top and a side of potatoes, there's no way of telling exactly what is in it. Nicely patted into a baking dish, it might resemble a hare's back. But, particularly in difficult times like after World War II, it most likely contained less expensive meats.
Before you start letting your imagination run wild, Muckefuck is much more banal than it sounds, and refers to coffee substitutes made from barley malt or chicory. It is said that the word derives from "mocca faux," French for "fake coffee," as it was used during the Franco-Prussian War. However, we think that the name comes from the verbal response provoked by drinking the stuff.
Bienenstich (Bee sting)
It's not known exactly why this treat – almond cake filled with vanilla pudding – is called Bee Sting. But according to one legend, the town of Linz wanted to attack the town of Andernach in the 15th century. Andernach bakers were collecting honey when the Linz soldiers approached and threw bee hives at them, forcing them to retreat. Andernach residents reportedly celebrated by baking this cake.
Maultaschen (Feed bag)
In the southern region of Swabia, the faithful observe Maundy Thursday and Good Friday by not eating meat. Hungry Swabians, however, came up with a way to secretly still their Easter appetites by hiding the meat inside dough. The origin of the name is unclear. Perhaps they were first eaten in Maulbronn. But we prefer the theory that they simply resemble a Maultasche, or feed bag.
Himmel un Ääd (Heaven and Earth)
Blood sausage doesn't often come to mind when thinking of heaven, but it's an crucial part of the German dish called Heaven and Earth, which also includes fried onions, mashed potatoes and apple sauce. Though blood sausage is the key ingredient, the name stems from the apples, which come from the heavens (well, very tall trees), and the potatoes from the earth. Ääd is dialect for Erde (Earth).
Armer Ritter (Poor knight)
What Americans know as French toast has a much more romantic name in German: Poor Knight. To prepare it, simply take day-old white bread, dunk it in a mixture of milk, egg, sugar and vanilla, and fry it in a pan. The dish has been around for many years and got its name during the Middle Ages, when the wealthy ate meat and the poor could only afford bread.
Halver Hahn (Halver rooster)
If you order a Halver Hahn in the Rhineland, don't expect to get anything that used to fly. Rather, it's a rye bread roll with Gouda cheese and butter, often served as a snack in local pubs. Most of the various legends behind the name have to do with acoustic misunderstandings and anecdotes of mistaken dining orders.
Beamtenstippe (Public servants' dip)
Taken from the verb "stippen" - "to dip" in Berlin dialect - a Beamtenstippe is the sauce served with dry potatoes to spiff them up a bit. Originally it was a poor man's dish, since lower-ranked public servants weren't particularly wealthy, and could include all kinds of leftovers.
Spaghettieis (Spaghetti ice cream)
Noodles in your ice cream may sound disgusting, but spaghetti ice cream is one of Germany's popular summer treats. But don't worry: No pasta is actually used. Instead, vanilla ice cream is put through a press to create long, noodle-like strands. Whipped cream, strawberry sauce (for tomato sauce), and white chocolate sprinkles (for Parmesan cheese) are dalloped on top to complete the illusion.