I'm fortunate enough to have grown up eating a lot of German food, thanks to my grandmother, who cooks a lot of delicious 'Deutsches Essen'. You might think German food is all about hearty meat dishes and sauerkraut, but there's a lot more to it than that.
Here are seven of the best dishes to come out of Deutschland.
Everything about schnitzel is delightful. In general, a schnitzel is thinned meat which has been pounded by a tenderiser. It's usually coated in flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, before being fried. However, in Germany, schnitzel refers to thinned cuts of meat in general, not just the breaded and fried ones.
Believe it or not, Wiener Schnitzel is a protected geographical indication in Austria and Germany, and can only be made of veal, which is the type you will see the most. You will also come across schnitzel made from other meats, including chicken, mutton, beef, turkey or pork.
My go-to is a Jaeger Schnitzel, which comes with a creamy mushroom sauce. I also love schnitzel with chips and a beer. The one in the picture is one I tackled last year in a small town near Frankfurt (tasty, but it needed more sauce).
If you go to a German event outdoors or a Christmas market, you have to get a currywurst. This is essentially a bratwurst which has been steamed and then fried, cut into small pieces, covered in a curry ketchup, and is often served with chips.
Fun car tie-up: the Volkswagen plant at Wolfsburg runs its own butchery, which produces around seven million currywursts a year!
Spätzle is essentially a type of pasta made from eggs. It goes down really well with a lot of cheese and meat on top, preferably a beef goulash.
It can also be used in sweet dishes: Kirschspätzle is made with cherries, clarified butter, sugar and cinnamon; and Apfelspätzle is made with grated apples in the dough, with clarified butter, sugar and cinnamon.
Kartoffelpuffer isn't the healthiest dish, but it's a great treat. These are potato pancakes which you eat alongside an apple compote. These are usually only found at street food or Christmas markets, but you can easily make them at home, with just a few ingredients.
Sauerbraten is roasted venison or beef with a thick gravy, served with cabbage and potatoes, Knödel (boiled dumplings) or Spätzle, which I mentioned earlier. It's almost like a German equivalent of a British roast dinner.
It might look like Spam, and be a bit like Spam, but it's not Spam. This is Lebekäse (which translates to liver cheese). It's a meatloaf and sausage hybrid, made from a mixture of corned beef, pork and bacon. Once fried, it's delicious served with a fried egg and chips or potato salad, or as a sandwich.
Rouladen is slices of beef rolled around pickles, onions, mustard, and bacon, before being cooked. It is normally served with Dampfnudel, which are large dumplings, and some gravy.