What do Germans eat sauerkraut with?

What do Germans eat sauerkraut with? Discover the traditional German culinary tradition with sauerkraut- a tangy and flavorful fermented cabbage. Learn what Germans typically pair it with for a delightful culinary experience.

What do Germans eat sauerkraut with?

The Origins of Sauerkraut in German Cuisine

Sauerkraut has a long history in German cuisine, dating back hundreds of years. It is believed that the dish was first introduced to Germany by the Tartars in the 13th century. Over time, sauerkraut gained popularity among German peasants due to its low cost and long shelf life, making it an essential part of their diet during harsh winters.

The Traditional Pairings

Sauerkraut is a versatile ingredient that can be paired with a wide variety of dishes. In German cuisine, it is often served as a side dish or condiment alongside meat dishes. One of the most popular pairings is sauerkraut with sausages, such as bratwurst or bockwurst. The tangy and slightly sour taste of sauerkraut complements the rich and savory flavors of the sausages, creating a harmonious combination.

Another traditional pairing is sauerkraut with pork. The acidity of sauerkraut cuts through the fatty flavors of pork, resulting in a balanced and flavorful meal. It is common to find sauerkraut served with dishes like pork roast or schnitzel in German restaurants and households.

Modern and Creative Pairings

While sauerkraut has strong traditional pairings, Germans also experiment with modern and creative combinations. One popular example is the Reuben sandwich, which originated in the United States but has become a beloved dish in Germany. The Reuben sandwich consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut, all grilled between slices of rye bread. The addition of sauerkraut adds a tangy and crunchy element to the sandwich, making it a unique and delicious option.

Germans have also embraced fusion cuisine, incorporating sauerkraut into dishes from other cultures. For example, sauerkraut can be used as a topping or filling for tacos, adding a zesty twist to the traditional Mexican dish. It can also be added to salads, providing a refreshing and acidic element to balance out the flavors.


In conclusion, sauerkraut is a beloved ingredient in German cuisine with a rich history. It is commonly paired with sausages and pork, but Germans also enjoy exploring modern and creative combinations. Whether it is a traditional pairing or a fusion dish, sauerkraut adds a unique and flavorful element to meals, showcasing the culinary versatility of German cuisine.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is sauerkraut typically served with in Germany?

Sauerkraut is commonly served with sausages, such as bratwurst or frankfurters.

2. Do Germans eat sauerkraut with potatoes?

Yes, sauerkraut is often enjoyed as a side dish with boiled or mashed potatoes in German cuisine.

3. Can sauerkraut be served with meat dishes?

Absolutely! Germans often pair sauerkraut with pork, particularly dishes like pork chops or roast pork.

4. Is sauerkraut commonly used in sandwiches or burgers?

Yes, sauerkraut is a popular topping for sandwiches and burgers in German cuisine, adding a tangy flavor to the dish.

5. What are some traditional German dishes that include sauerkraut?

Some traditional German dishes that feature sauerkraut include "Eisbein" (boiled pork knuckle) and "Kasseler Rippchen" (smoked pork chops).