Habits & Customs
Germans start their day with the “Frühstück”, the breakfast. It consists mainly of 1 or 2 slices of buttered bread with cheese, Wurst (slices of salami, poloni or ham), Schinken (sliced smoked bacon), Marmelade (jam) or Quark (a sort of smooth cottage cheese) on top. A boiled egg is frequently served as a side item, a yoghurt as well. A cooked breakfast is unknown in Germany, but can be ordered in bigger hotels, just like cereals, muesli or fruit salad. Germans also like – instead of bread – Brötchen for breakfast, freshly baked crisp rolls. The breakfast comes with coffee – “schwarz” or “mit Milch” – or tea (also herbal teas).
“Mittagessen” (lunch) is – traditionally – the main meal in Germany, usually served between 12 and 14 o’clock. It can consist of one to three (or more) courses. The main course is called Hauptgericht. A starter is a “Vorspeise” and can be a soup or a salad. A dessert is called “Nachspeise”. Germans like to drink water, juices, beer or wine with the meal and a strong coffee afterwards. If you are in company, you would start the meal saying “Guten Appetit”.
In the afternoon, Germans like to sit down for a slice of cake or tart and a cup of coffee or tea. Whatever your drink is, it is always called “Kaffeetrinken”. This can take place any time between 3 and 5 pm. If you are invited “zum Kaffee”, arrive at about 4 pm.
Dinner is called “Abendessen” or “Abendbrot”, any time between 6 and 8 pm.