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    Posted on Mar 19, 2014

    Sweating Flour And A Dog’s Wet Nose - Ten Of The Quirkiest German Food Names

    In my exploration of German cuisine for my book and blog Spoonfuls of Germany, I often bend over laughing when I encounter a familiar name and suddenly realize how odd or funny it must sound in literal translation, or to non-German ears. Here are my ten favorites.


    Can flour sweat? Yes it can, at least in German cooking lingo, because when you make a roux, you call that "anschwitzen". It does not sound too appealing yet it is an indispensable base for many sauces and soups.

    Kalter Hund

    How did the favorite kids' cake get its name, "cold dog" or "cold snout", as it is also called? The bake-less layered cake consists of digestive cookies, a rich filling made with shortening, and a chocolate icing. Kalter Hund was typically stored in the basement or in the refrigerator, and when brought into a warm room, condensation forms, just like on a dog's nose.

    Verlorene Eier

    These "lost eggs" do not require a GPS to find them, as their name might suggest. They are poached eggs that call for a good sauce made from scratch to serve them.



    It is the honey-colored topping that gave this delectable sheet cake with custard filling its name. Bienenstich ("bee sting cake") is a German classic. Especially good when homemade!

    Falscher Hase

    Behind this "fake hare" hides not a chocolate bunny for Easter but a meat loaf with hardboiled eggs in the center, a specialty from Berlin.

    Arme Ritter


    "Poor knights" are the German version of French toast, albeit traditionally eaten without maple syrup. The origin of the name Arme Ritter is obscure. A Bavarian variety is Zwetschgenpavesen – French toast filled with plum preserves.


    A German variation of foul language? No, Muckefuck is a coffee substitute made of grains and root chicory. The ominous name comes from the French "mocca faux". Personally, this my favorite!



    This German ravioli-type dish, a specialty from Swabia, can be vegetarian although its literal translation is "animal mouth pockets". I like to fill them with spinach. Maultaschen were invented by monks to hide meat during Lent.


    Ham hocks are not only for eating. Before ice skates became available at every sporting goods store, people improvised, using ham hock bones from pigs for blades. This is how the dish Eisbein, literally "ice leg", was born.


    Herring filets rolled into a cylindrical shape. The "mops" refers to the similarity of the snack to the compact head of a pug dog, Mops in German. And a plate full of Rollmops are Rollmöpse.

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