When it comes to cuisine, Baden-Württemberg has a range of regional culinary specialties as diverse as the areas from where they come. On a culinary tour of the state you can sample the refined cuisine of Baden and follow the the famous Badische Spargelstrasse (The Baden asparagus route) and the Badische und Württembergische Weinstrasse (wine route). These are ‘routes’ along which many asparagus fields and vineyards lie, ripe for the tasting for visitors!
Like many German regions, Baden-Württemberg knows how to celebrate. With spring and autumn come the arrival of the beer festivals, the most famous of which is the Cannstatter Volksfest, a three-week celebration in late September and early October. Also known as the Stuttgart Beer Festival, the Volksfest is the second-largest beer celebration in the world (after Munich’s Oktoberfest), attracting roughly four million visitors annually. It’s about much more than just the brews, however. More of an all-around autumnal fair, the event includes an Alpine Village, a parade, fireworks, agricultural exhibits, and amusement park rides.
But, of course, no overview of Baden-Württemberg would be complete without a taste of the foods that give the region its distinct flavor. In the city of Baden, you’ll find dishes rich with hearty vegetables and salty meats. It’s here that you’ll discover the beginning of the famous Badische Spargelstrasse (Baden Asparagus Route), a path that cuts through the region’s lush asparagus fields. Along the way, you can sample the area’s famous white asparagus, as well as other delicious dishes such as Badische Schaüfele (smoked pork shoulder) and Bubespitzle (potato fingers made with flour and mashed potatoes).
Many of Baden-Württemberg’s most popular meals draw from Swabian influences. Spätzle, a type of noodle made from flour, water, salt, and eggs, is served either as a side dish in place of potatoes or rice, or as the base in a more traditional dish such as Käsespätzle — hot noodles with onions, German Emmentaler cheese, and Bavarian mountain cheese. Another popular Swabian dish is Maultaschen, German dumplings of a sort that are modeled after Polish pierogies. The pockets of dough are stuffed with spinach, meat, or cheese before being added to a broth or soup, or eaten on their own as a main course.
The city of Baden within Baden-Württemberg has, like most cities, its own particular flavor. Badische Schäufele is cured, smoked shoulder of pork which is perfect for a supper. Badische Zwiebelsuppe is a creamy onion soup that will keep even the coldest person warm on a winter night. Brägele, or fried potatoes, is a popular and versatile dish.
Two hor d’oeuvres that are popular are Bibbeliskaes, cottage cheese made with onions and herbs, and Bubespitzle (also known as Schupfnudeln and Fingernudeln), potato fingers made with flour and mashed potatoes. A French-inspired recipe is Schneckensuppe, or snail soup, which has origins in the French cuisine of Escargot. For a a sweet dessert one will turn to Badischer Zwetschgenkuchen, which is a German plum cake. Some of Germany’s best plums come from Baden, and as such it’s a popular choice! Finally, White Asparagus is one of Baden-Württemberg’s most famous dishes. Two of the most famous asparagus-producing areas in Germany lie in Baden-Württemberg, namely Schwetzingen and Bruchsal. Schwetzingen, which lies south of Heidelberg claims to be the “Asparagus Capital of The world”. Bruchsal, near Karlsruhe in Baden-Württemberg boasts the largest asparagus market in Europe. Naturally, then, the asparagus in this area is incredible!