Book Review: Classic German Cookbook, by Catherine Atkinson, Lesley Chamberlain, Trish Davies

by DerdriuMarriner

The Classic German Cookbook uses step by step instructions and 300 photos in order to make 70 traditional recipes from Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Germany, and Hungary.

Austrian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Slovakian cooking are similar:

The Classic German Cookbook aggregates the simultaneously individualized and similar cuisines of:
• Austria;
• Czech Republic, Slovakia;
• Germany; and
• Hungary.

Geography, history, and politico-economics bring five cultures and three languages together in overlapping cooking styles, with:
• apples, apricots, cherries, plums;
• Austro-Hungarian Empire-introduced courgettes, green and red peppers, onions, tomatoes;
• cabbages, cucumbers; and
• celeriac, kohlrabi, potatoes.

Flavoring comes from:
• bacon fat for soups, stews;
• caraway seeds, marjoram for cooking;
• cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, honey, poppy seeds for baking biscuits, buns, gingerbread, rye breads; and
• mustard for boiling.

Meat, poultry, and seafood recipes respectively draw upon:
• beef, lamb, pork, veal;
• chicken, goose; and
• carp, pike.

Specialty drinks exist as:
• Bekerovka sweet herbal liqueurs;
• Moravian, Slovakian white table wines; and
• Pilsen beers.




Frühstück: breakfast in Germany

Dresden, east central Germany
Dresden, east central Germany

Central Europeans delight in fish, fruits, and nuts


The seventy traditional recipes fall into the categories of:

  • bakes and desserts;
  • fish;
  • grains, pasta, vegetables;
  • meat, poultry; and
  • soups, starters.

For example, baked goods get triple billing as such breakfast, dessert, or snack edibles as:

  • almonds, hazelnuts;
  • apple, apricot, cherry, plum jams and pie fillings;
  • baked apples stuffed with rum-soaked raisins and toasted hazelnuts and topped with honey, mint, rum, and whipped cream;
  • cheese dumplings;
  • egg noodle pudding with cherry brandy, fresh cherries, and ground walnuts; and  
  • ground walnut squash sprinkled with day-old white breadcrumbs and topped with chopped raisins and cocoa powder.

Fish dishes have as super-common ingredients such respectively freshwater and saltwater denizens as:

  • bream, carp, pike, salmon, trout, wels catfish; and
  • cod, mackerel. 


German cuisine appreciates baked goods filled with fruit jam or jelly.

Berliner Pfannkuchen (jelly donut)
Berliner Pfannkuchen (jelly donut)

Central Europeans go for cabbage, carp, cod, potatoes


Any compilation of seasonal favorites is determined by respective catches and harvests of:

  • fish; and
  • grains, pasta, and vegetables.

Lists of fishy favorites juxtapose:

  • baked mackerel, salmon, or trout;
  • carp or haddock with mustard in home-made stock of allspice berries, bay leaves, cabbage leaves, and white peppercorns; and
  • Christmas Eve carp in black sauce.

Lists of grains and vegetables keep dark and pale rye breads busy cleaning plates of:

  • bacon-fried, mayonnaise-dressed, or sausage-simmered potatoes;
  • poached celery or kohlrabi with dry white wine and grated, hard, medium- or vintage-flavored cheese;
  • potato salad with bacon rashers, chives, cucumbers, and dill;
  • protein-enhancing dried beans and pulses; and
  • spiced red cabbage with bacon rashers, caraway seeds, onions, pears, and red wine. 

Aromatic, tasty breads such as rye-wheat (roggenmischbrot) soak up flavors as plate cleaners.

Roggenmischbrot in Austria
Roggenmischbrot in Austria

Central Europeans judge soups as important as meat


Meat leads as:

  • bacon-, beef-, pork-filled meatloaf;
  • bacon-, egg-, ham-filled veal roast;
  • bacon-larded roast beef fillet/sirloin marinated in vegetables; and
  • lamb goulash with peppers and tomatoes.

Soups manage as:

  • main dishes (caraway with dried pulses and root vegetables, cauliflower, fish with dumplings, pork shoulder); and
  • starters.

Fried potato pancakes served with tomato salad and topped with soured cream number among snacks, starters, and street food.

So Classic German Cookbook offers culturally enriching, deliciously nutritional, educationally entertaining adventures with:

  • Catherine Atkinson, Lesley Chamberlain, Trish Davies (authors);
  • Shannon Beare, Marion McLornan (stylists);
  • Julie Beresford, Sascha Brodie, Clare Lewis, Sara Lewis (chefs);
  • David Cook (mapmaker);
  • Ian Garlick, Dave Jordan (photographers);
  • Joanna Lorenz (publisher);
  • Margaret Malone (editor); and
  • Angela Woods (art-worker). 


Classic German Cookbook: 70 Traditional Recipes From Germany, Austria, Hungary And The Czech Republic ~ available via Amazon

An evocative collection of much-loved regional recipes from Germany and surrounding countries of central Europe, including Sour Cherry Soup, Sauerbraten, Sachertorte and Apple Strudel.
Czech cuisine

Acknowledgment: Each Copy Sold Means a Tree Gets Cultivated


My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


White asparagus (spargel) is appreciated as a side dish or as a main dish:

There definitely is more to German cuisine than bratwurst and Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte).
Typical serving of spargel with Hollandaise sauce and potatoes
Typical serving of spargel with Hollandaise sauce and potatoes

Sources Consulted: Every Copy Sold Plants Its Replacement in Trees


Chamberlain, Lesley, with Catherine Atkinson and Trish Davies. 2007. Classic German Cookbook: 70 Traditional Recipes from Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, Shown Step by Step in 300 Photographs. Previously Published in 2000 as From Stroganov to Strudel. London, England: Southwater, imprint of Anness Publishing Ltd.


Asparagus is featured in a strong soup.

Germany celebrates Spargelsaison, which lasts from spring to Midsummer Eve, or St. John's Day (June 24) and emphasizes asparagus recipes.
shredded white asparagus: April 26, 2009
shredded white asparagus: April 26, 2009
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Europe at night: black t-shirt ~ available via AllPosters

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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 09/24/2016, DerdriuMarriner
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