During our recent visit to the city of Frankfurt we stumbled upon a food truck rally right in the middle of the city! But this was no ordinary food truck rally. It was different because every single vendor sold only BBQ!
BBQ or “Grillen” (as they refer to it in Germany) is a big deal during the long summer months in Deutschland. Like Americans, Germans love to grill everything from sausages, steaks, duck and even trout. But what we found interesting is how much of what American’s consider an “American BBQ” has roots from Germany.
Take for example the hot dog. From what we know, it was imported from German immigrants to New York back in the 1800’s and was actually considered “street food” served and eaten by the working class. So it’s only fitting to find German’s most popular hot dog the “Thüringer Rostbratwurst” at this food truck rally in Frankfurt serving German’s working class for lunch.
Next up, the hamburger.
We’ve heard stories that the first hamburger was made in the city of Hamburg, Germany (hence its name). But that isn’t quite so.
The actual beef from the German Hamburg cows back in the early 1900’s was a high-quality beef exported from Hamburg, Germany. The patties, made with minced Hamburg cow beef, onions and garlic were called “Hamburg Steaks”. They were expensive and only the rich could afford to purchase high quality beef during that time. It wasn’t until immigrants from Germany arrived in the US did you start seeing Hamburg Steaks on menu’s popping up in cities like New York and Chicago, again with a high price tag.
Then as factory workers during the Industrial Revolution started eating hamburg steak from food carts, the first hamburger was created out of pure convenience (it was easier to eat the steak when it was sandwiched between to slices of bread), hence the name Hamburg Sandwich which then evolved into what we call the Hamburger today!
Then there’s the condiments! Germans are the king and queens of mustards and more importantly pickled toppings, salads and sides. At every single grocery you visit in Germany they have a whole section just for pickled items. They truly are the pickling capital of Europe.
Though, I could argue that every culture and country have their own special way of grilling or barbequing that is perhaps better than Germany, there’s no denying that Germans are truly the “Rulers of the BBQ”!
Lou Lou and Jaf second that notion as well!