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The German Cookbook (50th anniversary edition)

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by Mimi Sheraton
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Like Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking or Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, The German Cookbook is a stalwart on our shelves. Originally published in 1965, it has remained in print for nearly 60 years and is an unrivaled authority on traditional German cuisine. 

When this 50th anniversary edition was released with a new preface in 2015, Mimi called to make sure we knew about it: she was proud of the book’s longevity and the fact that nothing had appeared in all the intervening decades to supplant it.

This was her second cookbook. She wrote with a crisp authority that implied even her most tentative reader knew more than they gave themselves credit for;

This book is written on the assumption that… you do know how to boil water and are familiar with the usual basic recipe terminology…. You can be expected to produce a simple meal for your family or a few guests without danger of mishap. This means that you already know the difference between boiling and simmering, and when a recipe tells you to separate the eggs, you know you are not expected to place them in opposite corners of the room.

Though it had once been very popular in the US—and some of NYC’s leading restaurants, such as Luchow’s, had proudly specialized in it—German cooking had passed out of vogue by the time this book was first published. Sheraton was trusting that people would continue to be interested in the food of their forebears.

Eyeing the roughly 500 pages of recipes, we spot: 

  • Schwarzbrot-Rahmsuppe—Black bread and sour cream soup with a hint of caraway
  • Fischklössen—White fish dumplings, a versatile preparation to be served with soup, creamed vegetables, or mushroom sauce
  • Ente in Bier—Duck braised in dark beer with aromatics and herbs
  • Nudelauflauf—Noodle souffle studded with raisins and nuts—commonly a dessert, but also suitable for brunch with a cup of coffee

A tremendous, nearly inexhaustible resource.

50th anniversary edition. Hardcover.

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