A taste of Germany.

Beer and bratwurst are of course an integral part of the country's festivals and public holidays. But they're just one small part of all the pleasures on offer. Take yourself on a culinary tour of discovery through Germany. You'll be amazed at the diversity of delicacies and taste experiences you'll encounter.

Alex Kühn needs chocolate weather. Only then do the creations of the Goldhelm chocolate maker in Erfurt taste their best. And there are plenty of varieties to choose from: chocolate with ginger, chilli, candied orange, cranberries, whisky or green tea. Be sure to try one of the brückentrüffel (bridge truffles) – the Goldhelm shop is located on Erfurt's most famous landmark, the Merchants' Bridge ( Krämerbrücke ).

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In 1804 in Halle , a small patisserie and gingerbread bakery opened that went on to become the Halloren factory, the oldest chocolate factory in Germany that is still in operation. Its most famous product, however, is relatively young. The Halloren Kugeln chocolate balls have only been produced since 1952. Their round shape is reminiscent of the silver buttons of the jackets of the saltworkers, who were known as the Halloren. But there is no truth in the old story that the chocolates used to be eaten with salt. To learn more about production of the chocolates, visit the company's chocolate museum.

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The banter of the fish sellers entertains the crowds. Fish rolls and rollmops are sold in their thousands, and fruit, vegetables and plants can be had at bargain prices. Even live rabbits and bric-a-brac are on sale. The Hamburg fish market on the banks of the Elbe attracts early risers and night owls every Sunday from 6 to 9.30am. It may not be the world's oldest fish market. But it's probably the liveliest.

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This fermented cow's milk cheese has a long tradition in Hessen and is particularly popular in the south of the region. It gets its name (literally 'hand cheese') from its original early 19th century production method of hand kneading and shaping. Handkäs is traditionally served with 'music', a marinade of onion, vinegar, oil and caraway seeds, and brown or rye bread and butter.

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The quality marque Typisch Harz designates original Harz products and services. It stands for regional identity, quality and sustainability. The Harz area is particularly well known for its cheese, a small curd variety that is rich in protein, low in fat and extremely healthy.

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Apfelwein , also known as stöffche or ebbelwei , is a type of cider that has long been considered the signature drink of the Hessen region. In and around Frankfurt in particular, you can find lots of inviting cider houses and beer gardens where apfelwein is served the old-fashioned way in a blue earthenware pitcher called a bembel . For a special treat, take a tour through Frankfurt on the Ebbelwei-Express, a sightseeing tram that has been transporting tourists and locals wanting to celebrate ever since 1977 – drink included.

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Jägermeister is a herbal liqueur that is made and bottled in the Lower Saxony town of Wolfenbüttel, where the firm also has its headquarters. The recipe dates back to 1934 and exports began in the seventies. Today Jägermeister is available in over 80 countries worldwide. The key ingredient (the special mixture of 56 different herbs) is produced exclusively in the Wolfenbüttel factory, which can be visited on a guided tour.

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Over 3,300 pubs, clubs and restaurants in Cologne will serve you a refreshing kölsch . This top-fermented beer is traditionally served in 0.2-litre glasses, or stangen , so the waiter, known locally as the köbes , is kept very busy if you're thirsty. It's a great way to experience Cologne hospitality. Just don't ask for a pils .

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