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.

Labskaus is a typical north German dish and is today considered something of a speciality. Sailors on tall ships used to have no way of keeping food fresh for long. This stew made of cured beef, pickled beetroot, potato and onions could be kept for long periods, however. It's a dish that has given rise to numerous stories and legends. The world's largest labskaus festival takes place in the North See harbour town of Wilhelmshaven.

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Nowhere is Schleswig-Holstein’s sweet tooth more apparent than in Lübeck, home of the world-famous Lübeck marzipan. Once the preserve of the wealthy and the powerful, the marzipan is still largely produced by hand. At the Niederegger Marzipan Salon in Lübeck you can learn about the long journey that this almond confectionery has made over the centuries, from its origins in the East to a Hanseatic town in northern Germany. Because marzipan wasn't invented in Lübeck. Just perfected.

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There are competing theories as to how maultaschen , or 'Swabian ravioli', first came about. One theory holds that the Cistercian monks of Maulbronn Monastery (hence the name maultaschen ) were loath to go without meat during Lent. So they concealed the forbidden food from the sight of the Lord by enclosing it in a pasta dough. Hence also the other name for the dish – herrgottsb'scheisserle , or 'Fool the Lord'.

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An old-fashioned market with a modern twist, Markthalle Neun in Berlin 's Kreuzberg is over 100 years old. Today, nestled among the area's trendy bars, it offers alternative food, drink and shopping. The weekly market takes place on Friday and Saturday, while 'Streetfood Thursday', like the city's Naschmarkt sweet market, offers high-quality 'slow food' and delicacies made from regional and seasonal produce.

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For centuries, eels were the 'bread and butter fish' of freshwater fishermen in Lower Saxony. On the Weser, the Elbe, Lake Steinhude or Zwischenahn Lake, fishermen's livelihood depended on eels. Not only did they live on the sale of the freshly caught fish, they also refined the eel by smoking it, creating a delicacy famed throughout Germany. This has given rise to many regional recipes and traditions centred around this fish, which is rich in beneficial fats and other nutrients.

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Ahle Wurscht ('old sausage') is a cured pork sausage matured over a long period and a traditional delicacy from the north of Hessen. The slow air-drying process lasting between three and twelve months gives the sausage its distinctive character. At the Ahle Wurscht Museum at the Landfleischerei Koch butchers in Kassel-Calden you can see some of the equipment used to make the sausages.

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The orange-coloured berries on the thorny hippophae bushes are typical of the coastal vegetation here. They contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits and are one of the most important indigenous sources of energy. Visitors like to take them home in the form of oil, drinks (such as tea and juice), sweets and jams, liqueurs and wines, and cosmetics. You can even visit one of Rügen 's sea buckthorn plantations at harvest time.

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Since 1558, the Upper Lusatian town of Pulsnitz has been producing gingerbread from eight artisanal bakeries and a lebkuchen factory. Every year on the first weekend in November, these specialities go on sale at the popular Pulsnitz gingerbread festival. At the gingerbread museum and demonstration workshop in the Haus des Gastes, you can see how baking traditions have changed over the years and even bake your own gingerbread. Open 365 days a year.

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