Fast food, the German favorite meal! The combination of fat & carbohydrates not only tastes delicious, at the same time it triggers a real fireworks display in the reward center of the brain. So it’s no wonder that the average German eats burgers, doner kebabs, or currywurst & Co. almost every other day. Which dishes have established themselves as the most popular in the land of the bratwurst and which dangers lie in the daily devouring of the gastronomic all-rounders, we clarify here briefly and compactly!
Regardless of which chicken you are, there is now something for every stomach in fast-food Germany. The triumphant advance of fast food is unstoppable, whether in a village or in a big city: wherever people live, fried foods are not far away. While avoiding quick snacks was easier in the grandparents’ days, fast food availability is vastly greater these days. We encounter tempting, inexpensive dining offers at every turn. The result?
Obesity, poor blood fat and liver values, and a palate that only reacts to food, the salt, and sugar content of which takes on numerical proportions that in some cases even exceed the potential abdominal girth of daily fast-food consumers. But what exactly do we Germans like to eat best and why is it so difficult to do without these delicacies?
1. Bratwurst & Currywurst
Roasted meat pressed into intestines or artificial casings, fried in hot oil, and packed into fresh rolls. We Germans are as well known for no other cultural achievement as we are for the bratwurst. A cultural asset that is also served as sliced sausage in a spicy tomato-based sauce – paired with the subtle flavors of the curry powder.
The currywurst, as a successful amalgam of Indian exoticism and German down-to-earthiness, began its triumphal march on the highly competitive fast-food market as early as 1950. As the second most important cultural achievement in Germany, it is also enjoying increasing popularity internationally.
The most German of all fast food snacks is sold with the Germans’ favorite vegetable – the fried potato. The combination of fries & exotic bratwurst, a memorial was set in 1982 when Herbert Grönemeyer musically associated the currywurst with the “maloching buddies” from the Ruhr area, thus increasing the symbolic content of the meal into the immeasurable.
However, the nutritional values of the Ruhrpott icon are also immeasurable: such a delicacy weighs almost 500 calories – a real heavyweight. Continuous consumption of the currywurst as a small bite in between also has serious consequences: Cholesterol levels and obesity in the red range as well as falling insulin sensitivity, resulting from the enormous sugar content of the ketchup-containing basic sauce, can in the long term trigger a “sausage problem” of the other kind: impotence.
The excessive consumption of fast food is generally not healthy, reduced “steadfastness” is often the harbinger of serious illnesses such as diabetes or venous insufficiency. Stefan Hennings tells us “A balanced diet, sufficient exercise and a few exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles is definitely a good basis for a healthy (little) man.”
2. Gyros & doner kebab
Lamb, veal, or chicken packed on a skewer and cooked in its own juice, the dripping, fragrant, shaved sections are packed in a flatbread made from white flour, poured over with fresh vegetables and spicy yogurt sauce, and folded up: Germany’s most popular snack is ready.
The doner kebab has been an integral part of German food culture since the 1970s. With a turnover of almost 2 billion euros per year, the kebab industry has outstripped all other fast food branches, even giants like McDonald’s or Burger King are left behind. It also makes sense: the kebab is a complete meal between two halves of bread – a double-edged sword.
If the combination of meat and bread is often sold “on the hand” as a small snack in between, the energy content of the most popular fast food snack is comparable to that of the main meal: the average kebab has 600-700 calories – almost half of the average daily requirement of a mediocre meal active adults. The fact that these calories come mainly from carbohydrates and fat does the rest.
The Greek brother of the doner kebab is the gyrospita. A specialty that comes very close to the kebab in terms of production method and taste profile, but is mostly combined as a “gyros complete” with Germany’s favorite crop: French fries. Originally known as “potatoes”, these carbohydrate sticks are an unbeatable companion for almost every dish after a bath in hot fat.
Even a kebab is sometimes converted into a “pommdöner”, which reinforces the main meal character of the flat snack. Fried potato wedges are not necessarily a “light meal” – combined with gyros, kebab, tzatziki, the average portion of fries adds another 200 calories to the total number of energy units.
La dolce Vita, the Italian joie de vivre, served on a pastry plate and gratinated with cheese. The “Numero Due” of German fast-food culture, a dream made of sun-ripened tomatoes, the finest olive oil and specialties from the land of enjoyment. The best quality of pizza: its high “topping flexibility” ensures the unbelievably wide acceptance of the Italian long-running favorite.
Whether meat, fish or vegetarian – pizza works with almost any ingredient and can therefore be enjoyed by almost anyone. But whether it’s tuna, egg, artichokes, or salami, a pizza remains pizza. Carbohydrates and fat are the basis of good taste here too, so you can quickly eat around 900 calories per pizza.
The southern European snack can be found everywhere: Whether in the traditional “trattoria” with candlelight and red wine on the wedding day, as a midnight snack from the cardboard box or as a self-baked frozen variant from the supermarket, the next wheel of pastry is not far! Buon appetito!
So should one completely forego quick meals that are available everywhere?
If fast food, then like this:
With small measures, you can indulge your cravings without putting your body directly into trouble. How about, for example, a small salad with the gyro plate? It doesn’t always have to be the portion of french fries! Except of course with the currywurst.
Even with the dressing, you can save a lot of calories here – instead of the salad mayonnaise, a little vinegar & oil, it also tastes very tasty! The kebab can also be optimized – the next time you just have a little less meat and more vegetables packed into the flatbread.
What if it really has to be fast food? Instead of taking the bus, train or car, just walk to the trusted snack bar! Exercise is still the best way to counterbalance an unhealthy diet.