What to Eat in Saxony

The cuisine of the region is hearty and seasonal, and almost every town has a unique specialty unavailable outside the immediate area. Look for Sächsische Sauerbraten (marinated sour beef roast), spicy Thüringer Bratwurst (sausage), Schlesische Himmelreich (ham and pork roast smothered in baked fruit and white sauce, served with dumplings), Teichlmauke (mashed potato in broth), Blauer Karpfe (blue carp, marinated in vinegar), and Raacher Maad (grated and boiled potatoes fried in butter and served with blueberries). Venison and wild boar are standards in forest and mountainous areas, and lamb from Saxony-Anhalt is particularly good. In Thuringia, Klösse (potato dumplings) are virtually a religion.

Eastern Germany is experiencing a renaissance in the art of northern German brewing. The first stop for any beer lover should be the Bayrische Bahnhof in Leipzig, to give Gose a try. Dresden's Brauhaus Watzke, Quedlinburg's Lüddebräu, and even the Landskron Brauerei in Görlitz are bringing craft brewing back to a region inundated with mass-produced brew.

Saxony has cultivated vineyards for more than 800 years, and is known for its dry red and white wines, among them Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder, Ruländer, and the spicy Traminer. The Sächsische Weinstrasse (Saxon Wine Route) follows the course of the Elbe River from Diesbar-Seusslitz (north of Meissen) to Pirna (southeast of Dresden). Meissen, Radebeul, and Dresden have upscale wine restaurants, and wherever you see a green seal with the letter S and grapes depicted, good local wine is being served. One of the best-kept secrets in German wine making is the Salle-Unstrut region, which produces spicy Silvaner and Rieslings.

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