Traditional German Breakfast

Thelma Alberts is passionate about baking and cooking and likes to get creative. She worked for many years in cafeterias in Germany.

Schwarzwaelder (Black Forest) Ham, Salami, Gouda Cheese, Cheese Spread, Marmalade and Margarine

Schwarzwaelder (Black Forest) Ham, Salami, Gouda Cheese, Cheese Spread, Marmalade and Margarine

Every country has its own customs and traditions. As I am living here in Germany, I would like to share with you the customs and traditions of the Germans. But first, I will start with the food, which is the first thing we do in the morning: Eat breakfast. Well, not all of us of course, as every person has their own habits.

I have the habit of escaping breakfast when I am not working. But whenever I have to go to work, I eat my one piece of German bread with salami or Gouda cheese so that I have the strength to massage my clients, as it is hard work. I am not hungry at all in the morning, only late at night. Maybe that is why I am still full when I wake up in the morning.

You don't have to skip breakfast like me because as we all know, breakfast is a very important meal of the day. When you are hard-working, you have to fill your stomach with food so you will not collapse while working.

Not all German pieces of bread look appetizing as there are about 300 kinds of German bread. They look white, brown, dark, and even black. The darker, the better in nutrition. That's why the Germans are big and strong people. My favorite bread is the Pumpernickel and as my husband says, "I am the only Filipina he knows of eating Pumpernickel."

Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread

What Is in a Traditional German Breakfast?

  • Bread rolls (or as we called these in German: Broetchen / Brötchen) made of rye or multi-grain flour.
  • Multi-grain, brown or rye bread.
  • Butter or margarine.
  • Marmalades such as strawberries and cherries.
  • Nutella or nougat bread spread.
  • Honey
  • Schwarzwaelderschinken (Black Forest smoked ham)
  • Gouda or Emmentaler cheese
  • Salami
  • Boiled, fried or scrambled eggs.
  • Traditionally, a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
  • A glass of orange juice.
  • A glass of fresh milk.

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper."

— Adelle Davis, American Nutritionist

Traditional German breakfast is a simple breakfast. It consists of different varieties of Brötchen (bread rolls), marmalade or jam, chocolate spread, cheeses, hams, salami, Schwarzwälder, and honey.

Types of Brötchen (Bread Rolls)

White bread rolls (weiße Brötchen) is a kind of bread roll made of wheat flour and is crispy outside while soft and white inside.

  1. Mixed rye bread rolls are a mixture of wheat and rye flour. It is very healthy as rye flour has lower gluten compared to wheat flour and has a lot of useful vitamins. Pumpernickel is an example of this kind of bread.
  2. Wholemeal bread rolls are made of wholemeal flour. It has a lot of valuable minerals and vitamins that are needed in our body.
  3. Sunflower bread rolls are made of wheat flour mixed with sunflower seeds.
  4. Sesame bread rolls are made of wholemeal flour and sesame seeds.

Note: If you can´t buy rye bread in a bakery near you, why don´t you buy rye bread mix from the supermarket or online and bake it yourself. Your kitchen will be smelling yummy.

Typical German Breakfast

Typical German Breakfast

Bauernbrot ( farmers bread), rye bread roll and white bread roll

Bauernbrot ( farmers bread), rye bread roll and white bread roll

Breakfast With the Family

  • A member of a German family goes to the bakery every morning to buy fresh bread rolls.
  • German families enjoy their breakfast with glasses of orange juice, cups of coffees, glasses of fresh milk and sometimes cups of teas.
  • Some Germans are still using coffee grinders for making their fresh coffees.
  • They butter or put margarine's on their rolls. Then spread marmalades, cheeses, hams, honey or Mett (raw spiced ground pork with onions) on them.
  • Boiled eggs are usually served.
  • Some will decorate their rolls with slices of tomatoes, gherkins and hard-boiled eggs to have a change on their breakfast table.
  • The Germans seldom talk to each other while eating. They are usually quiet when they enjoy their meals. Germans seldom talk while their mouth is full.
Rye Bread Rolls ( Vollkorn Broetchen) and White Bread Rolls (Broetchen)

Rye Bread Rolls ( Vollkorn Broetchen) and White Bread Rolls (Broetchen)

Questions & Answers

Question: Is a German breakfast particularly healthy?

Answer: I think so. It really depends on what the Germans are eating. Rye bread is a healthy food.

Question: What two breakfasts are there in German?

Answer: Breakfast in Germany is usually with bread rolls or slices of whole wheat or rye bread with any kind of jam or marmalade, nougat cream or with salami, ham or cheese slices. This food is accompanied mostly with a cup of coffee and orange juice.

Question: Is there a traditional German birthday breakfast?

Answer: There is no special traditional breakfast for a birthday in Germany. It is just the same as the food we eat during breakfast like roll bread with salami, cheese, ham, eggs, marmalade or jam, chocolate spread, and coffee or tea. However, there is a special coffee and cake birthday celebration in the afternoon at 3. Freshly brewed coffee with cheesecake, apple cake, Black Forest cake or as we called it in Germany Schwarzwäldertorte.

Question: Do people ever have bacon or sausages in Germany for breakfast?

Answer: Yes, the Germans eat bacon and sausages, too. Germans have many varieties of sausages, but they are eaten for lunch or dinner, not breakfast.

Question: What’s the food for Oktoberfest?

Answer: The food for Oktoberfest are Knödeln (potato dumplings), Roast pork, Sauerkraut, Weisswurst or white Bavarian sausages, Bratwurst and many more.

© 2011 Thelma Alberts


Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 23, 2020:

Hi Janisa! I hope you can travel to Germany in the future. You are very welcome. Thanks for dropping by.

Janisa from Earth on July 11, 2020:

Now I really want to go to Germany!! German bread is just so amazing!! I especially enjoy pretzels and black bread, but these are so hard to find in most places, unfortunately. Thanks for sharing!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 27, 2020:

Hello hi! Have a nice day, too.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on December 18, 2019:

Thank you very much Jibran. Merry Christmas.

Jibran on December 17, 2019:

That is so amazing that you have so many types of breads, also your righting format is amazing

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 24, 2019:

Hello Chitrangada! Germany has plenty of delicious bread to try. Mostly made of rye and wholewheat flour. Thank you very much for your nice comments. Have a great week.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 24, 2019:

Somehow, I had missed this wonderful article of yours, about the traditional German breakfast.

It’s interesting to know about the other countries and cultures. I liked the varieties of bread, which you have shown here.

Your article is well presented and well illustrated.

Thanks for sharing the details.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on April 19, 2015:

Hi Sheilamarie! Traditional Filipinos eat rice and fish for breakfast. Some eat rice with fried eggs, sausages and cooked meat. Filipinos eat 3 times rice meal a day. Maybe I should write a hub about this. Thanks for the idea and for your wonderful comment.

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on April 18, 2015:

It's interesting to discover what people in different countries eat for breakfast. What do people in the Philippines eat in the morning?

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on April 10, 2015:

You don't get fat from eating cheese if you don't eat it everyday peachpurple. Maybe you can have that in special occasions. Thanks and happy weekend!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 10, 2015:

i love cheese with bread but hubby refused to buy cheese. He said my daughter became fat due to cheese

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on April 04, 2015:

Thank you very much Sandyspider. Have a nice Easter!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on April 04, 2015:

Interesting to see what a German breakfast is like.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on January 11, 2014:

Dear Erich Alfonso,

I can not approve your comment as this is in Tagalog language. We are only allowed to publish in English language.

If you want to have a training in German baking in Germany, first of all you have to speak German. It might not be necessary nowadays anymore, but in order to understand you must at least know the basic of German language. Besides that, it´s difficult to get a working visa for Germany.

You are working in Qatar and I know that there are German Chefs or bakers who are working in most of the Hotels in that country. Why not inform yourself in the hotels if their bakers want a helping hands? I hope you´ll find one. Good luck and God bless, too.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 11, 2013:

Thank you Rajan. I´m interested too of what other cultures eat for breakfast. What about in your country? What do you have for breakfast? That would be nice to know. Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 11, 2013:

Audrey Howitt, I´m sorry to have missed this comment. I hope you can visit Germany again. Thanks for your visit. Have a nice day!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 11, 2013:

Hi phdast7! Sorry for answering this late. I´m glad I have brought up some good memories of your childhood and your grandparents. Take care. Once again my apology;-)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 10, 2013:

Very interesting Thelma. I've always wondered what sort of traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner other cultures around the world have.

Voted up, interesting and shared.

Audrey Howitt from California on June 28, 2013:

Oh this made me want to go back to Germany!! Yum!!

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on June 28, 2013:

Great Hub. My grandparents were Polish and German and I remember them eating this kind of breakfast. You brought back lots of good memories from my childhood. Blessings. :)

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on June 20, 2013:

Yes, that´s right Hansi. Those are the foods that the Germans are eating at breakfast time. There are German salamis, marmalade, gouda and etc...I´m surrounded with pure German relatives who are really Germans from head to foot;-) Thanks for stopping by.

Hansi on June 20, 2013:

The only thing German which is mentioned, is the Schwartzwälder Schinken. Gouda cheese? Marmalade? Salami? Come on.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on June 12, 2013:

Hi GetitScene! Sorry, I have missed answering this comment earlier. I take it that you like this food. Thanks for stopping by.

@ hoe: I know. It´s not your taste. I don´t mind you saying this. Every person has it´s own taste;-)

hoe on June 12, 2013:

it is bloody horrible

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on April 11, 2013:

I KNEW I was German at heart!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on April 04, 2013:

Thank you for stopping by Bob. Have a great day!

bob on April 03, 2013:

that.was groose

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 30, 2012:

Hi cpthegreat! I used Gouda in this hub and it was and still is very delicious. I bought the Gouda in our supermarket in Germany which usually comes directly from The Netherland, the original place of Gouda. I don´t know why your cheese was hard and chewy. Maybe it comes directly from the fridge before you have eaten it. As I know, you have to take out the Gouda from the refrigerator a few minutes before you savour it because then it will be having his natural softness and aroma. I have to ask my dutch brother-in-law , he´s like an expert about this. I don´t know if you can buy this cheese in the US but just keep on looking. If you find a delicatessen shop which owns bei a German or Dutchmen, then there is a possibility that you can buy it there. Dutchmen can´t live without their Goudas. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

cpthegreat@mvtvwireless.com on September 30, 2012:

Hey, your breakfast looks yummy. I am in the US but traveled in Germany this past month. I fell in love with the breakfast choices. But am having problems with the cheese. I was told by a German that it was Gouda, but the Gouda I bought here is hard and chewy, not soft .... the cheese I had was the consistency of Swiss but milder. Could you please tell me what the cheese is that you use and can I find it in the US? Thanks.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 21, 2012:

Hi ithabise! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. I appreciate that. Yes, German breakfast is traditionaly different from the other countries. Have a lovely weekend!

Michael S from Danville, VA on September 20, 2012:

Interesting and simple. So different from American breakfast, which traditionally tends to be large.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 17, 2012:

Hi Kababayan! Komusta? I hope you liked the German sandwich. It was a pity you were not able to visit your aunt in Köln. Maybe next time when you´re in Germany. Köln is a beautiful place and is popular with their cathedral and is about 1 1/2 hour drive by car from where I live. I might write about a travel guide in going to Köln one day.

Thanks for visiting. Regards to your family, too.

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on July 17, 2012:

Awesome German breakfast menu! I remember my stint @ Hamburg and Brunsbuttel as a seafarer in 2009. We frequented the nearest seaman's center in order to have a taste of German sandwich being served at the center.

Thanks for sharing this meal, Ms. Thelma.

BTW, I have an aunt in Koln (Cologne), Germany working as a hospital nurse since the 8)s. I called here when our ship discharged cargo @ Brunsbuttel. Unfortunately, my captain didn't permitted me to board the train, although the local customs rep had already given the nod for me to travel and see my relative.

Anyways, thanks again. Regards to your family. :D

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 08, 2012:

Thank you fjohn for dropping by. Yes, it is very interesting to know about other countries tradition and culture especially about food.

fjohn from india on July 07, 2012:

i am curious to know about food from different countries.. and i found something great in this hub.great.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 04, 2012:

Hello Adam Smith! It tastes very good. I hope you´ll like it . Enjoy your holiday in Germany. Thanks for dropping by.

Adam Smith on July 04, 2012:

hope it tasts good i am having some soon

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on April 26, 2012:

Hi Jim Laing! Thanks for your stopping by and giving a comment. I hope I have helped you making a good breakfast for the expats in your country. Take care.

Jim Laing on April 26, 2012:

I have a kitchen "restaurant"in Thailand and I want to make good breakfasts for the expats ...Thanks

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 07, 2012:

Your welcome bmukherjii. Thanks for reading and giving a comment. Have a nice day!

bmukherjii on February 07, 2012:

Thanks Thelma, you have given very mouth watering breakfast ideas :)

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 19, 2011:

Thank you shafiqahmed for reading my hub and giving a comment. Yes, these breads are healthy and tasty. Have a nice day.

shafiqahmed on September 17, 2011:

Bread looks yummy and healthy.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 27, 2011:

You´re welcome Peggy W. I am glad that I brought you back some good memories. Thanks for dropping and have a good Sunday.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2011:

When I visited my friend in Germany years ago, this is exactly the type of breakfasts that I experienced. The fresh breads are so good over there! Thanks for bringing back those memories!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 23, 2011:

Good Morning, Danette Watt. Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub. Yes, Pumpernickel bread is good and healthy as it contents a lot of vitamins. Have a nice day.

Danette Watt from Illinois on August 22, 2011:

Pumpernickel bread is good. Interesting vignette of life in Germany.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 21, 2011:

Good morning Lady_E. Thanks for stopping by and giving a comment. Well, I would say it is. At least when you are not on diet but the breads are healthy.

Elena from London, UK on August 20, 2011:

Lovely. It's better than having cornflakes. :)

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 19, 2011:

Hi september girl. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope you like German breakfast. Have a lovely weekend.

september girl on August 19, 2011:

Yum! Now you made me hungry. It all looks and sounds good! : ) thanks for sharing.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 16, 2011:

Thanks carolp for your visit. The liver paste spread on the Brötchen is one of my favorite. How about the Swiss breakfast, is it similar to the German breakfast? Have a lovely day.

Carolina from Switzerland on August 16, 2011:

Hi Thelma. I love German brötchen. My brother in law used to buy fresh bread for breakfast as we used to visit my sister in Hagen. The liver paste just taste perfect with the bread. Thanks for sharing.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 16, 2011:

Hi joanwz! Welcome to hubpages. I think you can buy German bread there in your country. Thanks for visiting my article and please come again soon. Have a nice day.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 16, 2011:

Good Morning MartieCoetser! Thanks for your stopping by and giving a comment. Yes, bacon and eggs are the most famous breakfast. I did not find about German breakfast here in hubpages, so I thought I have to write about this. Have a nice day.

Joan Whetzel on August 15, 2011:

Yum! both I and my husband are of German decent. THis would work for both of us. Can't wait to try this one. THanks.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on August 15, 2011:

Thelma, the various favourite breakfasts in this world is quite an interesting topic of discussion. Bacon and eggs is probably the most famous here, and for brunch beef or pork sausages instead of bacon. With either bread or ‘pap’ - a starch dish we make with maize meal. But during the week most people simply eat (instant) cereal with milk for breakfast. I, too, tend to eat my breakfast at midday, my lunch at 6pm and light dinner (snacks) at midnight. VERY unhealthy. But now, after talking about food, I am really hungry (at 11pm)! Take care!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 15, 2011:

Hi Brupie! Yes, Germany was the major cultural adjustment for me and I did cope a lot of adjustment in my life and I survive. Thanks for stopping by and giving a comment.

Brupie on August 13, 2011:

When I was a student in Germany I loved the crispy delicate light flour Broetchen (sorry no umlauts here) and soft French cheeses. It sounds like Germany has been a major cultural adjustment for you, but you sound like you're coping. Good luck!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 12, 2011:

Hi randomcreative! Thanks for reading my article. Yes, that should have been because this is the typical German breakfast. Happy weekend!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 12, 2011:

My brother had a German exchange student in high school. This sounds very similar to what they would eat when he stayed with him in Germany.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 12, 2011:

Good Morning writer20. Thanks for stopping by and giving a comment. That is good that you like German bread and especially pumpernickle. I have not heard of pumpernickle bagle before. It counds delicious.

You know, when I´m in the Philippines for a few weeks, I always send packages of ready made mix flour for baking German bread through Balikbayan Boxes because I don´t know if I can get it there. Maybe you can find German bakery where you live.

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on August 11, 2011:

I loved German dark bread and always enjoyed their type of breakfast when there. I'm also a lover of pumpernickle. This morning I had a pumpernickle bagle, really good.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 11, 2011:

Hello Tracy Lynn Conway! Now you know;D..The breads are indeed interesting. The first time I had my German breakfast with my in-laws was not interesting at all. Most of the breads were brown and I wanted at least white bread but I could not speak German yet, so I was polite and eat the bread. Years later, I came to like them. Thanks for stopping by.

Tracy Lynn Conway from Virginia, USA on August 11, 2011:

I have always been curious about what German's ate for breakfast. I found the breads so interesting!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 11, 2011:

Thank you RTalloni for stopping by and reading my article. Yes, that´s the typical German way of having breakfast. A silent one. Have a lovely day!

RTalloni on August 10, 2011:

Neat picture of life in a German community! Thanks for sharing.

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