When it comes to European travel, Germany is often caught in the shadow of more glamorized locations like Spain, France and Italy. If you do travel to Germany, you’ll discover that it’s actually incredibly charming. From quaint villages with gingerbread-esque cottages to lush, dense forests, Germany has something for everybody, and the same goes for their cuisine. Often simplified as the land of meat and potatoes, most people don’t realize how wide the variety is in terms of German food specialties.

When you consider that at different points in time the German Nation also included many of its current-day bordering countries and that the Germany we know today remained divided for much of its history, it’s no wonder that German cuisine has many regional idiosyncrasies. In the North, you’ll find that the German diet relies heavily of fish and starts to resemble the diet of Scandinavian countries. In the South, many traditional dishes make use of wild game meats and tend to incorporate heavier ingredients like butter, cream and cheese.

Of course, some culinary traditions, including the German affinity for breads, beer and sausage, extend across the entire country. Germany has always had access to an abundance of meat. Before modern methods of preservation, the Germans relied on marinating, salting and smoking as a means of preserving meat, which helps to explain the over 1,500 types of sausages produced throughout Germany. Beyond their countless methods for sausage-making, Germans are renowned for their variety of breads and skill in baking. There are plenty of breads and sweets that you have likely tried without ever realizing they were typical of Germany. We’ve started this guide by featuring some of the most beloved dishes in Germany, but will be adding more soon. If you want to be among the first to know when we’ve added new tasty discoveries, subscribe to our monthly newsletter. In the meantime, pour yourself a beer and prost to Germany!