Germany off the beaten track

Top chefs will give you an introduction to the richly varied world of German gourmet cuisine. © la vie, Osnabrück

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How to Celebrate Germany's National Day

October 3 is officially Germany's National Day. In Germany, it is formally called Reunification Day as it is essentially a day to celebrate the coming together of Germany's two sides after the fall of the wall in 1989. Having traveled extensively throughout Germany, I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of Germany's great contributions to the world while providing some tips on fun ways to celebrate German National Day alongside any Germans... wherever you are.

Three Fun Ways to Celebrate Germany's National Day:

1. Drink some beer

Sure, it may be a bit cliche, but there is simply no denying that Germans know their beer. In fact, the 2011 and 2013 World Champion Beer Sommeliers have been from Germany. And with more than one thousand breweries across the country, and many of the world's top brewers, there is never a shortage of great beer. While Germans may debate among themselves which region produces the best German beer, Germany's collective beer patriotism is staggering. My personal favorite beer happens to be from Riegele Brewery in Augsburg... Whatever your favorite German beer, pour yourself a pint of your favorite brew, and drink up to honor the country today! "Prost!"

2. Drink some wine

The truth is that given the choice, I prefer wine to beer. And that is entirely okay in Germany too. Although most people associate Germany with beer, Germany has a remarkable 13 wine growing regions. National spending statistics even suggest that Germans now technically spend more money annually on wine than on beer. True, spending and consumption are not exactly the same thing. Wine typically costs more than beer, and a great deal of wine is purchased as an investment each year. So, Germans do still consume more beer than wine. But the spending numbers make it quite clear that wine is their other great love. Perhaps even the more precious one, as they're willing to part with more of their hard earned money for it... So, get thee to a wine cellar, and find a bottle of liquid gold. Germany produces a plethora of great white wines, its slopes having even attracted the Romans 2000 years ago. But today, Germany is best known for its Riesling as it produces 60% of the world's supply. While I love all German wine, I absolutely adore the wine from Wiesbaden's Kloster Eberach! "Zum Wohl!"

3. Eat some meat

It would very difficult to live as a vegetarian in Germany. Simple as that. Sure, sausage is a staple, but all varieties of mouth-watering meat dishes abound on German menus. For the most traditional German meal, why not look up the nearest German Community Hall? Many famous Americans are of German descendancy. Clark Gable, Lou Gehrig, Henry J. Heinz, just to name a few. With as much as twenty percent of the North American population having German roots, most major cities have at least one German Community Hall and Restaurant. You'll find such divine items on their menus as roulade, schnitzel and countless varieties of good 'ol bratwurst. A perfect setting to celebrate all things German. And locate your favorite German beer or wine too. "Guten Appetit!"

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