When a question arises about Nuremberg specialties, surveys show that bratwurst and gingerbread are the absolute frontrunners. And rightly so, as these tasty tidbits grilled on a beechwood fire look back on more than 700 years of history ... and sweet "lebkuchen" were baked here by monks as early as the 11th century. Both delicacies have been awarded a protected geographical indication from the European Union.
Nuremberg has a distinctive mix of traditional Franconian cuisine, gourmet restaurants and a young and trendy gastronomic scene. "Gault&Millau" named Bavaria Germany's "most culinary state" in 2015 and with "Essigbrätlein" (18 points; 2 Michelin stars) and "Aumers La Vie" (17 points, 1 Michelin star), two Nuremberg restaurants belong to the elite of award-winning establishments. Haute cuisine is spread all over the city, whether in St. Johannis (Würzhaus), Worzeldorf (Zirbelstube), Wöhrd (Entenstuben), Großreuth bei Schweinau (Rottner), Gostenhof (Koch & Kellner) or in the Old Town (Sebald, Fischer), just to name a few examples.
Franconia's traditional cuisine entices with its regional products fresh from the local "Knoblauchsland" growing area, the green lung of Nuremberg. The vegetables and lettuce grown there are ideal accompaniments to "Schäufele" (pork shoulder), carp or Sauerbraten, and there is no equal to the taste of Franconian asparagus.
Nuremberg: Where the Trendy Go
The trendy scene in Nuremberg can be found in hip burger joints and coffee-roasting houses, enjoying the multi-cultural mix in Gostenhof or waiting in line at one of the many food truck round ups and street food markets, which had their start in Germany in Nuremberg. Since 2015, a Street Food Convention is part of the portfolio of the NurembergMesse. And the only pretzel drive-in in the world can be found in Nuremberg: Kolb offers its legendary soft pretzels weekdays beginning at 2:15 am, which makes fans out of both night owls and shift workers.
The Home of "Red Beer"
Since the Middle Ages, "Red Beer" has been brewed in Nuremberg: A delicious amber-colored brew, bottom-fermented out of pure barley malt. For almost 350 years, the traditional Tucher Brewery has kept Nuremberg's brewer's craft and Franconian brewing expertise alive. As the first organic brewery in Germany, the Altstadthof has been brewing according to ancient law in copper kettles and wooden fermenting vats at its historical location at the foot of the Imperial Castle since 1984. Here, one can try the traditional Red Beer. But before you do, explore underground Nuremberg, an extensive labyrinth of cellars which were hacked from the sandstone hill. Then head to the picturesque Tiergärtnertorplatz with an old-fashioned swing-topped bottle of beer from the Altstadthof or Bieramt.
Germany's Whisky Epicenter
Almost unnoticed, Nuremberg has grown into the whisky epicenter of Germany: With the "Most Venerable Order of the Highland Circle", Nuremberg is home to Germany's oldest whisky club. Three large whisky merchants work in peaceful coexistence in the greater Nuremberg area. The Manager Magazine has awarded the "Gelbes Haus" in Gostenhof a "Top Place in the Ranks of the German Bar Scene". Owner Oliver Kirschner is - thanks to his unusually refined and trained senses - one of the eminent authorities on whisky in Germany. The latest highlight of the scene is "The Village", Nuremberg's Whisky Fair. Last year, its more than 16,000 visitors catapulted it to first place in the rankings of the best-attended events of this type in Germany - ahead of well-established German whisky events. Germany's best whisky comes from Nuremberg: Reinhard Engel's 100% ecological "AYRER's PX 56" whisky, single-cask ripened in a Pedro Ximénez sherry cask, was awarded the highest quality award at a blind tasting in Frankfurt in December 2015.
As early as 2006, the Nuremberg City Council decided unanimously to join the organic city network "Città del BIO", as the first in Germany. Today, "Città del BIO" has almost 200 members across Europe. The goals of these "organic cities" are the support of organic agriculture and regional products as well as the advancement of a sustainable consumer and food culture by refraining from the use of genetic engineering in foodstuffs. In addition, Nuremberg has been a Fairtrade City since 2010.
Every July, "Experience Organic!" - a celebration of organic products, culture, art, fashion and special events for children - takes place in the historical heart of Nuremberg in front of the beautiful backdrop of the Main Market Square. At the Bardentreffen world music event and the Christkindlesmarkt, organic products play a more important role year for year. The initiative "Original Regional" has appeared at the most famous christmas market in the world since 2012 and from there white mulled wine has made its way into the homes of Nuremberg and beyond.
Culinary Culture: In Museums and Outdoors
The culinary offerings aren't just limited to trying food. As an extra treat for this culinary year, the museums of Nuremberg will offer specially-themed tours. The Germanisches Nationalmuseum invites visitors to cultural-historical explorations focusing on culinary themes - with a new topic each month from February to December. "Of Cabbages and Carrots" is the title of a family-friendly tour in the City Museum Fembohaus. The Museum Tucher Mansion devotes a tour to "Respectable Voluptuousness - The Festival and Food Culture of the Renaissance". And the Museum of Industrial Culture will host its gingerbread days. City tour guides also have something for every taste: "Dine around Nuremberg", "Red Beer and Blue Sausages", "Red Beer in Deep Cellars" or "The Taste of Nuremberg" are some of the culinary tours on offer. In addition, visitors can explore the history of gingerbread and bratwurst.
This focus shapes the marketing activities of the CTZ. A new image brochure is fresh from the press. It describes Nuremberg's culinary scene and lets personalities in the field have their say in the form of testimonials. The "Food & Drink" section of the homepage has been restructured and expanded and the culinary year has its own landing page: tourismus.nuernberg.de/kulinarik. A gastro video-trailer - available to anyone interested in the culinary theme - has also been put in to action. A "Genießer finden Stadt" advertising campaign in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg builds on the marketing successes of the last few years. At the beginning of the year, the CTZ will visit selected food editorial offices and invite journalists to come to Nuremberg to do their own research. Bloggers will receive support when writing about this topic. In social media marketing, a focus on culinary topics will be collected at the hashtag #TasteNuremberg. Nuremberg will also explore the marketing possibilities available through its networks in cooperation with the German National Tourist Board, Bavarian Tourism Marketing and the Tourist Board of Franconia. All these partners have culinary promotions and special campaigns for the 500th anniversary of the German Beer Purity Law in planning.
"The culinary offerings of the city of Nuremberg have grown with her and are intertwined with her history," sums up Yvonne Coulin, head of the CTZ. "Even locals can always discover something new. The most pleasant experience in preparing this year's focus was the amicable readiness of everyone - from award-winning chefs to 'food truckers' - to place themselves at our service and work together to spread the message of Nuremberg's culinary offerings to the rest of the world."