Things you might not know about Germany6th August 2014
Beer as food?
Bavaria is a state of Germany that can be found in the South East; it is a place well known for the value they place on food and drink. Beer is particularly important in Bavaria; the state hosts over 600 breweries and is home to the oldest brewery in Germany. Most interestingly beer is actually considered to be a form of liquid food in Bavaria; it can often be found on the menu and is typically sold by the litre. Bavaria has a strong relationship with beer to the extent that the average Bavarian will drink 150 liters in their lifetime.
Side note: If you want to order a single beer in Germany you raise your thumb, for two beers your index finger.
Europe’s largest economy
Germany was one of the founding members of the European Union and the Eurozone. It has the largest economy in Europe and the 4th largest in the world (based on nominal GDP). On top of this Germany is the third largest exporter in the world. On a list of the 10 biggest economies in the world, Germany is the only country to sustain a Triple-A credit rating.
Bread and Sausage
An interesting fact about German food is the sheer variety that is on offer. Starting with bread, Germany produces over 300 different types of bread, more than anywhere else in the world. The south of Germany tends towards lighter wheat based breads whereas the north focuses on darker rye based varieties.
As for sausages, Germany supposedly has over 1200 different types of sausage or “wurst”. There are two types of sausage in Germany, fresh sausage or slicing/spreading sausage. Fresh sausages are either raw or are cooked and require reheating. The slicing varieties are served cold ready to eat and are often eaten on crackers or bread.
The Christmas Tree tradition came from Germany
There are a variety of myths and stories surrounding the origins of the Christmas tree but the majority of them stem from Germany. According to records the tradition gained popularity at the start of the 18th century particularly in towns of the Rhineland. The first Christmas trees were decorated with treats like ginger bread. Glassmakers began to make decorations similar to the ones used today. The tradition really took off when the Germany army made the decision to place Christmas tree’s in their barracks.
The Speed Limit
Being home to BMW, Porsche and Mercedes, Germany is well known for high performance cars. It is also one of the few countries that you can utilize the full power of these vehicles on a public road.
Over 60% of the Autobahn (the German motorway system) has no speed limit; the choice handed over to the individual. On sections closer to city centres there is typically a speed limit of approximately 75mph. Concerns about road safety and the environment has caused a revival in discussion about the subject.