POPSUGAR Celebrity

Build Your Own German Pantry

Sep 27 2013 - 4:25am

There's no time like the present to bring a taste of Germany [1] to your table — we are in the midst of Oktoberfest, after all — but before you get cooking, it's time to stock your larder with a few key staples. From spaetzle to marzipan, this guide will get you started and then some.


While not particularly challenging to make from scratch [2], spaetzle does take a bit of time to prepare. For a totally respectable shortcut, buy a bag of dried spaetzle [3] ($4, originally $5) so that you'll never be more than a few minutes away from a comforting side dish.

Caraway Seed

A key component of rye bread [4], sweet baked goods, and home-fermented sauerkraut [5], caraway seeds [6] ($5) lend their unique flavor to braised meat dishes as well.


Tiny, tangy gherkins [7] ($4) serve as an acidic foil to rich meat and cheese. Keep a jar in your pantry (refrigerate once opened) to round out charcuterie plates.


Come Christmastime, stock up on marzipan [8] ($6) or its less-sweet cousin almond paste, as this rich, nutty confection is a common filling for stollen, a traditional holiday treat.


Kippers [9] ($3) — salty smoked herring — might seem unappealing to the uninitiated, but those in the know keep them stocked in their pantry for an easy snack.


Warm, doughy pretzels [10] and juicy sausages [11] just aren't the same without a generous dab of bracing mustard. Stock up on varieties both sweet [12] ($7) and spicy [13] ($4) to cover your bases.

Rye Bread

Dense, nutty rye bread [14] ($4) is a snack, sandwich, and breakfast staple in Germany. Try it with cured salmon [15] for an elegant appetizer or as part of a spread of cheese, ham, and salami at morning, noon, or night.

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread and Preserves

German breakfasts are often a simple, sweet affair consisting of hearty bread served with jams [16] ($6), preserves, and glossy chocolate hazelnut spread [17] ($7).

Sour Morello Cherries

If dreams of black forest cake [18] dance through your head, keep a jar of kirsch-soaked morello cherries [19] ($28) in your pantry to bake up the authentic article.

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