Unique German Berry Jams and Honey

Jams and Honey are integral to German cuisine and culinary spectrum. This guide will provide you with an overview of the most authentic and interesting flavors, qualities, nutritional benefits and usage suggestions of selected German jams and honey.  We also briefly describe the main differences to some of the US commercial brands.

The moderate climate in Germany and neighboring countries in Central, North and East of Europe Fruits provides perfect growing and cultivation conditions for a plethora of high quality fruits and berries.

That’s why you’ll find an incredible selection of wild honeys and berry preserves. Specialized shops or sections in supermarkets feature elderberry, sloe, rosehip or sea buckthorn jams, wild-herb, wildflower, dandelion or pine honey.  And they are fantastic companions to fresh bread or Brötchen (rolls),  cakes and pastries, or meat and game dishes.

More to explore:

Unique German jams


Apples (Aepfel)Apfelkraut (Apple syrup)

Rheinisches Apfelkraut is a traditional thick syrup made exclusively from whole stewed, unblemished and full-ripe apples and pears. It is used chiefly as a sweet spread, as an ingredient in baking or cooking (e.g. for the typical marinated beef dish like Rheinischer Sauerbraten) or as an accompaniment to Rievkooche (Reibekuchen), traditional potato cakes also typical for the Rhineland). Naturtrüber (Cloudy) Apple Juice and Äppelwoi are other regional specialties made from apples.


Blackberries (Brombeeren)Blackberry Jam (Brombeeren)

The German word Brombeere derives from Old High German brämberi, which literally means “berry of a thorny bush.” Both berries and bush leaves have blood cleansing and diuretic properties and are full of essential vitamins and minerals. Germans love to eat blackberry jam on rolls, blackberry jam with cheese, blackberry pie, and drink black berry juice or tea made from blackberry leaves.

 


Black and Red CurrantBlack or Red Currant (Schwarze und Rote Johannisbeere)

These berries are part of the gooseberry family, native to northern Europe and very popular in German and Nordic cuisine. Black or Red Currant jams and jellies are used in pie fillings, cheesecake, ice cream,yogurt and many other desserts or as flavoring for venison or poultry.

 


Blueberries (Heidelbeeren)Blueberries (Heidelbeeren)

The wild European Heidelbeere and the American Blaubeere (blueberry) are almost synonymous. The difference: in the European version, the healthy blue color pigment anthrocyane is present in both skin and fruit, while it’s only present in the skin of the larger American version. Heidelbeeren grow on tall bushes, often deep in pine forests, and they feature prominently in some German fairy tales because little Zwerge (dwarfs) are said live in caves underneath the roots of their bushes. The small town of Eggesin in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern claims to be Germany’s Blaubeerhauptstadt (blueberry capital) celebrating an annual Blaubeer-Festival.


Cherries (Kirschen) Tart Cherries (Sauerkirschen)

Both sour and sweet versions of this tree fruit were popular in the ancient empires of China, Egypt and Rome. They grow all over the northern hemisphere. Charlemagne (Karl der Große) reputedly loved the fruit so much that he designated vast areas in his realm for planting cherry trees. Germany’s present day cherry growing areas are primarily in Rhineland-Palatine, Saxony and Thuringia. Although the cherry season is sweet and short, Sauerkirschmarmelade is a year-round staple on the German breakfast table. Other cherry-based German specialties include Black Forest Cakes, Cherry Cream Cakes and Cherry Brandy.


Gooseberries (Stachelbeeren)Gooseberries (Stachelbeeren)

Whoever picks fresh gooseberries between May and September, knows why Germans call it Stachelbeere. The thorns surrounding this large, juicy and sweet berry are huge. Yet, the rewards are great. Gooseberries contain a lot of Vitamin C and make delicious preserves, jams, sauces, the famous Stachelbeer Baiser Torte (gooseberry meringue torte) and are used to refine fruity wines.

 


Cranberries (Preiselbeeren)Lingonberry (Preiselbeeren)