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SUMMER

Heatwave on the horizon: temperatures in Germany set to rise

Most of Germany basked in pleasant summer sunshine on Friday. But more extreme weather is on the horizon. By Monday temperatures could soar into the mid-30s.

Heatwave on the horizon: temperatures in Germany set to rise
Tegeler See on Thursday. Temperatures in Berlin and Hamburg could be 35 degrees next week. Photo: DPA

Southwestern Germany was already experiencing some of that heat on Friday, with temperatures hitting 32 degrees in the greater Frankfurt am Main area.

Meanwhile the humidity was set to rise in the south and the west, with thunderstorms expected in the area around Munich and spreading eastward later on.

Heavy rain and hail is expected to hit south western Germany between the Eifel mountain range and Munich,reported FOCUS Online.

Flood warnings were issued with up to 40 litres of rain forecast per square metre in places.

In north Germany it will remain hot and dry, with scattered clouds and no threat of rain. It will be windier, as usual, along the coastline.

This weekend

Heavy thunderstorms will spread by Saturday and are forecast to hit an area from Cologne via Frankfurt to Munich, calming by nightfall and giving way to heavy rain.

Temperatures could then plummet to lows of between 14 and 16 degrees, with 20 degrees forecast overnight in Frankfurt am Main and along the Rhine.

Thunderstorms are also predicted throughout central Germany from North Rhine-Westphalia to Thuringia. But most of the rain will fall down in the south.

South of the Danube will be very wet, with maximum temperatures only reaching 21 to 25 degrees.

Meanwhile dry and hot weather is forecast for the north and east, with temperatures hitting 30 degrees in places over the weekend. 

The Sahara in Germany? A heatwave begins

On Monday the rain is set to stop and herald in the start of a new heat wave, with the arrival of hot air from the Sahara desert.

Temperatures will continue to rise and by the end of the week could reach upwards of 35 to 37 degrees.

The highs of 37 degrees are expected on the Upper Rhine, but the 35 degrees mark could also be reached in Hamburg and Berlin.

No end in sight to the drought currently hitting north and eastern parts, with urgently-needed rain not forecast for another ten days.

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SUMMER

Grilling in Germany: What you need to know about the Bratwurst

Whether it’s at a football game, at the carnival or at the town fair - the Bratwurst has become a culinary staple in Germany. But something’s cooking - nowadays, even vegetarians and vegans can their Bratwurst fix.

Grilling in Germany: What you need to know about the Bratwurst
Photo: DPA

Red-hot coals and the sizzle of fat as it drips onto the grill – the arrival of summer in Germany marks the start of barbecue season. There’s one fixture of barbecue culture that simply cannot go amiss: the Bratwurst. 

There are 150 unique types of Bratwurst with textures varying from coarse to fine, explains Uwe Keith, the chairman of the “Friends of the Thuringian Bratwurst” association.

In a bid to uncover the history of the Bratwurst, the association consulted around 200 historical written sources.

According to their findings, the Bratwurst was first mentioned in 1404 in an invoice taken from a monastery, meaning it must already be over 600 years old.

READ ALSO: The Local's meaty vegan guide to Berlin

It is also very popular in the USA, so much so that the word “Bratwurst” has made its way into everyday use.

It also enjoys its own place on the American culinary calendar, with August 16th marking National Bratwurst Day – a day which is also, of course, celebrated in Germany.

As well as cult favourites such as the Thuringian and Nuremberg Rostbratwurst, you’re much more likely to spot vegetarian and vegan alternatives on the barbecue these days.

According to Proveg Deutschland (the German Vegetarian Association), Americans spent $159 million (around €134.13 million) on plant-based Bratwursts last year, a 40 percent increase compared to 2018. There are currently no reliable figures concerning the sale of Veggie-Bratwursts in Germany.

READ ALSO: Quiz: How well do you know German food culture?

From the Currywurst to the Nuremberg, Thuringian and ham varieties – meat substitutes for the Bratwurst are available in all imaginable forms. According to Proveg, peas, wheat, oats, soya and lupines are the most popular alternatives amongst manufacturers.

A classic Bratwurst from Thuringia. Photo: DPA

More is known, however, about centuries-old meat-based variety. According to data from the German Butchers Association (DFV), the average German ate three kilograms of meat-based Bratwurst in 2018.

They are also becoming increasingly popular with consumers: in 1990, Bratwursts accounted for just 4.3 percent of all meat and sausage product sales. By 2018 this figure had more than doubled to 9.1 percent.

READ ALSO: Can I have a barbecue on my balcony in Germany?

Pork is the meat most frequently used by butchers, followed by beef, lamb and poultry, explains DFV food technologist Axel Nolden.

One of the most popular variants is the Thuringian Rostbratwurst, seasoned with distinctive spices such as Marjoram. According to Nolden, there are significant regional differences between the various types of Bratwurst.

Only the top dogs of the Bratwurst world – the Nuremberg and Thuringian Rostbratwurst – benefit from any degree of geographical protection.

When defining the precise parameters of so-called “Protected Geographical Indication”, the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture explained that “at least one stage of the production process has to take place in the area of origin, even though raw ingredients needed to make the sausage can come from other regions”.

READ ALSO: Fear not, eat Bratwurst, says German food minister

Though they may be loved by many, Bratwursts are best enjoyed in moderation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“The Bratwurst has a very high salt and fat content”, said Antje Gahl of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). 150 grams (ie. one portion) constitutes around half of the recommended daily fat intake (60 to 80 grams), and makes up almost a third of the recommended daily energy intake. The DGE has no data concerning meat-free alternatives. 

Caution is also advised when preparing Bratwursts. Regardless of whether it is fried or grilled, Gahl warns that carcinogenic substances can form on foods cooked to the “well-done” stage. The DGE therefore advises that Bratwürste should be cooked with care.

Translated by Eve Bennett.

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