Germany (German: Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,578 square kilometres (138,062 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying entirely in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a very decentralised country. Its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport.
In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918-19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to World War II, and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American, British, and French occupation zones, and East Germany, formed from the western part of the Soviet occupation zone, reduced by the newly established Oder-Neisse line. Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.
Today, Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. It is a great power with a strong economy. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. Read more...
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Selected fare or cuisine
Sauerbraten is a traditional German roast of heavily marinated meat. It is regarded as a national dish of Germany,
and is frequently served in German-style restaurants internationally. It can be prepared from a variety of meats, most often from beef, but also from venison, lamb and mutton, pork and horse. Before cooking, the raw meat is marinated for three to ten days in a mixture of vinegar or wine, water, herbs, spices, and seasonings. Usually, tougher cuts of meat such as rump roast or bottom round of beef are used, and the long marinating tenderizes the meat.
A Sauerbraten dinner is almost always accompanied by a hearty gravy resulting from its roasting and is most often served with potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer), potato dumplings (Kartoffelklöße), or Spätzle pasta.
Ingredients used in the marinade, and accompanyments served with Sauerbraten, vary across regions. Regional variants of the dish include those from Franconia, Thuringia, Rhineland, Saarland, Silesia, and Swabia. Read more...