Every year at Thanksgiving, my grandma makes something called "Pink Stuff." It's a dessert-y "salad" made with strawberries, whipped cream, marshmallows, and gelatin (note the quotation marks around the word "salad"). We call it Pink Stuff because it is stuff that is pink. Pretty straightforward, right?

I have to assume that the people naming the traditional German foods on this list didn't necessarily use the same straightforward logic, though. At least, I hope they didn't. Otherwise, I have some pretty strong words for whoever named "dead grandma."



What it means in English: Hacked flesh. What it actually is: Minced meat. And sure, technically any time of minced meat is literally "hacked flesh." But do we really need to be this on-the-nose?


What it means in English: Mouth Bags What it actually is: Basically giant ravioli. I am absolutely going to call ravioli "tiny mouth bags" from now on.


What it means in English: Slaughter plate What it actually is: Basically a plate full of meat. Usually boiled pork belly, leberwurst, and blutwurst. And again, yes. Meat is slaughtered. But slaughter plate?!

Kalter Hund

What it means in English: Cold Dog What it actually is: Chocolate cookie cake! It is cold, but it does not contain dogs.

Tote Oma

What it means in English: Dead Grandma. (Yes, really.) What it actually is: Minced up blood sausage. Not minced up grandmas. And don't worry. That's not the only German food named after a dead family member...

Tote Tante

What it means in English: Dead Aunt. What it actually is: A cocktail made with hot cocoa, cream, and rum. If you ask me, a dead aunt sounds like it'd be quite a bit tastier than a dead grandma. (There's a sentence I never thought I'd write.)


What it means in English: Little boys' penis. What it actually is: A dumpling or especially thick noodle.


What it means in English: Nun's Farts. What it actually is: Light, airy pastry covered in sugar. Interestingly enough, Nonnenfürzchen is not the only pastry named after nuns' farts. Go figure.

Falscher Hase

What it means in English: Fake Rabbit What it actually is: Meatloaf, but with a hard-boiled egg inside. Like rabbits have?


What it means in English: Minced Peter. What it actually is: Minced meat — typically pork. It's usually served as a raw spread on bread and topped with minced raw onions. Peter is a pretty common character in German foods, actually...


What it means in English: Wiggle Peter. What it actually is: Jell-o. Jell-o has another German name, too.


What it means in English: Food of the gods. What it actually is: Again, Jell-o. Those must be some hungry gods.


What it means in English: Traffic Light Pudding. What is actually is: Jell-o that comes in red, yellow, and green. Like a traffic light! (Thus concludes the German Jell-o portion of this list.)


What it means in English: Liver Cheese. What it actually is: A loaf of meat formed from corned beef, bacon, and pork, then baked in an oven until a crust forms. No, cheese is not involved.


What it means in English: Little Sparrows. What it actually is: Noodles that are vaguely shaped like sparrows. Kind of. Now, on to something called hand cheese!

Handkäs Mit Musik

What it means in English: Hand Cheese with Music What it actually is: Handkäs is a translucent, yellow cheese that's formed by hand (hence the name). Handkäs Mit Musik refers to Handkäs that's topped with chopped onions and caraway seeds. The music apparently refers to...erm...sounds that the human body makes after consuming such a dish.


What it means in English: Press Head. What it actually is: Head cheese. (A meat jelly made with the flesh of a cow, pig, or sheep.)


What it means in English: Bee Sting Cake. What it actually is: A cake made from a sweet yeast dough, filled with cream or custard, and topped with caramelized almonds. Much more pleasant than an actual bee sting!

Himmel Und Erde

What it means in English: Heaven and Earth What it actually is: Black pudding, fried onions, mashed potatoes, and applesauce.


What it means in English: Tree frogs. What it actually is: Cabbage rolls. (No frogs.)