German cuisine is more than beer and sausages
Germany is among Singaporeans' top European destinations, along with the UK and Italy, according to the German National Tourism Board (GNTB).
Yet most Singaporeans are familiar with only bratwurst and beer in terms of German cuisine when the country has so much more to offer.
A myriad of other meats, desserts and specialities awaits tourists in this cuisine powerhouse.
Centuries ago, Germany's 16 states were divided into individual regions. So visitors can expect a variety of foods steeped in history and tradition, depending on the region.
For the first time ever, the GNTB will be bringing the authentic flavours of each of these 16 states to Singapore next year through Culinary Germany.
Chief executive of GNTB, Miss Petra Hedorfer, said: "Our cuisine is essential when digging into Germany's culture and DNA."
She highly recommends visiting one of Germany's 2,000 Christmas markets as the festive season nears.
She said: "Every little village has its own Christmas market. Believe me, the Christmas man's home is in Germany!"
Miss Hedorfer also said that gemütlichkeit - a word that means a sense of friendliness - is integral to the German experience.
"Gemütlichkeit is a kind of hospitality and acceptance. I genuinely hope that Singaporean tourists can experience it all over Germany."
To change the perception that German cuisine comprises only sausages and beer, Miss Hedorfer shares with TNP her four German must-haves.
Grated noodles with cheese (kasespätzle)
A German classic - think noodles (spätzle) with cheese.
These noodles are grated by hand and served with sauteed onions. It is popular in south-western areas such as Bavaria.
German potato dumplings (klösse)
Soft but firm, potato dumplings from Thuringia in east-central Germany are an irresistible staple.
According to Miss Hedorfer, some restaurants invite tourists to make their own dumplings for an exciting time of cultural immersion.
She said: "You get to press, cook and grate the potatoes with a special instrument. You have to experience this yourself."
German meat loaf (leberkäse)
Though leberkäse directly translates into "liver cheese", most variants of this meatloaf contain neither animal liver nor cheese.
This dish is said to originate from Bavaria. Ground corned beef, pork, bacon and onion are baked until a dark brown crust is formed. It is typically served with a soft pretzel.
Black Forest cake (schwarzwälder kirschtorte)
This layered cake originates from Germany's Black Forest region.
Rich in chocolate, cherry and schnapps (an alcoholic drink), it is a must-have for any tourist who has a sweet tooth.