Cosmopolitan flavours rule in Hamburg, fusion food is a favourite. Nevertheless, many restaurants offer at least one time-proven traditional dish on the menu.

Aalsuppe  The soup is largely vegetable despite the seeming reference to eel; “aal” means “all” in Low Saxon, apparently, though most chefs now add eel to avoid arguments.

Alsterwasser Fortunately not the water of the Alster lakes but shandy in a fifty-fifty ratio of beer and lemonade.

Bohnen, Birnen und Speck Literally, green beans, pears and bacon – a tasty, light dish that’s ideal for summer.

Hamburger The world’s favourite fast-food has its origins in the mists of time, but was introduced to the States in the late 1800s by emigrants from Hamburg, who knew it as a dockers’ street-snack. Ironically another immigrant food, the doner kebab, is far more popular in the “home” town.

Labskaus A sailor’s hash that minces corned beef, potatoes and beetroot and is topped with a fried egg and rollmop herring. The result: a bright pink stodge that locals swear cures hangovers. One theory also attributes the dish as the linguistic derivation of the Liverpudlian nickname “Scouser”.

Rotes Grütze Rich dish made of red berries swimming in cream, popular in summer.

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