German Language Blog

German Herbs & Spices Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

Guten Tag 🙂 We’ve had a great selection of food-related posts on the blog already, which make great resources for all of you German learners who are also foodies! What we’re honing in on today are the small (but important!) foods – the herbs, spices, and specific ingredients used in baking. I hope you’ll find this useful the next time you’re in a German supermarket, reading a German recipe, or if you want to learn some more food-related vocabulary!


Herbs & Spices in German. Photo by enigmachck on under a CC license (CC BY 2.0)

The basics

Herb – das Kraut (plural: die Kräuter)
Spice – das Gewürz (plural: die Gewürze)
Ingredient – die Zutat (plural: die Zutaten)
To season – würzen
To bake – backen
To cook – kochen (Also means ‘to boil’. Although this is fine to use, if you want a more general way of saying you’re making food, you can use the verb zubereiten – to prepare).


Herbs in German (die Kräuter)


die Kräuter – herbs – in German. Photo by vincent0307 on under a CC license (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Parsley – die Petersilie

Dill – der Dill

Thyme – der Thymian

Rosemary – der Rosmarin

Cress – die Kresse

Mint – die Minze

Peppermint – das Pfefferminz

Coriander – der Koriander

Bay leaf – der Lorbeer/das Lorbeerblatt

Basil – das Basilikum

Sage – der Salbei

Nettle – die Nessel

Oregano – der Oregano



Spices in German (die Gewürze)


die Gewürze – spices – in German. Photo by colhou on under a CC license (CC BY 2.0)

Pepper – der Pfeffer (Salt is das Salz in German)

Cinnamon – das Zimt

Nutmeg – die Muskatnuss

Cardamom – das Kardamom

Clove – die Nelke

Saffron – der Safran

Star anise – der Sternanis

Cumin – der Kreuzkümmel

Turmeric – das Kurkuma

Chilli powder – das Chilipulver

Curry powder – das Currypulver

Paprika – der Paprika (Be aware: In German ‘Paprika’ is also the name for the red/green /yellow pepper. You may also see it as die Paprikaschote. Many languages use the same word for the pepper and the paprika spice, although English is not one of them. So if your German pal writes ‘Paprika’ on their shopping list, make sure you clarify if you’re buying the spice or the fruit!).



Baking ingredients in German (die Backzutaten)

Baking powder

die Backzutaten – baking ingredients. Photo by 42dreams on under a CC license (CC BY 2.0)

Baking powder – das Backpulver

Flour – das Mehl

Sugar – der Zucker

Icing sugar – der Puderzucker

Yeast – die Hefe

Cocoa powder – das Kakaopulver

Vanilla pod – die Vanillestange

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Have a look at this extract from a recipe. How many herbs and/or spices are mentioned? And do you recognise any other foods?

“Zuerst den Apfel schälen und in kleine Würfel schneiden, dann die Orange filetieren und ebenfalls würfeln. Die Milch erhitzen, einen TL Honig, ordentlich Zimt, etwas Kardamom und nur eine kleine Prise Muskat dazugeben.”

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What are your favourite Kräuter (herbs) and Gewürze (spices)? Let me know – in German! – in the comments below.

Bis bald!


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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.


  1. Jon Risdon:

    With the greatest of respect, ‘honing in’ might be correct in American English, but in British English it should be ‘homing in’: one hones the edge of a blade to sharpness, but you home in on a target. Vielen dank!