Berliner Kartoffelsalat (Creamy German Potato Salad)
The creamy German potato salad you didn't know you were missing.
- 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3-4 tablespoon dill relish or German-style sweet and sour pickles, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 sweet-tart apple, diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, boil the potatoes until fork-tender.
Meanwhile, stir together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved and the apple and onion are well coated. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes and allow to them cool slightly.
Add to the bowl and toss to evenly distribute all ingredients.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving but preferably 3-4 hours or overnight.
There are many types of German potato salad. In the US we mostly hear about the hot, vinegar-spiked kind that is made with bacon but there are so many other styles to explore.
Germany really likes potato salad. Some are made with beef broth and oil, some are hot, some are served cold, some have mayonnaise and others don’t. This style is Berlin style and it uses mayonnaise and is served cold, after a stint in the fridge to meld the flavors. It’s similar to American style potato salad–creamy, has pickles, served cold–but with a sweet-tart twist thanks to the addition of apples and a touch of sugar and vinegar. The trick is to add the potatoes to the bowl when they are still slightly warm so they really absorb the dressing.
I had some frankfurter würstel (smoked wieners in natural casings) from Aldi that I was eager to try so this seemed like a logical accompaniment. I was a little skeptical about the apple but all of the books I’ve read said it was essential and you know what? It was much better than I expected. It added the crunch that I’d normally get from celery and worked with the whole sweet-sour vibe so many German dishes seem to have. Who knew? I still draw the line at raisins but I’ll accept apple if done well.