Frankfurt, Germany's Unique Green Sauce Is Packed With Herbs

It's true: Everybody loves a green sauce. There are variations around the globe — Argentina's tangy chimichurri, Italy's zesty salsa verde, India's minty green chutney, and Yemen's heat-packed zhoug, just to name a few. California's even got some skin in the game with its internet-phenom green goddess dressing. Yet, for a flavorful culinary adventure, experience the unforgettable taste of Frankfurt, Germany's famous green sauce. It's the perfect way to add some zing to your plate.

Frankfurt's Grüne Soße, which translates to "green sauce," may be the lesser-known cousin of these go-to green sauces, but don't let that fool you. It packs a fresh, herby punch that is perfect for springtime and beyond. Essentially made using an array of fresh ingredients, the sauce will transform your dish into a gourmet experience. However, you might not get to truly experience the real thing without actually traveling to Frankfurt itself because it holds a very unique status.

A geographically protected delight

The exact origins of Frankfurt's famous cold green sauce are not entirely clear, but it likely began as a variety of a French or Italian green sauce. The French green sauce variation is salsa verte and the Italian salsa verde. Nonetheless, in Frankfurt, it is Grüne Soße, and this rustic green sauce variety is so localized that it has earned protected geographical indication status in Germany, according to Germany Insider Facts.

What does this really mean, exactly? Protected geographical indication (PGI) is a certification that relates a particular product with a geographical location because the qualities of that product are conclusively intertwined with the location from whence it came. Basically, for a product to be labeled as genuine Frankfurter Grüne Soße, it must be made with seven specific herbs grown in a specific region of the city, per A Sausage Has Two.

Seven traditional herbs

You won't get to experience an authentic Grüne Soße without visiting Frankfurt, where you can find the necessary herbs in freshly grown and packaged bundles at the farmers market. But, if we didn't encourage you to try making it yourself, we wouldn't be us!

You'll need these exact herbs in equal parts: parsley, cress, chives, borage, salad burnet, sorrel, and chervil. What differentiates this green sauce from its southern European cousins is the cream — blend up your herbs in yogurt, sour cream, or even mayonnaise for that creamy texture that makes this sauce so unique.

In the Frankfurter region, you'd likely find this sauce served up with potatoes and boiled eggs, beef, or even fish, but food is meant to be made yours. Whether you keep it classic or serve your Frankfurt Grüne Soße with salad, pasta, or potato chips, enjoy it — guten appetit!