Bier-Braukessel im Westfalen Culinarium, © Stadt Nieheim

West­falen Culin­ari­um

Four mu­seums about culin­ary spe­ci­al­it­ies

The mu­seums of bread, cheese, ham and beer ex­plain the culin­ary cul­ture of West­phalia

Bread, cheese, ham, plus beer, and top it off with a cheeky schnapps – all that’s needed to make a West­phali­an happy. And be­cause these fla­vours and char­ac­ter­ist­ics can re­veal a lot about a people, its cul­ture and his­tory, four mu­seums loc­ated in the West­falen Culin­ari­um com­pris­ing some 3,000 square metres ad­dress pre­cisely these themes. The West­falen Culin­ari­um is based in Nieheim in the NRW re­gion of Teuto­burg Forest . Its unique mu­seum concept aims to high­light the culin­ary spe­ci­al­it­ies of West­phalia, share in­ter­est­ing facts and curi­os­it­ies with its vis­it­ors and ex­plain the re­gion’s culin­ary roots and where they can still be found today. Why was brew­ing con­sidered a fem­in­ine oc­cu­pa­tion un­til well in­to the Middle Ages? And what are ‘wo­men’s mines’ (‘Weiberzechen’)? The four mu­seums delve deep in­to the cul­ture and his­tory of the culin­ary spe­ci­al­it­ies of West­phalia.

The heart of the mu­seum, the Deutsches Käsemu­seum (Ger­man Cheese Mu­seum), opened in 2006. Mu­seum vis­it­ors can learn everything there is to know about mak­ing cheese. In the old cheese-mak­ing kit­chen, which has been re­built as a rep­lica of the ori­gin­al, vis­it­ors can learn first hand how cheese gets its holes. And the West­phali­an cheese spe­ci­al­ity, the pro­tein-rich, low-fat and aro­mat­ic Nieheimer, is of course offered up on its own spe­cial plat­form. Res­taur­ant Mei­len­stein is also at­tached to the Cheese Mu­seum, provid­ing con­nois­seurs the chance to en­counter oth­er culin­ary de­lights after vis­it­ing the mu­seum.

But vis­it­ors should first pro­ceed to the West­fäl­isches Brot­mu­seum (West­phali­an Mu­seum of Bread). Here, vis­it­ors are presen­ted with vari­ous grain types, can dis­cov­er the fla­vours of cumin, poppy seeds and ses­ame seeds, and can learn about the spe­cial tech­niques used to pre­pare West­phali­an pum­per­nick­el bread. On Wed­nes­days, Sat­urdays and Sundays, the Bread Mu­seum heats up the largest König­swinter oven in east­ern West­phalia and vis­it­ors are treated to freshly baked bread and cakes.

Of course the best thing to ac­com­pany good bread is West­phali­an Knochenschinken (ham on the bone) and vis­it­ors to the West­fäl­isches Schinken­mu­seum (West­phali­an Ham Mu­seum) can learn all about its pro­duc­tion. This sec­tion of the mu­seum also houses the West­falen Culin­ari­um’s shop, where vis­it­ors can buy West­phali­an treats for their own tables or as gifts for friends and fam­ily.

And fi­nally the West­fäl­isches Bier­mu­seum (West­phali­an Beer Mu­seum) ex­plains ex­actly how de­li­cious beer is made from the simple in­gredi­ents of wa­ter, malt­ing bar­ley, hops and yeast. A few loc­al res­id­ents of Nieheim reg­u­larly get to­geth­er to brew Nieheimer Bür­ger­bi­er in the small brew­ery at the West­phali­an Beer Mu­seum, pro­du­cing a beau­ti­fully am­ber-col­oured, bot­tom-fer­men­ted and un­filtered yet in­cred­ibly de­li­cious beer. Fi­nally, after a tipple, vis­it­ors can say they have truly ex­per­i­en­ced first-hand the re­gion’s most im­port­ant staple foods and learned about their im­port­ance.



April - Oc­to­ber: Wed­nes­day - Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00

Bak­ing times: Wed­nes­day, Sat­urday and Sunday: 11:00 - 15:00

“Show me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.” – The West­falen Culin­ari­um treats vis­it­ors to spe­ci­al­ity bread, cheese, ham and beer and thus the cul­ture of West­phalia.

Map of NRW

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Lauchknust, © Stadt Nieheim
Wintergarten erleuchtet, © Stadt Nieheim
Käse, © Stadt Nieheim
Käsemuseum, © Stadt Nieheim
Schinken, © Stadt Nieheim
Brautag, © Stadt Nieheim
Brot, © Stadt Nieheim
Bier-Braukessel im Westfalen Culinarium, © Stadt Nieheim

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