A population-based case-control study was performed in South-West Germany in 1987/88 with 115 histological confirmed glioma and 81 meningioma cases and 418 randomly selected controls. On the basis of information from a foodfrequency questionnaire and questions on food preparation and food supply, the role of dietary carcinogens, in particular N-nitroso compounds or their precursors, on risk for glioma and meningioma were analyzed by multiple logistic regression. Eleven food groups were investigated. The intake of processed meat was significantly associated with an increased risk of glioma. The intake of any food group was not significantly related to meningioma risk. Among single meat products, a significantly higher risk of glioma was found for cooked ham, processed pork meat and fried bacon. For the consumption of 3 N-nitrosamines, assessed from the intake of processed meat and cheese, significant positive relations to glioma risk were found. These N-nitrosamines were also related to meningioma risk, although to a less pronounced extent. The risk for occurrence of glioma was significantly increased for those using vegetable fat frequently for deep frying, as compared with non-users. For the dietary intake of nitrate, nitrite, vitamin C, specific alcoholic beverages, total alcohol, and water from a non-central supply, no elevated risk was found in this study.