OKTOBERFEST is the biggest beer festival of them all…
Salivating a bit now eh
It begins on the first Saturday after the 15th of September and is held annually over as many as 18 days in the city of Munich. As part of the 200 year tradition, many choose to don the iconic Lederhosen and Dirndl, so unless you want to look stupid and be the odd one out you better go and get dressed up!
Beer today gone tomorrow
All the beer from the festival must be brewed within the city limits, so you’re sure to at the very least experience authentic Bavarian beer in those massive litre beer glasses as well as authentic Bavarian food and hangover the following day. So for those intending on paying Oktoberfest a visit, enjoy!
Gerhard taking a brief rest from eating Currywurst to run Germany
Liked by a lot, disliked by just as many, currywurst is the heart of the vibrant Berlin street food scene with an estimated 800 million servings sold in Germany each year.
The polarising pork in question.
For those that don’t know, Currywurst is the basic combination of wurst cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup. This brutal/flavoursome dish even has it’s own museum, located next to Checkpoint Charlie, providing the second greatest juxtaposition of city planning Berlin’s ever seen. Such museum treats include the imaginatively titled tribute ‘Currywurst’ by musician Herbert Grönemeyer that you can listen to below.
Weisswurst doesn’t look all that appetising – more like a gym sock filled with toothpaste than a tasty meal. Made from very finely minced veal and fresh pork bacon, this Bavarian sausage is usually flavoured with parsley, lemon, mace, onions, ginger and cardamom, although there can be some variation in the ingredients.
Traditional German fare
Explaining what’s in the ‘distinctive’ sausage is the easy part however. So, for those who fancy giving Weisswurst the benefit of the doubt, here’s a link (see what I did there) to a guide to cooking as well as eating the fiddly thing.
BREAD is more than just a food in Germany – it is a part of the German culture, producing over 300 varieties of dark and white breads and over 1,200 varieties of rolls and mini-breads (Brötchen & Kleingebäck) are produced in Germany.
Bread makes up a large part of the German cuisine as it is the basis of both the morning and evening meals, with its influence stretching into holiday celebrations and festivals.
The importance of bread in German cuisine is also illustrated by words such as Abendbrot (meaning supper, literally Evening Bread) and Brotzeit (snack, literally Bread Time).
Bready for consumption
For those looking to learn more about individual types of bread, head over to germanfoodguide.com for an in depth break down of some the speciality breads listed below.
Germany’s most popular breads include:
Toast bread (“Toastbrot”)
White bread (“Weißbrot”)
Multi-grain, usually wheat-rye-oats with sesame or linseed (“Mehrkornbrot”)
Sunflower seeds in dark rye bread (“Sonnenblumenkernbrot”)
Pumpkin seeds in dark rye bread (“Kürbiskernbrot”)
Roasted onions in light wheat-rye bread (“Zwiebelbrot”)
WHEN you think of mustard, Germany is never too far behind, which is why, when given the opportunity, you need to get your hands on that hot stuff. German mustard is considerably less acidic than its American counterpart, with the most common German mustard; “Mittelscharf”, literally meaning ‘medium hot’, being somewhere between traditional French and English mustard in strength. Dusseldorf and its surrounding areas is particularly known for its brand of spicy mustard which is used as both an ingredient for Senfrostbraten as well as a table condiment. In Bavaria, a sweet variety of mustard is made which is exclusively served with Weißwurst.
PRODUCING over 1.8million tons of 400 odd varieties of cheese annually certainly makes Germany a cheese powerhouse. Amongst all that dairy however, one particular cheese produced in Würchwitz happens to stand out from the rest due to it’s unusual production process that makes it a highly sought after delicacy. (Whereas when I accidentally do it, it’s considered slobbish.) Milbenkäse is a cheese made by allowing quark to sit amongst thousands of dust mites that transforms the cheese into a highly desired delicacy. The mites excrete an enzyme that ripens the cheese; after one month the cheese turns to a yellowish color, after three months it turns reddish brown, and after a year the cheese turns to a blackish lump, which is desirable to some aficionados. The flavor is characterized as being bitter; it is also suggested that the cheese may have curative effects that keep the people who consume it non-allergic to house dust. The mites are consumed along with the cheese.
This dust mite work...
Milbenkäse is said to taste similar to Harzer cheese, but with a bitter note and a distinctive zesty aftertaste. Mites clinging to the cheese rind are consumed along with the cheese.
Just like Momma used to make
THE perception of Dutch cuisine for the majority is shaped by Van Gogh’s ‘Aardappeleters’ (The Potato Eaters), a masterful depiction of homeland peasants sat around the dinner table. Times have of course progressed, but one will find the humble potato is still a national kitchen staple today.
Cheese is another well known Dutch speciality, in fact it’s argued by some scientists that the reason the Dutch are so notoriously tall is because of their love of cheese. Whether you buy the explanation or not, in Edam and Gouda you have two wonderful Dutch exports that bring immeasurable pleasure to millions of small and tall people across the world.
Not a short person in sight
But there’s plenty more gastronomic pleasures to enjoy beyond cheese and potatoes, whether you like a good beer or a pea themed cruise on the Amsterdam canals. So enjoy!