It’s that time again- gather with loved ones, reflect on joys and sorrows of the year, and partake in traditional foods passed down from generation to generation. Or maybe you’re a million miles from home like me and eating canned food by single candle flame as the German winter chips away at your holiday spirit. Either way, food is involved! And since the last article was so popular (the videos not so much), here’s the long awaited follow up with a seasonal twist. So kick back, turn on “Dinner for One”, and enjoy yet another take on German cuisine!
Ever get like a really bad cold or allergies, and have massive congestion? Then one day, you’re taking a shower and/or someplace steamy and it just knocks loose this hunk of snot, which you now either have to hawk up or swallow. And as it comes loose and you start to gag, have you ever wondered, “Golly I wish I could make this alcoholic and drink it warm”? If yes, then Eierlikör is for you! I barely made it halfway through my glass, and that was mostly whipped cream to begin with. Despite all this, it is apparently extremely popular in the German Christmas Markets.
Try it? No. You might think this is a replacement for Eggnog, but I assure you it is not.
Wine on its own is fantastic, but Glühwein on a cold German night is something special. Another popular drink at the Weihnachtsmarkt, this mulled wine is served in special glasses unique to each city; so not only do you get a little pick me up but also a souvenir! You might be surprised how strong it is, though- I downed about 3 before I realized I was starting to slur my speech and tried to steal the sheep from the nativity scene.
Try it? Absolutely! Germans know their alcohol, so long as eggs aren’t involved.
My new favorite type of holiday cookie, easily replacing gingerbread. Spekulatius are spiced cookies (but like everything “spicy” in Germany, that’s a relative term). Nevertheless, these cookies go with everything- coffee, cake, etc. They even make Spekulatius ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s! You can find them year round in Lidl, but I’d recommend eating in moderation. You’d be surprised how fast a bag can disappear. Now if only they’d make an Oreo out of them…
Try it? Did I stutter?
Hey kids! Ready for your Christmas dessert? Well sadly you can’t have any until you finish your kale! That’s right- Germany was eating kale before it was cool. The German version of green bean casserole, Grünkohl is served in a variety of ways from steamed to stew to even schnapps. That’s the weird part- there’s nothing particularly gross about this vegetable dish, but Northern Germany’s fascination with Grünkohl has manifested in many bizarre ways. You can even go on a Kohlfahrt in some regions or, if you’re lucky enough to live in a city like Osnabrück, be named Grünkohlkönig. Just be careful you don’t get sucked in too deep and let the power go to your head.
Try it? Eh, if you want to devote yourself to a vegetable in Germany, you have other options.
Maybe I was spoiled, growing up with pumpkin pie and chocolate fudge. But honestly I expected more from this “dessert”. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s that it’s… meh. Basically think of it like bread with fruit and other things stuck in it- so essentially a fruitcake. But while fruitcakes have a terrible reputation in general, this is more towards the bread side of the spectrum. It’s extremely popular in Dresden because I guess they don’t have a lot to get excited about besides fruit bread and porcelain tiles (and comedy shows…?).
Try it? Sure, just spread some butter on for an extra kick (yes, I realize how lame that sounds).
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