I promise, this is the last Christmas market post for a while, but I just couldn’t resist sharing some of my favorite Christmas market foods and drinks. People, I pigged out while I was on the road. We only stayed about 10 days in each place on our recent tour from Germany to China to France; just enough time to eat everything, but not enough to start watching portions :) In Germany, we ate at a lot of different places, but most often at the Cologne Christmas markets we visited.

German Christmas Market Drinks

I would say the most common drink at German Christmas markets is the Glühwein aka mulled wine. As you already know, I try to recreate some German Christmas traditions with our friends in Texas every year and have served homemade Glühwein so often now that by the time November comes around, everybody is asking when the first Glühwein will be served. As opposed to at my place, the Christmas market stands also serve the non-alcoholic version of Glühwein which is Kinderpunsch. And this year, I tried white Glühwein for the first time. It was a little too sweet for my taste, but a nice change of pace. Another non-alcoholic hot drink served at Christmas markets is hot chocolate. If you ask for a Lumumba, you get a hot chocolate with a shot of rum. Even better ;)

My favorite part about going for drinks at the Christmas market? Well, it’s fun to be outside in the cold and drink a hot beverage with your friends! And I love that the drinks are usually served in cups that are not only specific to the Christmas market you go to, but also change from year to year. After our trip to five of the seven Cologne Christmas markets, I have a whole collection at home now from 2011.

German Christmas Market Drinks: Gluehwein

Savory German Christmas Market Foods

Growing up, I hated eating fish. The only fish I would eat was Fischstäbchen (fish sticks) and Backfisch (beer batter fried fish). You can get the best Backfisch at fairs and Christmas markets! It’s served in a Brötchen and remoulade sauce. And let me tell you, the British guy in our group admitted that it rivals English fish and chips…. I think he even said it was better!

Yes, I know that worldwide people think Germans eat sausage for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s not quite that bad, but we do like our sausages and grilled meats and you will get to take your pic of different kinds of sausages and meat skewers at Christmas markets. Marco usually makes fun of the huge sausages and the little Brötchen they are served in :) I think it’s perfect – but I admit, I am biased…

Talking about Marco, one of his favorite savory snacks at German Christmas markets are roasted chestnuts (Kastanien or Maronen). I think they’re a little messy to eat, but taste quite good. And it’s nice to have something warm to hold when it’s so cold outside.

Another one of my favorites? Reibekuchen. My mom used to make the best Reibekuchen ever. I’ve only tried to replicate them once and they were pretty good, but it was also kind of messy… so I prefer to eat them at the Christmas markets. Reibekuchen are made of grated potatoes and onions, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. The resulting dough is then fried in oil. When you order Reibekuchen, you usually get three of them with a heaping helping of applesauce on the side. So good!

This is just a small selection of all the foods available at German Christmas markets. Other common ones include fried mushrooms, Sauerkraut, and German pasta (Schupfnudeln). There are also a lot of foreign foods like crepes and even churros. Thought of you, Erin :) See the picture below? Didn’t get to try them though. Too much German food that I had been looking forward to. :)

German Christmas Market Foods: Backfisch

German Christmas Market Foods: Backfisch

German Christmas Market Foods: Backfisch

German Christmas market food: Bratwurst

German Christmas Market Food: grilled meat

German Christmas Market Food: Kastanien = roasted chestnuts German Christmas Market Food: Reibekuchen

German Christmas Market Food: Everything Else... Like Churros

Sweet Christmas Market Foods

 As you know, I started baking German Christmas cookies at home ever since I moved to Texas. I’ve gotten pretty decent, so I am not really tempted to fill up on them so much when I am actually in Germany. But there are still a number of sweet things I like to splurge on when visiting German Christmas markets. Number one? Gebrannte Mandeln (candied almonds). I just can’t resist them. Something else I really like? Schokofrüchte (fruit pieces dipped in chocolate). The reason that there are no pics of either? I ate them so quickly :)

Christmas Market Foods To Take Home

Besides all the food and drinks to be consumed right then and there, German Christmas market stands also sell foods to take home. Common ones include salami, cheese, oil, vinegar, and spices. This year we also saw a stand that was selling chocolate in all sorts of different forms, like the ones pictures below. They looked so real! At Christmas markets you can usually get the local specialties to take home as well. In Cologne for example they sell a lot of Spekulatius that look like the Cologne cathedral. In Nuremberg, they sell a lot of Nuernberger Lebkuchen.

German Christmas Market Foods: Salami

German Christmas Market Foods: Salami

German Christmas Market Foods: Chocolate

 

What about you? Any favorite German Christmas market foods and drinks?

What are your favorite treats when you go to the Christmas market? Any local specialties that I don’t know about?

23 Comments

  • Oh my word! All that food looks delicious! When’s the next flight to Germany? :)

    • Sabrina says:

      You know… for the first time in forever I flew back here not knowing when the next trip would be. Probably this summer, but we’re not sure.

  • As far as I’m concerned, you can write about Christmas Markets as often as you like, Sabrina. I couldn’t get enough of them in Germany either. Gluwhein, bratwurst sandwiches & pastries — yes! Love the pics.

    • Sabrina says:

      Thanks :) Glad you enjoyed them! Too bad we were on different Christmas markets/ in different cities when we were in Germany…

  • That gigantic sausage is AWESOME! Love it!

    • Sabrina says:

      Isn’t it?! I still wonder about those churros… I’m sure they wouldn’t have been as good as the ones you blogged about a while back :) Would have loved to try them anyways, but I saw that stand AFTER eating that huge Backfisch in Broetchen and sauce, drinking a Gluehwein and a Lumumba, AND eating a Belgian waffle with fruit and whipped cream. There was no way – even for me!

  • Andrea says:

    This is a nice post! I loved the Christmas markets in Vienna but haven’t had the opportunity to go to the German ones yet – I’m sure I’ll love them – Germany is one of my favourite countries.

    • Sabrina says:

      Thanks! Glad to hear you like Germany :) I’m sure you’d love the Christmas markets. They’re one of my favorite German traditions.

  • Tonya says:

    Soooo good! I live in Munich and absolutely love Christmas time here (and definitely Gluehwein!) Also this year I tried my first Feuerzangenbowle and it was pretty delicious :) I actually did a post on all the different Christmas markets in town (there are so many!) If you are ever here for the holidays :)

    http://tinyurl.com/d2vesdb

    • Sabrina says:

      Yes, I forgot about the Feuerzangenbowle! Dangerous drink, right? :) Headed over to check out your post now. Never been to Munich during Christmas time.

  • The only time I ever get homesick is at the end of November, when I know the Christmas Markets are setting up in Germany. It’s been years that I went home to Germany for Christmas, but I think it’s time for a Christmas Market… maybe this year? :)

    • Sabrina says:

      I hear you. I rarely get homesick after such a long time of expat-life. The two exceptions are: Karneval & Weihnachtsmaerkte. I’m hoping I can make it again this year as well :) Sadly, no chance to make it for Karneval :(

  • R. Sherman says:

    Bratwurstsemmeln in Regensburg with the local sweet, stone ground mustard are the best — with beer, of course, preferably a Weizen.

    Cheers.

  • Pit says:

    Hallo Sabrina,
    Riefkooche!!! Die fehlen mir hier auch. Aber manchmal mache ich mir sie auch selber. Ist ja so schwer auch nicht. Und statt Apfelmus gebe ich Rübenkraut drauf. “Grafschafter” habe ich mir im Herbst mitgebracht [ebenso wie Apfelkraut]; und ich habe immer noch etwas hier. Mal sehen, wann es wieder Reibekuchen gibt.
    Liebe Grüße aus dem südlichen Texas,
    Pit

    • Sabrina says:

      Nee, nicht wirklich schwierig, aber bei mir leicht chaotisch. Danach sieht die Kueche aus!! Aber vielleicht sollte ich sie trotzdem mal wieder machen. Ruebenkraut habe ich noch nie probiert. Am liebsten mag ich selbstgemachtes Apfelmuss mit meinen Riefkooche :)

      • Pit says:

        Ich weiß, Apfelmus ist eigentlich das Normale zu Reibekuchen, aber bei uns zuhause gab’s immer nur Rübenkraut dazu. Deshalb bin ich eben daran gewöhnt. Nach Reibekuchen ist unsere Küche normalerweise nicht so sehr in Unordnung – nach anderen Gerichte schon eher. Apropos “andere Gerichte”: letzte Woche habe ich mal wieder “Äätzezupp” gekocht, mit Erbsen aus Deutschland übrigens. War echt lecker! Und bald wäre auch mal wieder Sauerbraten dran.

        • Sabrina says:

          Von Sauerbraten bin ich nicht der groesste Fan, aber Deine Erbsensupper hoert sich gut an! Und Du hast dazu echt frische Erbsen aus Deutschland verwendet? Bin beeindruckt! Habe bisher noch nie zu Hause Erbsensuppe gekocht. Ginge es auch mit Tiefkuehlerbsen?

          • Pit says:

            Hallo Sabrina,
            es waren trockene Erbsen aus der Tüte, die ich mir aus Deutschland selber per Packet geschickt hatte. Ich bevorzuge die aus Deutschland, weil ich hier nur “split peas” bekomme, in Deutschland es aber ganze Erbsen sind. Ich hatte allerdings nicht aufgepasst und geschälte Erbsen gekauft. Normalerweise nehme ich ungeschälte, weil die einen höheren Ballaststoffanteil haben. Ich nehme weder Dosenerbsen noch tiefgekühlte, weil ich gerne die Kontrolle behalten möchte, wie “al dente” die Erbsen ausfallen. Ich habe gerne noch einen guten “Biss” dran. Aber es geht natürlich auch mit Dosen- oder Tiefkühlerbsen. Ist natürlich auch viel schneller, weil die nicht mehr garen müssen. Aber das geht irgendwie gegen meine Ehre als Koch. Obwohl, Koch möchte ich mich gar nicht nennen.
            Liebe Grüße aus dem südlichen Texas,
            Pit

          • Sabrina says:

            Ich kann Dich verstehen mit den frischen Erbsen. Ich versuche auch frisches Gemuese und Obst zu benutzen wenn es moeglich ist. Schmeckt einfach besser! Ich glaube Du kannst Dich schon Koch nennen wie ich das hier mitbekomme :)

  • phoebe baker says:

    This padt December I was at several german, swiss and French christmas marts. At one mart in eother strasboug or Clogne ir Heidelberg i had the most marvelous savory hot dish made of at least potatoes and sauerkraut and cheese with a sour cream typ topping. The potatoes were rolled to look like noodles. I took a photo but lost the photos on camera:(. I would love to know the name and anything else about it. Thanks. And I have not done my last Christmas market trip. So much fun.

    • Sabrina says:

      Sounds like a Southern Germany thing. Was it maybe Schupfnudeln? They are very similar to the Italian Gnocci…

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