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.
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. 🙂
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.
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?
Oh, and if you’re heading to Italy soon, check out this list of Italian Christmas markets 2017.
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