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26 December 2011

Weihnachtsmarkt Foods

I'm in Germany for a couple of weeks for Christmas and New Years with Lovemuffin's family. Last week we enjoyed the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market). We visited 3 markets, Wiesbaden (where we are staying), Mainze (where I got most of my pictures) and Rudesheim (which is supposed to be great, but it was a little disappointing for us). We tried to go to the Frankfurt one, too, because we heard it was big and awesome, but we got there a day late and they were just finishing taking down all the stands. That was too bad.

My favorite market was the one in Mainze, because that is where we found these amazing mushrooms. The mushrooms were simmered in this creamy sauce that is a little bit spicy, like it maybe has spicy paprika in it or something, not strong chili powder. Then they top it with a big spoonful or two of sour cream plus cucumber/herbs (I think it's cucumber in there, something crunchy and refreshing). It is so good, I'm very impressed. I'm sure other Christmas markets have these mushrooms too, but Mainze is close and cheap to get to and I went back a second time for more.

mushrooms cooking in cream sauce, one side is done, the other just started

Mushrooms in cream sauce with sour cream topping

Another food that is nice at the markets is curry wurst. It is a sausage with a ketchup-y sauce on top with a sprinkle of curry powder spice. You can also get fries on the side topped with mayonnaise and ketchup. This delightful meaty treat is not restricted to Weihnachtsmarkt, I've had it in the summer at bratwurst places, and I would definitely recommend it. We think that they ketchup sauce is a little different that regular ketchup, but still made by Heinz. We saw a bottle in a store and I think I'll try to bring some home. It's pretty good stuff and I might try it on a veggie sausage.

almost close-up shot of curry wurst

enjoying curry wurst
Here's another bit of delectableness. I think these are called schoko-kuss, but I could be wrong. These come in lots of different flavors, and are filled with marshmallow goodness. Surprise, marshmallows are much better when fresh. The first time we got them, we shared a box of 12, and we were so surprised and pleased with their deliciousness, we decided to go back for a box of 25. But you can get very sugar-high very fast when eating these.

variety of shoko-kuss

"After Eight" minty marshmallow treat

"After Eight" and liebkuchen flavored schoko-kuss

Before coming this year, I had heard that the Weihnachtsmarkt smells great, and one of the things you smell when you walk around them are these candied nuts. They are mostly almonds (mandeln), but you see some pecans, pistacchios, etc. There are usually different flavors of mandeln made with different spices or flavorings like amaretto. They are kind of expensive, these little (100 gram) packets costed 3 euro each, but they smell and taste so good.

packets of spiced mandeln

The other thing that you see at every Weihnachtsmarkt is Gl├╝hwein, which is a mulled wine. I haven't partaken (so, no pictures), but it comes in these cute commemorative mugs that say which city you drank it in. If you return the mug, you get part of the money back, so say you pay 2 euros for a drink, you bring the mug back and get 1 euro back. Or you can keep the mug as a souvenir. We made our own spiced fruit juice drinks for our celebrations at home. More on that later.

Oh, and to celebrate my 100th post, here are some extra pictures.

Mainze Weihnachtsmarkt

I don't know what these are called, but I like them

me and brothers-in-law at markt
sausage/salami stand at market with blutwurst/blood sausage (at just left of center)
Mainze Weihnachtmarkt surrounding the Romanesque Cathedral

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