Thursday, December 17, 2009

German Christmas Market

It's the Christmas season and in Germany that means there are lots of Christmas Markets. A week ago we visited the Christmas market in Heidelberg. German Christmas Markets are a pretty big deal here. It is basically a big festival with lots of booths of handmade gifts such as ornaments, soaps, hats, scarfs, foods, candles, etc. They also have a few rides for the kids such as merry-go-rounds, and a few other things. Sometimes there is even an ice skating rink. There are a lot of booths with food and drinks, including the famous Gluewein.

I was able to eat my favorite German festival food, a Kartoffelpuffer mit Knobisosse. It's basically a potato pancake with onion sauce and is so good! So far we have only seen them during this time of year at the Christmas markets.

I also tried Gluewein for the first time. Gluewein is a specialty wine only served this time of year.  I rarely drink alcohol and this was the second time I tried wine since having my baby, so it was something I was kind of looking forward to. I was not able to drink it last year because I was pregnant. It's a seasonal warm wine that is served during the Christmas season. When I ordered my mug of wine the lady told me it was happy hour (yes, the Germans stole this from the Americans) and that I got a free shot of liquor. I looked at her and asked, "Hat der Wein Alkohol nicht?" I was confirming that it already had alcohol in it. She told me in English, "yes, but Germans add shots of liquor. That's how Germans drink Gluewein." I was kind of shocked but kind of not having lived in Germany for almost 1.5 years. So I told her I'd try it with a shot of rum since that is the only liquor I recognized. When I tried it I was disappointed. I thought it was terrible, probably because it was hot wine with a shot of rum and tasted a lot like medicine. Either way, I only had two sips. I'm glad I didn't miss much last year. At least the Kartoffelpuffer was still good.

My husband ordered sausage and we shared some Heisse Maronen (roasted chestnuts). We love roasted chestnuts and had them the first time this year while we were in France.

Here are a few pictures of the Christmas Market.

Roasted chestnuts

Guy making Kartoffelpuffer
Kartoffelpufferand Gluewein
Candy booth
Retail booth

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