If you’re lucky, you might already be able to find some wild garlic (or bear’s garlic, ramps, or Bärlauch, pictured above) about at the markets (or on a woodland walk, if you’ve a woodland to walk through). Buy it. Buy it and make many gloriously garlic-scented things with it. Wild garlic has a much subtler flavour than cultivated garlic bulbs, and it tastes good in just about anything, from soup (with potatoes) to risotto (with sausage) to a simple pasta (as a pesto).
…in the Rhein-Main
On Sunday, 22 March, the wineries of Nierstein am Rhein (pictured above) will open their courtyards for wine tastings. It’s the first opportunity of the year to try the newest vintage of wines from the beautiful Roter Hang vineyards that overlook the town and the river Rhine, and there’ll be plenty of snacks served alongside. Nierstein is a lovely little town traditionally renowned for its wine, and this should make for a most enjoyable day out.
Details of the wineries taking part are on the Roter Hang website (in German: it’s the first item in the listings; the Frühlingserwachen, or “Spring awakening”).
…and on a weekend trip
Head down to Munich, where the Bavarians are in the middle of their annual celebration of Starkbier season. The (very) strong, malty beer was originally brewed in the 1700s to help fasting monks make it through the 40 long days and 40 presumably wild nights of Lent. This alcoholic run-up to Easter gradually evolved into a celebration of the brewing of Starkbier, and it’s now a 40 day long festival in which various breweries open their doors to show off their hoppy wares.
You can read more about Starkbier on Go Germany, where there are also tips on which beers to sample and where to celebrate, so why not don traditional Tracht (Bavarian dress: Lederhosen or a Dirndl) and head down to Munich for a weekend of sampling the strong stuff. Just don’t expect to try them all in one sitting: at a minimum of 7% alcohol, you might not be able to find your way home.
What are you up to this month? Any tips for food-related things to do in this fine country?