The month in food: gin and dog biscuits – plus, the Christmas markets are coming!

Two loaves of home-baked plaited German bread
A pair of home-baked Zöpfle

Happy Halloween, folks!  No photos of spooky cupcakes here, I’m afraid – I never celebrated this particular holiday growing up in England, and I’ve never been caught by the Halloween bug since.  So, there’ll be no pumpkins chez Dietz tonight: instead, I shall be celebrating the pig, with friends coming round to sample an enormous selection of artisan British sausages sent over for tasting by Britwurst Vienna (thank you!!).  I’d love to know what your plans are for tonight though – anyone off out trick or treating?

Oktoberfest’s done and dusted but there’s no need to feel down: there are plenty of food and drink-based activities to look forward to in November – not least the Christmas markets!  Germany does them best, as we all know, and it’s not long now till they open their gates for a spot of early Christmas shopping and some festive edible treats.  Details of our biggest local Christmas markets are below, but first, a culinary review of the last four weeks:

October was the month I…

✭ …travelled to Lake Como, Italy, for a double family celebration, though it rained so hard we could barely see the lake so I spent five days in the kitchen playing with some very beautiful Italian ingredients instead
✭ …finally ate at the Japanese restaurant Niko Niko Tei in Mainz.  It was inexpensive and tasty enough – points earned for the generous sprinkling of furikake on my rice – but I can’t say I was wildly impressed
✭ …wished I’d gone to the Frankfurt Book Fair – who knew they had so many cookbooks on display, plus a show kitchen to boot!  Next year’s fair has my name written all over it
✭ …sampled some excellent German wines, including a very good Chardonnay (pictured above) and a fantastic Gerwürztraminer/Riesling cuvée, both of which stamp all over the notion that German white wine isn’t varied, interesting and very, very good!
✭ …made the most of the wild mushroom season, shovelling them into risottos and pasta dishes galore, but enjoying them most of all with pork medallions and a cream sauce
✭ …spent an awful lot of time preparing to relaunch this site.  It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s coming soon, I promise!

Crêpes, Glühwein and… dog biscuits?

As of tomorrow (Saturday 1 November), delicious vegetarian sweet crêpes and savoury buckwheat galettes will be available at the Wiesbaden Farmers’ Market, thanks to the child-friendly café Lalaland.  Hurrah for no longer needing a baby in tow to sample their excellent offerings.  I recommend the “Kingini’s Garten“, a wheat-free galette filled with spinach and sheep’s cheese.

After you’ve warmed your belly with one of those, how about following your nose down into the Marktgewölbe at the Marktplatz, where you can can spend Saturday and Sunday sampling all sorts of regionally produced culinary delights, from gin and vodka to whole food treats for your dog (really).  The Gaumentestspiele runs from tomorrow morning through till Sunday evening; you can buy tickets online – 5€ for adults, concessions 2,50€ (both links in German).

And it’s almost that time of year again: the Wiesbaden Christmas market starts on 25 November; in Frankfurt, festivities begin on 26 November; and in Mainz, the market opens on 28 November.  There are plenty more festive markets in towns and villages all over the Rhein-Main, so get your google on and have your mittens at the ready for getting out into the crisp evening air and clutching a mug of Glühwein with friends!

There’s been an awful lot of eating out in Frankfurt this last month

An “exceptionally tasty” Thai food at Phuket Thai Imbiss, Konstablerwache ✭ a stylish dinner (plus champagne!) at the quirky Margarete ✭ a very traditional German plate of food at Adolf Wagner in Sachsenhausen ✭ coffee and carrot cake at the riverside Main Café

And a plethora of fabulous-looking German recipes online, both savoury…

Bäckstoffe, a very hearty, meat stew ✭ German country bread (Schwarzbrot) ✭ Spätzle with peas and cheese

…and sweet

Marmorkuchen: classic German marble cake ✭ Bratapfel (stuffed, baked apples) ✭ mini Baumkuchen squares (layers of pancake with chocolate, rum and apricot jam)

That’s all for October.  What have you been cooking up this month?  Any tips for foodie fun for November?  And will you be celebrating Halloween tonight?

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  1. says: Mike

    The first time I got drunk was on a Wiesbaden American Middle School field trip to the Mainz Christmas Market when I was in eighth grade (I was only 13)!!! Ate far too many Mon Cheri liquor filled candy, think I had between 25 and 30!!!

  2. says: bavariansojourn

    Yep, Christmas markets are setting up down this way already, where has this year gone?? Did you have swedes to carve instead of pumpkins when you were little? It took us hours, I reckon that was my Mum’s plan all along though! 😀

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