I’d be lying if I said that recently, it’s been lovely weather for wandering around the farmers’ market. It’s hasn’t. It’s been the opposite of lovely weather: grey and wet and miserable for days and days on end, yet it somehow fits with the produce on offer: the potatoes and carrots and pumpkins, countless sorts of cabbage and all manner of knobbly rooty things covered in earth. They’d look all wrong in the sunshine, I think. Plus they taste all the better when it’s cold and damp outside. So, in my penultimate seasonal eating guide for 2014, here’s what to eat in November…
Zöpfe (as baked by my brother-in-law): salty, buttery white bread, usually glazed with egg
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?
Diana Henry’s fennel and gruyère gratin
The sun has finally deserted us here in Wiesbaden, and we’re left with cool air, grey skies and some very wet pavements. It’s perfect weather for curling up on the sofa with a large mug of hot chocolate and a good (cook)book, or for holing up with friends in a cosy café or Weinstube (wine tavern). I’ve been picking up earthy roots and tubers from the market to make soups and stews, and I love peeling and chopping them in the kitchen while it grows dark outside. I like making all manner of things with the rather ugly, knobbly produce on offer in the Autumn, both savoury and sweet, so here are a few suggestions for some truly delectable treats to eat in October.
Apfelkuchen (apple cake)
Well, not all of it… but you can now read a series of some of my favourite posts, translated into French, in the online newsletter of the German Embassy in Paris, starting with my guide to some of Germany’s favourite cakes.
So, whether you fancy reading about German food in French yourself or you have French-speaking friends who you think might be interested in learning more about Germany’s best-loved afternoon treats, it’d be wonderful if you shared the Eating Wiesbaden amour by passing on the news. Merci beaucoup!
p.s. In case you missed it, here’s the original English guide to Germany’s greatest cakes.
On each of my most recent visits to the farmers’ market I’ve come home with a brown paper bag filled with fresh and gritty wild mushrooms. My husband and I have enjoyed them quite simply, with butter and garlic on toast, and added them to risottos and stews. However, as the evenings grow darker and chillier, I also like to roll out one of my very favourite German recipes for a plate of food that has a perfectly autumnal and somewhat celebratory feel to it: wild mushrooms with pork fillet and onions in a luxurious cream sauce.
In the four and a half years I’ve lived in Wiesbaden, I’ve rarely visited the nearby city of Frankfurt. Somewhat put off by its reputation as a dull finance and transport hub whose workforce flee from it at weekends, I’ve always travelled there for specific purposes – gigs, markets, visiting friends – rather than simply to explore. I do realise there’s much more to Frankfurt than skyscrapers and shopping, I just never knew where to start with finding out what exactly that is. So, when Eat The World invited me to join their walking tour of Frankfurt’s Nordend district, I grabbed the opportunity with glee: what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than exploring somewhere new and sampling lots of food along the way?
Gluten-free apricot and almond tart
Oktoberfest chocolate from Michi’s Chocolatier, Frankfurt
Grilled lamb chops at Harput
Empanadas by Marc and Magdeline
Wiesbaden Schlossplatz on Hessen Sustainability Day
Mixed fries from Wiesenlust, Frankfurt
Welcome to my first ever monthly round-up, a mix of food news from around Germany, brief restaurant reviews and previews for Wiesbaden and Mainz plus a selection of the very best of the month’s German food-related reading and recipes. I’ve no idea what to call this feature, so all suggestions are welcome – if I end up using yours, I might even be able to come up with a prize! Since September was pretty packed, I’m going to forgo the “Autumn! Pumpkins!” preamble and just get down to business. But please be sure to let me know what you think in the comments…
Autumn has arrived, but here in Wiesbaden we are enjoying the most beautiful of Indian summers. The sun shines brightly, yet low enough in the sky that one can bask in its rays without breaking into a sweat; the evenings are growing darker, but are not yet too cold; and best of all, some of my very favourite cooking ingredients are slowly coming into season. From the farmers’ market I bring home the sorts of fruit and vegetables that have earthy, comforting flavours perfect for stews and gratins, crumbles and autumnal cakes. Here are five of my September favourites, plus recommendations for what to do with them.
Curry Manafaktur has long been the leading Currywurst outlet in Wiesbaden. Located on Römertor and also appearing twice a week at the farmers’ market at the Marktplatz, they do a consistently roaring trade of excellent, regionally-produced sausages, Belgian-made sauces and freshly-packaged (as opposed to frozen) chips to a loyal brigade of happy customers.
Various other Currywurst joints have come and gone in the time I’ve been here, from Curry Papst on Goldgasse, whose late night DJs and wildly flashing lights couldn’t do enough to keep the customers coming, to The Best Worscht* in Town, who positioned itself laughably close to Curry Manufaktur, covered its sausages in curry powder rated on a scale of zero (“because you find yourself too hot already”) to “Fucking Burning Injection”, and promptly closed back down. It seems that Wiesbaden likes its Currywurst done in style.
Taking all this into account, you’d think that anyone opening a new fast food restaurant in town might think twice about making it a Currywurst joint. Unless of course, they think they’re really in with a chance of stealing Curry Manufaktur‘s crown.
German plum crumble cake
Turkish flatbread from Günay’s, Schwalbacherstrasse
Ah, Autumn. Paler skies, cooler air, darker evenings and one or two falling leaves; I probably say this at the beginning of every change in season – and I’ll admit it’s largely to do with the excitement of all the new food ahead – but Autumn really is my favourite season of all. Bright orange pumpkins are already popping up all over town, and there are figs and cabbages and heaps of ripe plums at the market; soon it will be time for wild boar and venison, and then mulled wine and Christmas biscuits. But I’m getting a ahead of myself…