Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winterzauber Wonders!

With the crisp zing of winter come holiday traditions and flavors --and in Germany that means glühwein, poffertjes, and kartoffelpuffer. I was delighted to discover these treats for the first time at various Christkindmärkte (aka: Christmas Markets).

Glühwein and Feuerzangenbowle are both different kinds of spiced wine. The glühwein can be served with an extra shot of liquor --Amaretto, Calvados, or the like -- but it is lovely without it.

The Feuerzangenbowle, I’m told, has a stronger flavor since it’s made by pouring the heated wine through a funnel of crystallized sugar, infusing it with a slightly burnt sugar flavor.

Poffertjes are silver-dollar shaped potato pancakes topped with melted butter and copious amounts of powered sugar. Be careful though eating this dessert in the wind! If not you’ll look frosted yourself!

Kartoffelpuffer or what some call Reibekuchen, are deep-fried potato hash. Recipes differ somewhat. Some are made by mixing grated potatoes in batter and others are just potatoes hammered flat and cooked to a crisp. Either way, they are served with slightly sweetened apple sauce.

My favorite winterfest treat though had to be the cheese filled sausage, käsekrainer. It had to be folded in half to fit the bun! It’s sweet yet spicy flavor burst out in every bite! (I didn't get a picture of the sausage... I ate it too fast. Ha!)

Whether deep-fried, dusted in sugar, or oozing cheese, it’s delicious! Germans certainly know how to celebrate Christmas!