Top 5 Tasty Treats at the German Christmas Markets

No matter how many cuisines I taste, each one surprises me in its own way. Germany showed me the real essence of Christmas spirit while exploring the many Christmas markets. Walk into any of these markets is like stepping back in time. Every detail of your imagination with Christmas spirit is overflowing everywhere you look. Take your time and see the many vendors in their small wooden booths selling handicrafts. The old cobblestone walkways make each step slightly different from the last, symbolic of any memorable experience. The trees you pass are splashed with decorations, the locals are enjoying the company of friends as they sip their mulled wine, known as Glühwein. The aromas of fresh bread and meat cooking over embers fills the cool air. You can’t help but feel the nostalgia of Christmas. You can see it, hear it, and definitely taste it!

We ate a lot of food while visiting several Christmas markets, and I mean a lot! Gaining weight is part of the experience during the holiday season. We spent a week exploring the markets in Frankfurt, Cologne, Lubeck and Hamburg. Its easy to find similar food at every market, however we also found unique items at each. This is the top 5 tasty treats to eat or drink while visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany.

In no particular order:

Glühwein

Gluhwein in Germany Christmas Market

Gluhwein German Christmas Market

Glühwein is a traditional mulled wine that dates back hundreds of years. Glühwein is a must try when visiting the christmas markets. The temperature outside is chilling and the best remedy is a hot drink in your belly. Made from red wine heated with fruit and spices. Commonly used spices are cinnamon, anise, cloves, and vanilla. The ingredients are mixed in a glowing hot iron pot, hence the name gluhwein “glow wine.” Sampling the drink in many cities I could taste the different ingredients used to give each vendor their own personal touch into the tradition. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the taste of Glühwein over regular room temperature red wine.

Mutzen

Mutzen at the German Christmas Market

Mutzen is a simple, yet delicious warm treat to have at the markets. Bite sized pieces of pastry made from flour, egg, sugar, and spices. The dough is cut into diamond shapes then deep fried, filled into a paper cone and sprinkled with icing sugar. They’re sweet, fluffy, and fun to eat. We found mutzen to be similar to what we know as “timbits” in Canada, a much younger and commercialized version of the treat. The Mutzen we had in Lubeck was actually a very light snack which made it easy to indulge in more than we originally expected.

Schmachtlappen

Schmachtlappen German Christmas Market

Schmachtlappen German Christmas Market

Schmachtlappen is a medieval pizza. Made with a loaf of bread topped with cheese, meat and vegetables, no sauce. Dozens of the loafs are placed on a long wooden spatula and slid into a cast iron oven heated by wood burning flames. As a pizza enthusiast who has travelled the world eating local variations of the dish, I was very excited to be trying medieval pizza. The dough was thick and had a thin layer of crust with a hint of campfire smell. The loaf was soft and chewy; I could have eaten it by itself. The meat was flavourful and salty while the vegetable added crunch and sweetness. I wouldn’t say that this made my top pizza list, but for a festive holiday experience, the Schmachtlappen is a must try.

Bratwurst

Bratwurst Mustard Utter

Bratwurst Germany Christmas Market

No visit to Germany is complete without having a german sausage, known as bratwurst. Made from ground beef, pork, or veal, bratwurst is a world famous sausage with many replicas. There may be many attempts to replicate the sausage, but there is no competition once you try one in Germany. Cooked on a large circular grill suspended in the air by chains. The charcoal heat adds a prominent flavour to the meat and ensures even cooking. My favourite part were the condiment utters hanging inverted to easily apply ketchup and mustard to your sausage. Mustard only is the typical condiment we were told. German bratwurst took street meat to a whole other level for me.

Reibekuchen

Reibekuchen in Germany

Now this food I’ve seen before, the potato pancake. Variations of the reibekuchen are common to many cultures, I know it as a “latka.” This very affordable and filling meal is made with shredded potato, egg, flour, salt and spices. Fried to a golden brown and topped with your choice of salmon and sour cream, or apple sauce. All the ingredients are fresh and flavourful.

It’s better to overindulge than to miss out on a culinary experience. Germans know how to cook, so enjoy it and happy holidays!

Don’t forget to click play on the video above to catch our episode of Food Porn: Germany Christmas Markets and watch us sample all of the above dishes. Enjoy!

Have you tried any of the above dishes?

Siya Zarrabi began his travel lifestyle at the age of 16, embarking on a four month solo trip to Paraguay. Since then, he has filled passports with stamps of foreign borders.

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11 Comments

  1. April 1, 2016 / 6:41 am

    Hey, great share….

    I am planning to visit Germany next month for the very first time and I haven’t tasted any German cuisine yet. I am really looking forward to land in Germany and relish these delicacies that you mentioned above.
    I am so excited!!

    Thanks for sharing this great list.
    Keep sharing more…
    Cheers!!
    Hursh recently posted..Specials of the week – delicious asparagus and watermelons!My Profile

  2. Katya
    November 30, 2015 / 7:40 am

    You should have tried a flammkuchen! It goes wonderfully with gluehwein 🙂

    • November 30, 2015 / 1:38 pm

      Mmmm I will definitely next time! I feel everything will go well with Gluewein since it’s so delicious 🙂

  3. mike neal
    January 19, 2015 / 6:30 pm

    You have brought the travel bug in me out. Great real videos, and of course great personalities. What I liked most was the simpleness of your videos. It is like watching home movies with a few good friends…aND some less expensive wine. I’m seriously going to try this myself, vlogin my travlels…thanks for your inspiration, Mikey Maus keep up the good work.

    • January 21, 2015 / 4:38 pm

      Hi Mike! Thank you so much for your comment. I’m really glad you feel that way about our videos, because that is how we try to be. Good luck with your own filming adventure. Be sure to share them with me!

  4. Angelo Telidis
    January 13, 2015 / 2:23 am

    This makes me want to go to Germany to try all of the above. Well done!

    • January 14, 2015 / 12:22 pm

      Thanks Angelo! I’m glad it made you hungry. It makes me hungry every time I read this post and watch the videos too.

  5. January 12, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    These videos and the entire article is top professional. It made me extremely hungry and also NEED to visit Germany. You two never fail to inspire.

    • January 14, 2015 / 12:23 pm

      Thank you so much Jeremiah! You most definitely do need to visit Germany, especially in the month of December. I’m glad we can inspire you 🙂

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