Being in Germany is so much fun again. Fond childhood memories remind me of a beautiful time many years ago. Today we went to the Kirmes, which could be translated as carnival or fair. That combined with the Oktoberfest and you have a fun place to be with friends or family. As a young boy I went here with my friends and “five cents” taken from my piggy bank, and rode every carousel I could get on.
I ate sweet popcorn (yes popcorn in Germany is sweet!), gebrannte nüsse, which is caramelized almonds or Hazelnuts with a hint of vanilla. Just the smell alone of these nuts are addicting. Zucker Äpfel as we call them are toffee apples. I couldn’t get enough of these red and green sugar glazed apples topped with almonds or coconut flakes. All these sweet candied foods appeared as if they were magic to me. There was something that attracted me to them. Of course vendors were eager to sell them to me until my stomach would ache. Best of all are the Lebkuchen Herzen or Gingerbread Hearts. These eatable hearts have beautiful sayings on it and hang on red ribbons. They are perfect to give to a friend or your Mom as a sign of love.
German Bier at the Kirmes
Nowadays, I don’t go for the sweets anymore, but for something more famous – German Beer – in moderation of course!! There are so many different beers in Germany from all corners of this nation. Whether you prefer Dark, Pils, Hefeweizen or Radler you’ll find the right one for you. Beside that all beers are made according to the German Reinheitsgebot (German Bier Purity Law). A law that came into effect in 1516 in Bavaria that calls for only three ingredients a bier could be made off: hops, barley, yeast and water of course. Sugar was not part of this recipe and not allowed according to the old law. The law has been slightly modified, however most breweries still adhere to the old German Bier Purity Law. Young adults are allowed to drink Bier from the age of 17, which makes their American friends very jealous.
Famous Bier Pavilion
The Bierzelt or Bier Pavilion are so inviting at the Kirmes / Oktoberfest that we just had to visit it. With German music and “das Fräulein” and everything is good. If you ever have the chance to visit the Oktoberfest or Kirmes, do so, it is a lot of fun and you don’t have to drink till you drop. Just enjoy the moment and the happiness.
After a good German Bier a spiessbraten or bratwurst with pommes (French Fries) is the right thing to eat. I know its fast food but special situations call for special foods. Spiessbraten is charcoal grilled pork loin, deliciously marinated and seasoned. Most often served with caramelized onions and mushrooms. The “old curry bratwurst” is an all time favorite not only of mine but of many others, too. It is made of a very tasty bratwurst served with a ketchup curry sauce and pommes.
However, I’m here for a reason and that is my mom and dad. My mom is a breast-cancer survivor and was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It is the least I can do to visit her as often as I can from New York to spend some quality time. She is and always will be the best Mom I could wish for. She is still in an acceptable condition, but only God knows for how long. So I spend as much time with her as I possibly can.
More about German food and traditions…to be continued…