The German National Tourist Board UK and Ireland offers a comprehensive guide to Germany’s Christmas markets on its website www.germany.travel – including delicious, traditional Christmas food in Germany such as Gingerbread, Bratwurst, Marzipan, Stollen and Gluhwein. However, there are many creative twists on these much loved favourites.
For foodies, Germany offers Vegan Christmas markets, Chocolate Christmas markets, Gourmet Christmas markets, and Organic Christmas markets. Throughout Bavaria, for example, you can find spicy sweet flatbreads, helix-shaped pastries with sweet, gooey toppings, beers made from ice (which are then aged like wine).
New at the Viktuallienmarkt in Munich this year is an organic ‘Gluhbier’ made from honey, cherry juice, spices and rum. In Berlin, there is a special sweets-only Christmas market (one of the 60 different markets in Berlin). In Frankfurt (Hessen) the famous ‘Green Sauce’ – normally a summer delicacy – makes the perfect accompaniment to roasted almonds. While you are there, try ‘Feuerzangenbowle’ – a warm red wine, orange juice and rum mix, made with a burning sugar loaf over a big pot.
In North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), try the smoked fish specialities in Cologne, along with chestnuts and churros, or a cabbage and bacon strudel. Head to Krefeld in NRW for a hot, Christmas gin. In Schleswig Holstein and the northern regions, there are speciality fish dishes, Christmas kale snacks and marzipan potatoes to try.
Food is just one of the many factors adding to the popularity of Destination Deutschland. The GNTO is reporting strong increases in overnight stays by visitors from the UK and Ireland for the period of January-May compared to 2017 – a 4.7% increase for the UK and 12.8% for Ireland. Beatrix Haun, Director, GNTO UK & Ireland, said: “Christmas markets remain one of the most popular reasons to visit Germany and the food is delicious. It is the very essence, scent and taste of an authentic Christmas market, but there’s much more to discover than the traditional favourites. Explore our Christmas markets for a new, culinary twist on your favourite German foods and you’re in for a treat.”