Christmas in Germany – The importance of the Glühwein

Mulled wine Glühwein

Christmas time is not complete in Germany without drinking a glass of Glühwein, the traditional warm spiced mulled wine every merrymaker enjoy as they walk along the charming Christmas markets. But, what does exactly “Glühwein” means? And, more important, which are the ingredients?

Glühwein

“Glühwein” means “glowing wine” and, apparently, its name comes from the hot irons that were formerly used for mulling (these hot irons are not longer used).

Although the most common glühwein is made with red wine, some marketers also serve “Weißer Glühwein”, which is made with white wine.

The recipe

Glühwein is usually made with wine, which is heated up and spiced with Glühweingewürze (cinnamon, cloves, star anise, sugar and orange juice or lemon). Sometimes people add a shot of liquor. That kind of drink is known as Glühwein mit Schuss.

Another variant of Glühwein is the “Feuerzangenbowle” (Fire Tongue Bowl). The recipe is the same as for the “regular” Glühwein, but for this drink a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drip into the Glühwein.

A bit of history

The historic origins of Glühwein date back to when wine started going bad, but germans did not want to throw it, so they added some spices to drink it again.

The oldest documented Glühwein dates from 1420 and it is attributed to a German nobleman (Count John IV of Katzelnbogen), the first grower of Riesling grapes of the world.

Where you can find it?

Mulled wine GlühweinAs I previously mentioned, christmas time in Germany is not complete without drinking a glass of Glühwein at the christmas markets.

Glühwein is usually served in a limited edition ceramic mug. Inscribed on it you can find the name of the German city where you are, the current year and a christmas draw.

A glass of Glühwein costs around 3€ + Pfand (a small additional fee). If you want to keep the cute little mug as a souvenir of your visit to a particular Christmas market, you will lose the fee, if not they will give it back to you as soon as you return the mug.

How should you drink the Glühwein?

To be honest the purpose of drinking Glühwein is to warm people from the inside out, so I highly recommend you to drink it really warm. Once the Glühwein is cold it lose some of its charm and it can´t accomplish its main purpose. 😉

Furthermore, it is really common to drink a Glühwein while enjoying some traditional german specialities such as “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread), “Reibekuchen” (potato pancakes) or “Bratwurst” (sausage).

You still have time enough to enjoy this magic drink because the christmas markets are opened until the 23th of December, and they never run out of Glühwein ;).

If you are willing to visit any christmas in the NRW (Northe Rhine Westphalia) region in Germany click here to find more information about them.

Now it is your turn. Have you ever tried Glühwein? Which one do you preffer, red or white? Could you recommend a nice christmas market in Germany?

 

Good Food Festival

This weekend takes place the Good Food Festival in Boui Boui Bilk (Düsseldorf).

As I already talked to you about the festival (check here for more information about what kind of food you could find last year at the  Good Food Festival 2015 ) let me get straight to the point.

What did I like the most at the Food Festival 2016:

1. There are many local producers

This year I decided to go earlier (at 13.00, the moment the doors are opened) and it was a wise decision! The place was not too crowded so I had time enough to check all the different stands and to talk with the local producers.

2. New flavours are ready to be discovered!

  • To start I opted for a veggie and gluten free Frittata (made with pumpkin, onion and apple) while a friend of mine tried a veggie burger with home made ketchup sauce.

Good Food Festival

 

  • Then I could not resist to try some Süßkartoffeln (Sweet potatoes) with chutney and pumpkin sauce.

Good Food Festival

  • As a dessert I tried the best vegan ice cream I have ever tried!

I am Love is an ice-cream bar located in Bochum and Essen. The merchant was really nice and provided me with information about the ingredients of the ice-creams (made with soy). Hazelnut flavour highly recommended 😉

Good Food Festival

3. There where special things that will redefine the way we understand cuisine

The moment I saw them I wanted to know more about this revolutionary concept.

 

Good Food Festival

The “DOC´s Essenz” essences are gonna shake up the traditional concept of cocktails. Just with a drop you can provide a drink with an intense new taste.

After a talk with the manufacturer I had the opportunity to add one essence to a home made cocktail. Not only the flavour but also the odor of the cocktail improved drastically after adding the chosen essence.

The product was so original that I  just bought some samples to bring home. I wonder what will happen when I add one of them to a roast… 😉

Good Food Festival

4. You can find some traditional products

After talking with some producers and tasting different kind of products. I decided to buy some home made sauces and some french macarons.

  • The sauces are made with natural ingredients produced in a farm closed to Düsseldorf. Check more information here: issbaldfertig

Good Food Festival

  • The macarons are gluten free and manufactured in a french Pâtisserie which is coming soon to Flinger (Düsseldorf).

Good Food Festival

5. The classics will always remain

A part from all the food that I previously mentioned you can also find some classics like burgers, hot-dogs, german sausages, waffles and greek cheese.

Good Food Festival

And you, have you ever been to a Good Food Festival? Which kind of food have you tried? Did you discover something new? Share your experience!

If you want more information about the manufacturers and the workshops check this website: Good Food Festival. Do not miss the chance to learn more and to try all kind of food this weekend!

 

 

Sunset and Food in Düseldorf

And once again September arrived…

Some of you have to come back to the office, some others are still enjoying the holidays… and for those of you who still want to enjoy this german sunny days I would like to introduce you some cute places which I recently discovered in Düsseldorf.

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Zur Sennhütte 

Located close to the railroads, this small bar is a unique place to have a drink under the sun while enjoying a good conversation .

The place has two terraces, a shadowed one just in front of the main entrance (Rethelst. 96) and sunny one located next to the railroads.

Although it sounds incredible, the place is quite relax and charming. The small wooden tables and benches are distributed all around the terrace decorated with colored cushions. In the menu it is easy to find all kind of drinks and different kind of dishes.  Inside the bar the ambiance is charming and rustic at the same time.

It is a high appealing place to enjoy a nice sunset.

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Strandbar Tropicana

 

Opened from middle April bis October this bar is located at Meerbusch Camping, just in front of Keiserswerth.

Highly recommended to relax after spending the day at the beach. Its looks like a typical spanish “chiringuito”; sand floor, hammock, chill out area, tables protected form the sun by  beach umbrellas…

Furthermore it is easy to find some “aperó” as well as different kind of food and drinks. You have to try it! 🙂

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Happy September!!!

Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf

This week we are going to talk about food. As I previously told you in German it is usual to organize street festival during the summer season to enjoy the good weather. Ready to know more about it?

Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf 2015 

Last weekend took place the Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf. I have already talked you about this festival. During two days the Königsalle was filled with stands full of food.

The visitor could find everything. The avenue was surrounded with international and national stands where people could eat german, french and brazilian food, among others.

The festival takes place once per year since four years ago and it is a good opportunity for restaurants to come into contact with possible clients.

I hope that I have whetted you appetite and that you are motivated to take part in this gastronomic event. We read us again next week! 🙂

Food is our common ground, a universal experience James Beard

Japantag: Sushi, espargel & flowers!!!

Today I am gonna start saying thank you.

Last Saturday was the official “Japantag” here in Düsseldorf

Thanks to the ones who were here, thank you for remember it, thank you for my new garden, for taking the train to stay here with me, for the surprises, for the dinners and for this last-minute super present. Thanx for being there (here or in the distance), thanks to you I can say I am a lucky person. Thank you for this month (it did not finish yet) and for these last four days.

Four amazing days which revolved around flowers and sushi. Because, although we started our japanese party earlier, last Saturday was the official “Japantag” here in Düsseldorf.

 

The largest Japanese community of Europe is settled in Düsseldorf, since 11.000 japanese citizens live in this city. The most known Japanese area, located between Oststrasse and Immerstrasse, is called “Little Tokyo”.

This quarter is full of japanese restaurants where you can eat sushi, miso soup, sashimi… All the specialities from the Land of the Rising Sun. So, I find quite appropriate that germans dedicate a day for them and its culture.

11.000 japanese citizens live in this city

Manga is part of Japanese culture, so it was also easy to find people wearing japanese costumes during the whole day all around the city.

The Altstadt was full of stands where it was possible to buy japanese products, to check how to do “Origami” o to learn how to write Japanese characters.

There was also a scenario where they played traditional japanese music, and another one where some people did different Sumo, Judo and Karate exhibitions. And, of course, there were many stands where it was possible to buy traditional japanese food.

At 23.00 the “Japantag” ended with some spectacular fireworks.

 

But sushi was not the only dish we ate last weekend.

During this time of the year it is traditional, in this part of Germany, to eat asparagus. Therefore, we also had time to finish the weekend enjoying a delicious traditional German dinner.

 

And with my stomach full of food and grateful to all of you, I say good bye until next week. And don´t forget:

“Celebrate the people in your life who are there because they love you for no other reason than because you are YOU.”