Friday, December 9, 2011

The Glühwein is back and it got folks glowing

Christmas in Germany is in many respects the place to be.  Every city and just about every town has some version of a "Weihnachtsmarkt" or Christmas Market.  Some of the best known are the ones in Munich, Nürnberg and of course Dresden which boasts the oldest continuous Christmas market known as the Striezelmarkt. Dresden is also known for Stollen the traditional German Christmas bread.   The pattern at most of these markets is the same. You see quite a number of people perusing the various booths offering traditional Christmas ornaments of every material, nutcrackers, wooden figurines for th nativities and so on.  If you stroll along and suddenly find there is a large crowd assembling you can be almost 100% sure that you found a Glühwein stand.

Today's spread inspired by Christmas and Germany

The official Glühwein from the Christmas Market in Germany

Plätzchen - dainty and delicious

Lebkuchen - bigger with a bolder taste due to the spices

Glühwein - wine that make you glow - is the hot, spiced, mulled wine that is ubiquitous at the markets. It is very good and sure hits the spot if it is cold or snowy. It also can be made from various types of wine including fruit wines. In our opinion the standard red wine based drink is the best. Having just returned from Germany where we were able to hit the Glühwein stands in Munich, Bamberg, Munich - Grosshadern and the Munich Airport it was only fitting that we should buy some to return for a Glühwein cake hour which we held today.

Closer look at some of the classic Plätzchen including the Zimtsterne

Homemade Lebkuchen with both dark and milk chocolate

Everything from Cafe Finger from Hofheim

A lot the traditional Christmas treats go especially well with Glühwein including the aforementioned Stollen, Lebkuchen and Plätzchen the meticulously prepared cookies that are great to look and and fabulous to eat.  We visited a small village called Friesenhausen - (it's fun to say it - you try) - and the nearby town called Hofheim in Unterfranken. (That's fun to say too.) We were introduced to the Cafe Finger in Hofheim which made all the requisite Christmas specialties and sold them at very reasonable prices. Their Plätzchen and Lebkuchen traveled well, were very authentic and tasted buttery and delicious.  So with the help of a little Glühwein and the Cafe Finger, today we had a German Christmas cake hour. Frohe Weihnachten!

The pink Christmas tree was little weird with H. Pylori doll at the top!
Frohe Weihnact from the Glühwein gang!

Starting to glow

This stuff is good

OMG I'm having Glühwein...and the guy in the back looks down for the count!

Not every place serves Glühwein - so we're special.

Savoring the tradition and an orange slice!

If it weren't for this baby I could have some too!

Channeling the Oktoberfest waitresses with Glühwein mugs!

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