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This comes in streets ahead of anything else at the top of the list because, not only is it a tasty way to keep warm and cheerful, you can also keep the glühwein mugs as a cute and cheap little souvenir of your time in the Christmas markets. Every stall has their own recipe, so there’ll be some that you’ll enjoy more than others, depending on whether you prefer a sweeter mulled wine or one with more spices. They’re generally around €5 a mug, with the option of returning your mug for a €2 refund. Personally, I choose only to imbibe if I see a mug that I’d like to keep. Yup, I’m all about cheap and cheerful souvenirs.
What goes best with a piping hot mug of mulled wine? Why, German sausages of course. I like them just with mustard and some ketchup, but another very popular option is the curry wurst. This latter option consists of chopped up sausage in a bowl with ketchup and curry powder sprinkled over. These are usually €3-4.
To me, roasted chestnuts are as quintessentially Christmas as mulled wine, and also a great way to keep warm. They’re very popular though, so expect long queues and elevated prices. We paid €7 for a cone in Augsburg.
5. Nuts and nougat
You can find a wide assortment of various candied and salted nuts at all the markets, but my pick is this delicious Provencale nougat sold by a very friendly and charming Frenchman at the Kurhaus market in Baden Baden, to the right of the casino entrance (if you’re looking at the casino). It’s full of nutty goodness, has the perfect balance of softness and chewiness, and is not overly sweet. I bought 200g worth for about €15 and it disappeared in 2 days. Should have bought more!
Who doesn’t love deep fried potato goodness? The German version consists of shredded potato formed into flattened discs, ensuring maximal surface area for deep frying, resulting in a delicious crunch. It’s served with apple sauce. I also love the environmentally friendly plate it’s served on. They’re usually around €4 a serve.
7. German “pasta”
OK, so here I am trying to cheat a little by presenting 2 foods for the price of 1. The German version is potato based. To the left is schupfnudeln, which is like macaroni with sauerkraut. To the right is maultaschen, which is something like ravioli. The one I ate had a spinach and cheese filling, but meat filled versions are also available. I preferred the more delicate flavour of the maultaschen, while 2 of my travel buddies preferred the bolder, saltier and more tangy schupfnudeln. Together, the 2 plates cost €13 upfront, but I got back €2 per plate returned and €1 per fork, so the food itself was only €7 for both dishes in the end, making for a cheap feed as they’re really filling. Bargain!
The closest thing I can think of comparing this to is a rolled or spiral doughnut, except it’s crispier on the outside and the dough inside is softer instead of being crumbly. It’s quite fun watching them being made. The dough is flattened out, then a long strip is cut off and wound round and round a rolling pin like device. The dough is then cooked briefly in a hot oven and rolled in your flavour of choice. I chose hazelnut, while my travelling companions chose cinnamon sugar. Both went down a treat. They cost around €4 each.
10. Chocolate covered fruits
I must confess I haven’t bought any of these yet, only because I spent a small fortune at Laderach in Baden Baden, in my opinion THE best chocolate in the world! But these chocolate fruits have been spotted in all the markets I’ve been to so far and look sooooo inviting, especially the shaped ones like these mice, I’m sure I’ll succumb by the end of my trip.
With just under 2 weeks to go, are there any other foods you think I should try? Do let me know!
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