Ok, so technically, it's food AND drink, but you get the point. My last post on Strasbourg's Christmas market was all about the decorations! This week's post is all about the food and drinks we tried! There was so much to choose from, we didn't get to it all!
For starters, you're going to drink A LOT of mulled wine!
Uh, mulled wine?
Mulled wine, aka spiced wine, is usually made with red wine (although in Strasbourg they had both red and white) that is mixed with mulling spices and served warm. Mulling spices are a lot like the spices that you'd put in hot apple cider - cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and even star anise, peppercorn or cardamom. Mulled wine also includes some kind of dried fruit like raisins, apples or orange rind. And it's served at Christmas markets in Europe. You may know mulled wine by another name - vin chaud in France or glühwein in Gemany.
When you buy a cup of wine mulled wine at the market, you get a reusable plastic cup or ceramic mug - a drink AND a souvenir! Yay!
Here's a recipe for mulled wine from The Kitchn (and yep, that's spelled right) that you can make in your slow cooker (and you know how much I love mine)!
Tarte Flambee or Flammekueche
Basically, it's pizza-crack. The best way to describe Tarte Flambee is that it looks like a big french bread pizza, but has fromage blanc or crème fraîche, onions, gruyere cheese, and can also include, muenster cheese, goat cheese and lardons (basically bacon). It's broiled and served hot and it's ridiculous. I think we at it at least twice in three days.
Or, as they're known in France, bretzels. And of course, the French bump it up a notch - This one is coated in cheese and heated. Insane.
Like you didn't think I would mention it? We even went to a cheese restaurant - La Cloche a Fromage! Just check out our sampler!
What do you think - torture device or culinary equipment?
It's a Raclette machine!
What the heck is Raclette?
Raclette is a cheese made from cow's milk, common to the Alps. The wheel of Raclette gets attached to the gadget in the photo. There's a long heating element that melts the cheese onto a plate, typically a plate of boiled potatoes. Once you get the amount of melty goodness that you want, remove the plate (just remember to put another one under the machine to catch the never ending waterfall of melting cheese), pile on pickled veggies like cornichons (effectively, gherkin pickles, but cornichons sounds way fancier), and dried meats like salami. It's over-the-top, artery clogging deliciousness.
Kugelhof, Spice Bread, Nougat and Roasted Chestnuts
Kugelhof: Full confession, we didn't get even get to the Kugelhof, because we were sick full for three days - but we MEANT to try it! Anyway, Kugelhof is a yeast based cake (often made with with raisins and almonds), baked in a Bundt mold. Here's a recipe for Kugelhof I found on cooking-ez.com.
Spice Bread, or pain d'epices: It's generally made with honey, rye flour and usually cinnamon and other spices. I love honey and cinnamon but for some reason, I wasn't a fan of pain d'epices.
Nougat: I looooove nougat. It reminds me of the torrone, or almond nougat, I used to have as a kid. There are nougat stores everywhere, so I made sure to sample as much as possible. I think I'm nougated out....
Roasted chestnuts: The smell of roasted chestnuts take me back to when I lived in France. I always looked forward to the Christmas season there, not just because of all of the beautiful decorations, but because during Christmas, when you stepped outside, you could smell chestnuts roasting in barrels on the streets.
Spaetzle or Spätzle, is a type of pasta. I love it, but it's a giant carb load, so not Keto friendly. Just sayin'...
What's with the name? Well, before there were machines to make spaetzle, the pasta was shaped by hand or with a spoon. The end product was a pasta that looked like a sparrow, in German, spatzen.
I mean, it's France people.
We started this post with wine, and we're ending it with wine. I was with one of my dear old flying buddies, SD, and Vinocity Vicki, who I mention from time to time. V-V was able to get us an appointment with Domaine Barmes - Buecher, a fantastic biodynamic winery in Wettolsheim, France A tremendous thank you to Genevieve who welcomed us! The wine and conversation were wonderful!
Final thoughts: If you're heading to Strasbourg or the Alsace region of France in general, bring pants with an elastic waistband - you're gonna need it!
Have you tried any of these foods? Where and when? I'd love to hear about it on Facebook or in Traveleidoscope's comment section!