Oktoberfest – Prost!

Oktoberfest? Oktoberfe(a)st!

I’m not much of a beer drinker so a visit to Munich’s Oktoberfest had never really been at the top of my must-do list. However, when I was kindly invited to join in the festivities I couldn’t resist and hey, with the delicious promise of Bavarian farmers markets and an excuse to indulge in all the treats I usually associate with being Christmassy (it’s only October I know but I think I could actually live in a Christmas market quite happily) there was plenty to get excited about!

So with Dirndl packed, and knapsack on my back, I waved Moscow a fond farewell and off I went to München where the beer is golden and the streets paved with gingerbread…

Val-de-ri, Val-de-ra, Val-de-ri, Val-de-ra ha ha ha ha ha ha…

I was blessed with a beautiful, talented Grandmother who was the most exquisite cook. She was born and grew up in Vienna and spent many a summer at the elbow of her grandmother where she learnt to cook and bake with extraordinary mastery and with such lightness of touch.  Her influence on me has no end, and nowhere is it more pronounced than in the food I love to eat and hope, one day, to make also.

Vienna boasts one of the worlds richest and most influential culinary traditions and none more so than at the beating heart of patisserie (something that I should like to explore in more detail at another time).

It is from this culinary root that I felt so at home enjoying the tastes and smells of Bavarian Munich which shares so many delectable treats with its Austrian neighbour from lebkuchen to nokerln,  mandeln to marzipan, pretzels, bratwurst, weisswurst, saurkraut, schnitzel and schinken the list is endless.

My first visit to magical Munchen felt like coming home.

Nothing more delicious than a Pretzel (or Brezn to give it its proper name) to soak up a Maß of ice-cold Oktoberfest beer.

Muscles on her Maß muscles

Champagne in the Weinzelt tent – that’s more like it

With the exception of my mother’s of course, this was most delicious roast chicken I have ever tasted with the richest, stickiest, crispest skin, still dreaming about it!

And for those of us with a sweet tooth…

Every fruit you can think of dipped in chocolate or caramel…

After much deliberation I went for a strawberry lollipop.  The plumpest strawberries encased delicately in caramel which, with every juicy bite, shattered with the most perfectly satisfying crack…

oh and I ate my weight in gingerbread

After two days of Oktoberfesting a good walk around the city was the order of the day…

Viktualienmarkt for even more delicious treats…

Beluga Chocolaterie…

To round off a fabulous weekend, a much-needed cup of tea accompanied by a hearty plate of kaiserschmarrn with apple sauce was just the remedy for a heavy head and weary feet.

Popular in Bavaria, it was first prepared for Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph, Kaiser(Emperor)schmarrn(mishmash) is one of the best known Austrian dishes – I was so excited to see it on the menu and beamed with every buttery bite. A light caramelised pancake with raisins and chopped almonds, split into pieces while frying then shredded and dusted with icing sugar served hot with a tangy apple sauce.

The perfect end to a marvelous weekend in Munich.

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3 responses to “Oktoberfest – Prost!

  1. Wow! How lovely! The gorgeous pictures make me want to go and visit and experience the tastes, sounds, and sights. Thanks 🙂
    Helena

  2. What an absolutely wonderful post!! It had me laughing out loud: (‘Val de ri’ ? genius!), crying: (your Oma would be SO proud!), salivating: (over all the enticing treats), totally inspired: (by all the beautiful images) and finally, determined, more than ever now, to visit myself – Who could resist? And with a beautiful companion to lead the way…and share it all with?….Aah Life couldn’t get much better…Roll on December! xx

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