Friday 18 May 2007

frankfurt food!!!

I’m back!!!

Despite working my butt off, I had some wonderful foodie experiences in Germany and Israel.

My first post back is about my first stop: Germany.

Food there can be surprising. Yes, there are a lot of heavy, fried foods. Yes, potatoes feature regularly. Yes, the serving sizes can compete with the Americans, but there’s a whole lot more to German cuisine than you'd expect, especially in their traditional, rustic style dishes.

Luckily for me I visited in spring and there was plenty of fresh asparagus on the menus, served in a myriad of ways, as well as delicious cherries (one of my favourite fruits).

I visited Frankfurt's Kleinmarkt as well as a farmer's market and took loads of photos of what I discovered there.

Here’s some photos and rundowns of my German meals:

Grie Soß

Boiled eggs served with delectable Grie Soß (green sauce), a Frankfurt speciality made of oil, vinegar and seven fresh herbs. Apple wine taverns throughout Frankfurt specialise in green sauce, each with their own heavily guarded recipe. Usually the seven herbs are an alternating combination of borage, sorrel, cress, chervil, chives, parsley, salad burnet, dill, lovage, spinach or basil.

Apfelwein or Äbbelwoi (apple wine) is another Frankfurt speciality. I once heard that the legend of äbbelwoi started after the region had a very poor grape harvest and had to resort to apples for their wine. They enjoyed the results so much that they never looked back. Äbbelwoi has a strange kind of sweet yet musty and sour flavour, which I prefer to drink pure. You can also have it süss (sweet – with lemon or orange soda) or sauer (sour – with mineral water, bringing on a cloudy effect and sour flavour). Äbbelwoi is served in a ceramic jug called a bembel, decorated in white and blue, and a diamond-patterned glass called a gerippte. The suburb of Sachsenhausen hosts the best äbbelwoi pubs, where guests sit at long wooden tables and benches eating hearty, delicious pub meals. I’ve eaten at the Fichtekränzi and Adolf Wagner and loved them both!

Frankfurters in Frankfurt!
The traditional Frankfurt frankfurters. The sausage is cooked by boiling and can be made from pork or a combination of pork and veal. In English speaking countries they are called frankfurts, frankfurters or wieners. I think it’s funny that in Germany they’re called Wiener (after Vienna) and in Austria they’re called Frankfurter, although both call the short ones Würstchen as well.

Tafelspitz is boiled beef, usually served with horseradish or green sauce (in this case green sauce). Note the deliciously crunchy potatoes that come with the meal. Cooking potatoes in various delightful ways is a skill most German kitchens excel at. And check out the soup bowl full of sauce - they never skimp on the sauce!

Asparagus season means fresh asparagus appearing on every menu in town. The farms are just outside the city so Frankfurt gets a good supply. White asparagus seems to be the popular choice, with long, large spears prevailing. In this dish, steamed spears were served with salt boiled potatoes, some parsley and a gravy boat full of Hollandaise sauce.

This awful looking dish was called Schupfnudeln mit Sauerkraut und Kasslerwürfel. Schupfnudeln are gnocchi-like potato-based pastas. In this case they were boiled then added to a pan of sauerkraut and pieces of fried smoked pork. It looks terrible but it was absolutely beyond delicious.

Do you think they gave us enough crumbed fish?

How could I show photos of German food without a snapshot of an apple strudel?

Since it was asparagus season I ordered the soup at a nice restaurant we visited. I was so impressed that I hope to replicate it for dinner tonight. They used white asparagus to make a light yet creamy soup and had rosettes of saffron and white truffle infused mash potato hidden in the bowl. Divine.

Streusel cake
This was a cherry streusel cake. At the markets we found a streusel shop selling nothing but huge slices of these delicious cheesecakes topped with spiced crumbs. You could get chocolate, apricot, peach, rhubarb, apple and anything else you desired. I went for cherry of course (hello, I’m in Central Europe, one of the best cherry destinations in the world).

Another really interesting discovery was elderflower bunches smothered in a sweet batter and then deep fried. They are then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and eaten hot. It was really tasty and the flavour and freshness of the flowers really shone through. What a pleasant discovery!

I’ve decided that currywurst is great festival food. Cook a sausage, chop it into pieces then smother it in ketchup and serve in a small paper bowl. Happy days!

I’m going to have to get back to you all on what this is. [This is Wurstsalat]. I remember it’s a traditional sausage that’s served cold in this manner, like a sausage salad. I’ll check with Simone, who was with me during this meal, and get back to you. If anyone else knows what it is, feel free to make suggestions! Whatever it’s called, it tasted great.

Soon I’ll post some photos of my culinary journey through Israel too.


  1. Sorry Anna, but a Frankfurter Würstchen is only from pork, that's law, otherwise you can't call it "Frankfurter". A sausage from a "mixture of pork and veal is called a Wiener Würstchen. It's German law, see number 2.221.03 and 2.222.1 of the link. I am a German food chemist and must correct it :-)

  2. Great photos! I love German and Austrian food (actually I pretty much like all food).
    How lucky to be there for asparagus season. We seem to only be there in winter for game and red cabbage! A few too many potatoes but...
    Looks like you ate well, I hope the rest of the trip was as good.

  3. Very interesting. I know almost nothing about German or Austrian food. Sounds like you had a great time.

  4. Welcome back! Been waiting patiently till I could read about your foodie adventures.

  5. ulrike - thanks for the correction. these are easy mistakes to make!
    katie - yes, i did seem to eat a lot of potatoes . . .
    kalyn & nora - soon i'll have some israeli specialties up to check out too

  6. I have never been a fan of german food, and i have to say your pictures and descriptions made my mouth water! I can't believe that white asparagus soup - if you replicate it, I do hope you post the recipe. I would love to try it!

  7. Good to see that you had such a good time in Germany! I'll have to wait three more months before I can go for a visit... The last picture should be "Wurstsalat" - so your description of sausage salad is right. Usually, it's just a certain type of sausage (which I haven't seen around Sydney), finely sliced with lots of onion and a sour vinaigrette. Sometimes, you'll have sliced capsicum or cheese in there, too.

  8. Hi Anna
    It was so much fun having dinner with you at all these places in Frankfurt. And it was refreshing to see that obviously German cuisine has much more to offer to inquisitive visitors than pork knuckle and sauerkraut! Please come again soon for more experiences like that! Love, Christina

  9. I agree, that is definitely wurstsalad. It's great that you were so open-minded about German food! And that you enjoyed a good old currywurst while you were here.

    Isn't the white "spargel" lovely?

  10. The fried elderflower bunches look interesting! It kind of reminds me of acacia flowers, the ones used in acacia honey...a woman here does the same thing with them but I haven't yet tried it. Hmmm...maybe I'll need to check into that!

  11. foodette - i made the soup that night and it was a success. i'll post the recipe soon.

    eva & mia - simone confirmed that it was wurstsalad that we ate. i loved it. great idea.

    christina - thanks for being such a wonderful hostess!

    rowena - yes, please try the depp fried acacia flowers and tell me what they taste like.

  12. What do the elderflowers taste like, like the Swedish/Tasmanian cordial?

  13. welcome back :)
    I read your post at work and guess if I got hungry! You seem to have enjoyed yourself in Germany, thanks for the yummy food ideas.

  14. Hmm, I see some overlaps with Flemmish/Dutch cooking. I love the white asparagus, and inventive use of boiled eggs! Can't wait to hear about your Israeli sojourn.

  15. Thanks for sharing those delicious plates of germany and Israeli cultural food.I learn a thing today.Cheers!

  16. It appears Germany has a greater variety than I would have expected (though those crispy potatoes ookd particularly good as a much appearing side!) Thanks for taking u along!

  17. Anna.I have tasted ´German sausage. Not good, they are to pale! Try Swedish sausage mmmm.( or "Danish Röde Pölser")
    Anna, love to read about yuor blog! Ulla

  18. this is such a nice post about my home country. thanks. i love green sauce...

  19. This frankfurter with chili, smoky bacon, and grilled onions was delicious. I actually ate 4 of those when I was in London.

  20. thank you it has helped me with my homework. i like the sound of the elderflowers. x

  21. Wurstsalat is a: "German Bologna Sausage Salad". Wurstsalat

    1Lb German style bologna or smoked bologna
    2 dill pickles
    2 hard cooked eggs
    1/4C onion (diced)
    1Tbsp red wine vinegar
    1Tbsp water
    1Tbsp salad oil
    nutmeg, salt and pepper

    Dice bologna, pickles and eggs.
    Mix well with onion, vinegar, salad oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
    Serves 4

    Recipe by: Cathy Fiander


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