One of the highlights of my Germany trip was a visit to Cologne’s oldest Christmas market, Markt Der Engel. And though we visited five different Christmas markets during our stay in Cologne, I have to say this one was my favorite by far.
Everything about the ambiance was simply magical, from the stars twinkling in the trees to the bundled up children riding the carousel. Friends talked and laughed loudly over steaming mugs of Glühwein, and it seemed like everyone had just gotten off of work. And most importantly, there were plenty of yummy thinks to eat and drink.
The first order of business was to try Currywurst, which is essentially pork sausage drenched in curry ketchup. When I told Christian I had never tried it before, I think he almost fell over. And considering an estimated 800 million servings are sold in Germany each year (according to my good friend Wikipedia), I can see why.
The sausage could be ordered with mild, hot and really hot curry sauce. I went for hot. How hot could it be in Germany? I thought to myself. My country borders Mexico.
Well, I really ate my words on this one. It was so hot that I ended up consuming an alarming quantity of snow (much to my companions’ delight) to cool my scorched tongue.
Once I stopped hopping in pain, we took a few laps around the market. Something I noticed about the market was that it was truly a family affair, with lots of kiddies enjoying the festivities as well.
I was overwhelmed by the market’s ample food choices, and unfortunately didn’t get to try everything. I think you would need the entire month of December to taste all the waffles, candies, sausages, and other goodies we saw.
While the boys drank (or rather, chugged) some of Cologne’s finest Kölsch, Marina and I stuck to piping hot Glühwein as we were rapidly losing sensation in our outer extremities.
Everyone was talking loudly, drinking Glühwein out of mugs and hanging out with friends. The best word I can describe it with is, “merry.”
Our final food selection of the evening was also probably the best; Kartoffelpuffer, or fried potato cakes, served with molasses and apple sauce. Having grown up in a largely Jewish town, I screamed out, “LATKES!” and beelined for the stand.
And if you can’t find it in your heart to enjoy something so crunchy and golden, you are probably the Grinch.
Have you ever been to a German Christmas market? Do you like the looks of this one?
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