Friday, 8 December 2006

Frankfurters.....from Frankfurt?

Following a mega 2 hour delay and having our cargo loaded on the WRONG AIRCRAFT, we finally arrived at about 2pm, right in time for the night Christmas market in Mainz. Boasting hot fried potatoes and cauliflower, freshly boiled corn on the cob, sickly sweet lollies, authentic German gingerbread and the famous gluwein, we quickly changed into our winter woolies and hooted down the road in search of Christmas cheer.

Stopping here and there to take happy snaps of the gorgeous scenery on the way, we were delighted to find that Germans are certainly not short on Christmas cheer in December. Hundreds of people crammed into the market place, which was absolutely buzzing.

We marveled at a huge spinning windmill-type ornament, complete with carved people and then made a beeline for the tent selling gluwein. Now, I’d heard fantabulous things about gluwein and must admit I was disappointed. Having paid 3 euros for my little blue mug of the piping hot drink, I breathed in the fantastic aroma of cinnamon. Then I tasted it and got a mouthful of insanely hot red wine, in desperate need of at least 5 teaspoons of sugar.
Which I added, to no avail.

Next stop: sampling the food. We didn’t find any German sausages, but attacked some fried potatoes like the crazed, starving tourists we were. I was still toting the full mug of gluwein, which made eating and taking pictures rather difficult. While the garden drank my gluwein for me, I saved the mug, which was covered in yellow stars as a little memento.

We wandered around, staring open mouthed at stall after stall of dazzling arrays of sweets. I bought some little gingerbread bites that are beyond fantastic. I want to eat them, but am sad that there will be none left, so I’m carefully rationing them. No doubt they’ll be all gone by tomorrow!

We all met up at the entrance to the market, and by this time, I was munching on a choc coated banana. From there we wandered to a fantastic little restaurant that’s been around for donkey’s years and proceeded to order MORE food. Not like we needed it, but felt pressured to sample as much fantastic food as we could in the space of a few hours.

I settled for apple strudel and the others ordered pork knuckles. I was beginning to worry that I’d have to be rolled home, what with my massively swollen belly, when the remains of a pork knuckle and crackling were thrust my way. The meat was mouth-wateringly tender and the crackling was just enough crackle and just enough salt. Perfect in every way.

Food was clearly the only thing on my mind on this trip.

We all sat and digested in stupefied silence for a while and then headed back to the hotel for a well earned sleep.

All in all, a wonderful trip, which had us pondering the origins of a few different foods on the way home. Frankfurters from Frankfurt, hamburgers from Hamburg and chillies from Chille.

Can you think of any more???

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