Raise a stein to Bavaria, cheer the oom-pah band, and celebrate Oktoberfest!
What began in 1810 as a regional celebration of the marriage of Prince Ludwig has evolved into one of the largest festivals in the world. Hungry, thirsty hordes of merrymakers descend upon Munich, Bavaria's capital. Tents capable of seating 100,000 people offer beer from six local breweries--carried by more than 1,600 strong-armed waitresses--and serve southern German specialties.
If you can't make it to Munich this year, cook up a celebration of your own.
"Vorspeise" and Snacks
Finger foods and starters to whet the appetite.
- Buttery Soft Pretzels
- Krautkrapfen (Bavarian Kraut Crullers)
- Pam's Bierocks
- German Currywurst
- French Fried Potatoes
Oktoberfest calls for beer brewed specifically for the occasion: malty, strong lagers. Munich breweries include Paulaner, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräuhaus, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu and the venerable Augustiner Bräu, which has been brewing beer since at least 1328 AD. If you can't find the real Bavarian imports, many American craft breweries make special Oktoberfest beers. You can also serve Sekt--sparkling white wine--and Radler, lager mixed with sparkling lemonade. Finish your night with a round of Schnapps.
But beware the German proverb: "More drown in the cup than in the sea." (Im Becher ertrinken mehr als im Meer.)
Main Dishes and Sides
Stick-to-your-ribs entrées and accompaniments.
- Red Cabbage (Rotkohl)
- Octoberfest German Potato Salad
- German Spätzle Dumplings
- Semmelknödel (Bread Dumplings)
- Badische Schupfnudeln (Potato Noodles)
Bake your own dark pumpernickel or sour rye.
Wild Game & Acquired Tastes
For the authentic southern German experience.
- Venison Schnitzel
- Henke's Hunter's Venison
- Hasenpfeffer (Rabbit Stew)
- Liver Dumplings (Leberknödel)
After-Dinner Sweets (Süße Nachspeise)
- Black Forest Cherry Cake II (Schwartzwälderkirschtorte)
- Schweine Ohren (Pig's Ears)
- Oma's Cottage Cheesecake
- Potato Plum Dumplings
- Rivel Kuchen