Foods to Eat and Drinks to Drink for Oktoberfest
What's out there besides beer, sauerkraut, and bratwurst?
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: September 26th, 2012
German food is typically hearty with a focus on meat and potatoes, and it goes well with many kinds of beers.
he past few weekends, local breweries and bars have been hosting various Okctoberfest events. And while all the theme parties have been fun, it's made us want to throw one of our own. Thankfully, German food isn't that hard to make, and it pairs perfectly with, yes, beer. Here are a few great menu ideas for you to prepare this weekend (or anytime during October, though the "real" Oktoberfest is in September).
First, let's talk about the different kinds of foods you can serve at an Oktoberfest party. German food tends to sound angry (kraut, wurst, etc.), but you can always make easier things like schnitzel. Schnitzel is just a breaded cutlet of boneless meat that has been thinned with a meat hammer, coated in bread crumbs, and fried. In Germany, it is traditionally made with veal or pork and served with a slice of lemon, no sauce.
Otherwise, many meats made in traditional German food are pot-roasted/slow-cooked. These cooking methods exist to turn inexpensive, tough cuts of meat into tender pieces of meat. One national specialty, called Sauerbraten (sour roast) involves marinating beef or venison in a vinegar mixture for several day before cooking. To simplify this, you could serve a brisket or pot roast that is cooked in a dark beer, like a porter.
Sausages are also a staple in German cuisine, with more than 1,500 types of sausage produced in the country. Bratwurst is the most commonly known here, but other ones like Munchner Weibwurst (Munich white sausage), currywurst, and blutwurst (blood sausage) are also popular in Germany.
As far as sides are concerned, stewed vegetables are common, as are mashed potatoes, french fries, pan-roasted potatoes (really, any kind of potatoes, it seems), and spatzle which is a small noodle made with egg yolk and flour. German potato salad is also a good choice; it's made with a vinegar-based dressing, unlike American potato salad, which is made with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
Appetizers can include rye bread toasts with cheese, honey, jam, or meat as a topping, or the standard soft pretzels with mustard.
Beers and Other Drinks
Beer is obviously the most common choice of beverage for an Oktoberfest party, and there are plenty to choose from. Wheat beer and lagers are traditional, and a number of regions have specialty beers as well, including Altbier, a dark beer; Kolsch, a slightly lighter dark beer; and a Berlin specialty, Berliner Weibe, a sour beer that is often mixed with raspberry syrup.
If beer isn't your bag, though, German wine includes whites like Riesling and Silvaner, and reds like Spatburgunder and Dornfelder.
Looking for something harder? Pick up a bottle of Korn—and we don't mean the nu-metal band from the late 1990s. This Korn is a German spirit made from malt. Obstler is another spirit, distilled from apples and pears, plums, or cherries (then called Kirchwasser) that is popular in Germany.
Non-alcoholic favorites include coffee and soft drinks that consist of juice mixed with sparkling mineral water, Spezi (made with cola), and the familiar-sounding orange soda, Fanta.