Alsatian "Flammekueche" or "Tarte Flambée" is similar to a pizza as it is baked in an open wood-burning oven.
It is a thin-crust pizza made with "fromage blanc", sliced onions and smoked lardoons.
As with pizza there are a number of variations. The cheese can also be gruyere, there can be mushrooms added.
My favoured one contains Munster cheese which gives a quite powerful taste to the Flammekueche. The problem is that restaurants serving this type of tarte flambée smell so strongly that they might cause environmental problems!
Tourist from overseas shouldn't leave the Alsace without trying Munster cheese. This is unique.
There are also sweet Flammekueche with apples and Calvados alcohol.
Please note that not all restaurants serve Flammekueche all the day; some serve it only in the evening.
For the wine I suggest a Pinot Gris. This type is excellent for Flammekueche and Munster cheese.
Beerawecka (also berawecka) is fruit cake Alsatian speciality that makes me drive 550 Km to get some in Colmar!
Traditionally prepared starting from the autumnal period, this cake, is composed of dates, figs, prunes, dried pears, apricots, dry grapes, nut and almonds, and was always regarded as a very invaluable delicacy.
The mixture of these fruits is lengthily macerated in cherry (Kirsch) and pear brandy then bonded with a fine layer of paste sweetened with cinnamon, and worked out of bread of 200 gr approximately rolls, which are then decorated and cooked.
What is nice with Beerawecka is that you can keep it several months to pass the hard winter months. The calories level of this delicacy is on the very high level!
The quality and taste of this unique fruit cake increases with the fruit content. Price also increases. A standard beerawecka costs 9 € for 500 gr., upper quality like the one on my photo costs 9€ for 250 gr.
Christmas markets in Colmar attract most visitors when it gets dark because all the lights of the decoration and the shops add to the Christmas atmosphere.
The cold of the winter night is also there so that a glass of Vin Chaud, Mulled wine is welcome.
Glühwein (or Gluehwein) in Alsace is usually prepared from red wine, heated with sugar and spiced with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, lemon zest.
Hereafter a traditional receipt from Glühwein served at the Alsatian Christmas markets.
The receipt is in French, of course, otherwise it would not be traditional!
1 litre de vin de Bordeaux rouge,
1/8 litre d'eau,
60 grammes de sucre,
De la noix muscade râpée,
1 ou 2 feuilles de laurier,
1/4 de bâton de cannelle,
3 clous de girofle,
Porter à ébullition l'eau, le sucre et les épices,
Laisser infuser 30 minutes, filtrer,
Mélanger au vin rouge,
Chauffer doucement jusqu'à presque ébullition. (Don't boil)
In some restaurants in Colmar you will find on the menu that strange name "Baeckeoffe" which means baker's oven in the Alsatian dialect.
You might wonder what it is and try it like we did.
Baeckeoffe is a mix of sliced potatoes and onions, cubed lamb, beef and pork which have been marinated overnight in Alsatian white wine and juniper berries and slow cooked in a sealed ceramic casserole dish.
In old times women would prepare this dish on Saturday evening and leave it with the baker to cook in his gradually cooling oven on Sunday while they attended church.
I doubt this is still done nowadays.
We tried it but were not really enthusiast. We are not so fond of boiled meat.
Even if you can eat choucroute all over France, entering a restaurant in Colmar after visiting a Christmas market on a cold winter day increases the pleasure.
You will see that Alsatian restaurants serve various choucroutes garnies. The basis is the choucroute and pommes purée but the variations are found in the type and quantity of meat served called garnitures-garnish.
Basic is the "choucroute garnie", then you will find on the menu "choucroutes with 5 garnitures" = 5 types of meat or "choucroutes 6 garnitures" = 6 types of meat to end with the biggest the "choucroute royale". This last one is for big appetites.
There are also choucroutes au poisson - with fish.
To drink: an Alsatian white wine for example a Riesling.
The origin of "Winachtsbredele" (Christmas cookies) goes back as far as the 15-16th c.
There are multitudes of Alsatian Christmas cookies. Bretele vary by their flavours as for their decorative various cut-out shapes such as hearts, Christmas trees, clovers, diamonds, moons or stars. Some say that they were intended to decorate the Christmas trees.
I remember a shop at the Koïfhus (former customs house) of Colmar where they were selling about thirty varieties!
In Colmar you will also find spice bread. This is not typical of Alsace as you find it in many places. Here they started making it in the late 16th century. The village of Gertwiller is the capital of spice bread with 2 firms keeping up the local tradition: Fortwenger and Lips.
Before you leave the town, remember to try the famous cake "pain d'epices". Made out of fine spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Delicious all year round, specially in wintertime accompanied by hot red wine. It comes in different shapes like hearts or like the famous Alsatian children.
Music Festival : the 21st of June, free concerts downtown.
Mini Wine Fair: degustation of the wines of the Hardt vineyard of Colmar. Place de l'Ancienne Douane, from 10:00 till 23:00. Free access. From last week end of June till second Saturday in August .
Summer Fair : from the third Saturday of July till the second Sunday of August.
Foire d'été : du troisième week-end de juillet au deuxième d'août.
International Music Festival . The 1st fortnight of July, numerous concerts : at the Koïfhus at 12:30 hours, at the Saint-Pierre chapel of the Lycée Bartholdi at 18:15 hours, at the Saint-Mathieu church at 17:00 or at 21:00 hours.
Colmar Jazz Festival first fortnight of September.
My wife and I were visiting Colmar, France and had one waiter who made fun of French. She is a French teacher here in NY and was not too happy. All in all, the guy was rude and out of line. We were hanging out at a pub and some of the guys we met said they would kick his ass for us. Kind of funny, but too bad he lived up to the "rude" stereotype of the French. Otherwise, the French were so friendly and fun to hang out with. Paris might me a different story though.
The language in this part of France is Alsatian. An interesting mix of French and German as you can see in the wine stube sign here. Everyone of course understand French and many people German too but in the streets you will hear Alsatian.
The "tarte Flambee" is the typical and famous Alsatian food which is a kind of Pizza with
salami ,porc and cheese .The turkish name of the same food is "Lahmacun" for your info !!!