For those that do not want a hot beverage, there are also sweets and candies. Here there was a booth where they made peanuts coated with melted brown sugar. You can see in the background the apparatus that turns on its axis to make them and the candies in the foreground.
However, though a great many booth offer drink and food, many other sell non-edible items. Enlarge the photos and you will see hundreds, no sorry, thousands of small figures and animals designed for the crib! The crowd was not only in the alleys of the market but also on the shelves!
Though Alsace produces mostly white wine, it is very seldom offered as Vin chaud. This booth is the only one that I have seen that offered regular Vin chaud (red), Vin blanc chaud, Jus d'orange chaud (warm orange juice) and bière chaude. My advice is that regular Vin chaud is the one that tastes better!
December is supposed to be very cold in Strasbourg. That was not really the case during our visit (global warming, hehe!) but nevertheless, it was cool enough to make all the "vin chaud" booth a must. Vin chaud (warm wine) is sold as small, medium or large glasses. It is usually made with red wine heated in large pots with star-shaped anis (badiane), cinnamon corks and lemon pieces.
You also can buy Bretzels, gaufres (wafers), various kinds of sandwiches including amazing "tarte flambée sur baguette".
Photo 1 and 2 show the main alley of Christkindelsmärik in Place Broglie, the most important Marché de Noël in Strasbourg. These photos were taken on Saturday 9th December around 11:30. It was already difficult to walk because of the crowd. There will be even more visitors in the afternoon, and even more on Sunday and even more when getting closer to Christmas! If you enjoy the crowd, you will know when to come. If you don't, you also know!
Each square in Strasbourg has its own Marchés de Noël. Though they have a lot in common, some are a bit specific. Here is the full list in 2006.
Place Broglie and Rue de la Comédie : Christkindelsmärik
Place Gutenberg : Village des Artisans Roumains (invited country changing every year).
Place des Meuniers,: Irréductibles Petits Producteurs Alsaciens
Place Benjamin Zix : Comptoir des rois Mages
Place du Marché Neuf
Place d'Austerlitz : Marché des Bredle
Place de la Cathédrale
Place du château.
They are all working from November 25th to December 24th from 10:00 to 20:00 (till 21:00 on week-ends). A few of them work until December 31st.
Friends took us out to lunch in Strasbourg to a restaurant they considered typical of Alsace, and they urged us to try a special drink which was on the menu......lemonade flavoured with violet syrup (made from real violets!) I was a bit hesitant but decided to try it anyway, since they all said it was their favorite......and it was actually rather delicious! And it's pink!
The taste is hard to describe, but the closest we'd have to its flavour in Australia is a drink called Creamy Soda (which is red or brown).
Was really glad I tried this drink. Several other places in France also used Violets - for example in Bordeaux we had a dessert which had lollies made from Violets on the top (tasted rather strange) and had the appearance of shriveled walnuts.
Other specialties of Alsace include Choucroute (sauerkraut) and Tarte Flambe (in German it's something like Flamen Kuchen) which is translated on english menus as "Alsacian Pizza" but it seems to be much more than this, though the base is pizza-like.
From this sign in the Palais des Fêtes I learned that there is a verb in French called scotcher, which means to fasten something with Scotch tape.
You're not allowed to paste, pin, nail, tack or tape anything to these walls, okay?
arrived at the bus station and the bathrooms required French Francs (or whatever the local coins are). This can be a serious situation for women. The first thing I do when stopping to visit a city is get a lay of the land (bathrooms) for when needed!
There was a service, and the Cathedral was full of praying people.
The priest read a pray, and parishioners repeated the certain places behind him. Then the organ played, the priest and chorus started singing, prayings picked them up. I listened to them, captivated by this majestic show.
Easy to prepare, this is THE alsacian end of summer in the countyside's dessert (and it makes so pretty blue teeth)
Bilberries (bluish black European blueberry) tart with custard
Sanded paste :
250 grams flour, 125 grams butter, 1 pinch of salt, 1 egg yolk, 40 grams sugar, 1 half glass of water.
500 grams of washed and sorted fresh bilberries.
2 eggs, 15 centilitres fresh cream, cinnamon powder (or vanilla sweetens according to tastes), some bread crumbs or biscuit remainders.
Butter and flour a tart plate.
Make a pie crust pastry with the indicated ingredients.
Put the pastry in the tart plate as to form the crust and pick the bottom with a fork.
Crush the biscuit remainders and powder the tart bottom with it (or with the bread crumbs).
Fill with bilberries.
Put it in the (preheated)oven.
Cook 20 minutes (hot furnace).
Beat the eggs, sugar, the cream and vanilla (or cinnamon) yo obtain the custard.
Open the oven and pour the custard on the tart.
Put it back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Let it cool and serve powdered with sugar freezes.
During the summer season when most tourists are there, a spectacle of LIGHT AND MUSIC will be held INSIDE the Cathedral!
For those who want to know EVERYTHING: go to the TOURIST Office where they really can help you with everything and....language is no problem, the ladies & gentlemen working there MASTER several languages!
Don't ever tell an alsacien that she or he speaks german and names of the street are written in french but also in alsacien not in german!!!!
Alsacien is a local language which is a mix of french of german (have more german roots than french) due to historical facts.
So don't forget this, alsacien is not german otherwise this friendly person you were talking to won't be that nice anymore :D
Strasbourg is Alsatian. Yes, everyone speaks French, most speak German and English as well. But if you try a little Alsatian, they'll love you forever. Well, maybe not forever, but in a region this often conquered and re-conquered, any attempt will make you friends. See how happy I am? There, now no one can complain that I'm not in any of my own web pages... *grin*
Anyway, you'll find that Germanifying your French, or Frenchifying your German, will do the trick. For example, to eat is not manger, but ësse, like the German essen, and to laugh is not rire but lãche, much like lachen in Deustchland.
Also known as Tarte flambée and traditionally baked in a bread oven.
Bread dough 500 gr
Double cream 40 cl
A soup spoon of rape oil
Chopped onion 50 gr
Smoked bacon 80 gr
Butter 50 gr
Seasoning: salt, freshly grated nutmeg
Mix the butter and onion to a thick cream and season.
Cut up the bacon in small pieces and brown them slightly.
Roll out the pastry very thin, to about the size of an average oven baking plate.
Spread the onion butter on the pastry.
Brush the surface with some oil and scatter the bacon on it.
Bake for 10 minutes at the highest temperature.
Variation : scatter a good layer of grated cheese on top before baking.
Variation 2: with mushrooms
Variation 3: with apple and flambéed with Calvados
Variation 4: with smoked salmon instead of bacon
Variation 5: with onion, bacon and garlic