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The magic of the Christmas market
Thuringian specialities to enjoy at home
Christmas is a celebration of love. But don’t forget that it is also a wonderful time of year for treating yourself! If you want to do something special for your nearest and dearest as well, why not put a taste of Thuringia under the tree for them?
We also recommend putting together some of these tasty treats and recreating a Christmas market atmosphere at home!
Sweet temptations as far as the eye can see
What would Christmas be without chocolate? We certainly couldn’t do without it! The mouthwatering assortment of chocolate specialities made by our local producers are simply too good to resist!
Have you ever been to the Merchants’ Bridge in Erfurt? If so, you will certainly have spotted Goldhelm. Or, rather, the Goldhelm chocolatiers. Here you will find handmade luxury chocolates, including the signature Merchants’ Bridge truffles. But that’s not all: the bridge is also home to the Eiskrämer ice-cream parlour, where you can enjoy home-made ice-cream all year round, with flavours to match the season. They serve everything from classic strawberry made from locally grown fruit to lemon, basil and blueberry made with herbs from their own garden. When the weather turns colder, you can sip berry mulled wine or apple and ginger punch that is also produced on the premises. A great way to warm your hands, as well as your heart!
Now for the chocolate specialities to enjoy at home: directly on the bridge or behind it, you will find everything to satisfy your sweet tooth in one of the Goldhelm shops. Handmade hazelnut cream, check. Drinking chocolate, check. Luxury chocolate in a jar, check. Truffles, check. Christmas chocolates, check. Lovingly designed packaging and labels, check. Website including online shop, check.
Goethe must have loved chocolate at least as much as we do. That is why the Goethe Chocolaterie has devoted more than just a chocolate to the great poet. The chocolate workshop near Bad Frankenhausen also produces chocolate spreads and chutneys – all handmade. Have you ever made chocolates yourself? At the demonstration workshop, you can have a try, or just take part in a tasting session.
For a cosy evening at home, why not sample the whole range or sample some of the festive-inspired specialities?
Have you ever eaten nougat that was so soft it melted in your mouth? No? Then you must try the nougat specialities from Viba! Bars, Christmas balls, and luxury chocolates have been made here, in the medieval town of Schmalkalden, to the same nougat recipe since 1920. At Viba Nougat World, the confectioners will even help you to create luxury chocolates by hand. Delicious!
We must of course mention a Christmas classic: the stollen. Click here for more information on where you can find Thuringian Christmas stollen and the different names for stollen in the region.
We all know that you can’t have bratwurst sausages without mustard! But did you know that mustard making has a long tradition in these parts. The mustard mill in Kleinhettstedt is among four mills in Germany that manufactures mustard in the traditional way. The half-timbered building houses a museum, which provides a fascinating insight into the art of mustard milling. The guided tour also includes a mustard tasting.
Why not add a dash of mustard to your dishes at home? You can choose from local mustards made to traditional family recipes as well as innovative varieties such as fig, orange and beer. Packed in decorative stoneware jars, they also make an ideal gift.
Tip: Mustard is the perfect accompaniment for a cheeseboard. It can be served with various kinds of cheese (hard, soft or cream cheese depending on your preference) and other nibbles such as antipasti, chutneys from Rhöner Herzblut and bread, dips and crackers. You can also pair it with bite-sized pieces of sausage specialities such as Eichsfelder stracke, Rennsteig salami and Thuringian knackwurst, which are available from the Landfleischerei Lindig country butchers.
If you want to enjoy the authentic taste of the Thuringian bratwurst and other specialities at home, why not visit the Thuringian Forest online shop?
You’ve hopefully now had your fill of food, but there is also plenty on offer to quench your thirst.
What better place to start than with a good wine? Part of the Saale-Unstrut winegrowing region extends into the Thuringian countryside, and the first Thuringian winery was established in Bad Sulza in 1992. With over 43 hectares of land, it is among the largest private wineries in the region. You can enjoy a wine tasting there, or take a guided walk through the scenic vineyards and inspect the young grapes that may one day find their way into your wine glass.
A fine white wine from the Bad Sulza winery in Thuringia is the perfect accompaniment if you are planning a cheeseboard at home. For roulades with Thuringian dumplings, we would recommend a red wine. And for toasting a perfectly executed evening, why not try a sparkling secco?
The favourable climate, with plenty of sunshine and little rain, provides the ideal conditions for winegrowing at the family-run Zahn winery in Kaatschen. The wines are served at the winery’s own restaurant with tarte flambée, roulades or fish, for example, or can be sampled on a picnic in the vineyard.
The winery also has a shop. Sommelier Rüdiger Rohse will be happy to recommend a bottle to you. An excellent choice for the colder months is Kaatschener Glühstern, a mulled wine made from red grapes.
How to make your own white mulled wine
Now the only thing missing is music ‒ and then you have everything you need for a culinary evening with a Christmas market atmosphere. Have fun and enjoy it!
Header image: ©Meeta K. Wolff, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH