James in Germany – Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt-am-Main, also known as Main-Hatten due to the skyline of 40 Skyscrapers is one of the superpowers of finance in the world, has one of the biggest airports in Europe and is home to many types of food and native dishes that are some what different for the British palate.  Only 1 hour flight from London and I was lucky to be one of the first ones to fly the new British Airways A380 on the short flight.


It’s not everyday your mother-in-law meets you at the airport wanting to help with your work.  Frau Boppel was very keen to show me food from Frankfurt, in the region of Hessen.  A quick walk trough the streets of the old town of Frankfurt it was time for morning coffee.  Well, no, I remembered that Frankfurt is famous for its “Apfelwein”, a cider specific to the region.  Mother-in-law insisted it was more of a watered down version prior to lunch.

The main thing I learnt today was that a Frankfurter is not a sausage, but the name of a man or women from Frankfurt.  The correct name for the sausage is Frankfurer Wurstchen.  Imagine asking for that with a hot dog, does not translate so well.

Frankfurt Green Sauce

Now, a recent BBC2 show called “Make me a German” showed the life of a British family who moved to Nurenberg, how life was different in this Bavarian city (I am currently in Hessen) and one of the many things they discovered was that the average German man eats 1.5kg of pork a week.  I had Wiener Schnitzel for lunch, my first 200g of pork served with another Frankfurt speciality – Green Sausse (Grüne Soße).  This special sauce is a Hessen version of the Italian Salsa Verde, made by passing hardboiled eggs through a sieve and mixed with soured cream and a chopped mixture of borage, sorrel, cress, chervil, chives and parsley.  As I walked through market stalls I even saw packs of the fresh herb mix for Grüne Soße.


Some lovely cheeses exist in Frankfurt, that are special to the region.  The most famous being the Handkäse mit Musik.  I assure you the only music produced from the quark based cheese is the sound of one’s own trumpet during digestion.  To help ‘reduce music’ the cheese is eaten with caraway, but most Germans do not like the flavour, so it is said the quality of the restaurant is known if the caraway is served to the side.


German rye bread can be tough for a British diet, constitution changes are felt within hours.  However the favours of the bread depend on the starter culture and many varieties exist.  To use the term ‘German Rye Bread’ is a misnomer as there are as many varieties as there are Haribo shapes.


Germany is famous for cakes and coffee in the afternoon.  On Sunday shops are closed, yet the bakery is open.  All manner of cakes exist and are fat for the eyes, I had Frankfuret Kranz, a layered buttercream and sponge cake with honeycomb on the outside in a Kouguglhopf shape, sort of like an American ‘bunt’.  Bethmännchen is a doughball with marzipan and an almond on top, glazed with egg and eaten with coffee.

Tomorow its a day in Koblenz where the river Rhine meets the River Moselle and a very famous statute to Germany.


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