Celebrate This Year’s Oktoberfest with Sauerkraut and Sausages
Every year from late September to early October celebrations are taking place all over the world of a famous Bavarian beer festival aptly named “Oktoberfest.” It is a gathering where visitors enjoy drinking plenty of beer from glass and ceramic steins and eating traditional German-Bavarian delicacies including sauerkraut and wide varieties of spicy seasoned sausages or “wurst.”
The most famous of these festivals is held in Munich, Germany where Oktoberfest lasts for sixteen days, attracts over 6 million people and has earned its reputation for being the world’s largest fair.
At the opening of each festival in Munich there is a dramatic 12 gun salute followed by the tapping of the first beer keg by the incumbent mayor as he officially decrees “Ozapft!” which means “It’s Tapped!” in the Austro-Bavarian language. What follows is a colorful celebration of eating, drinking and dancing that lasts a little more than a fortnight.
The original “Oktoberfest” began in October 18, 1810 in Munich. Crown Prince Ludwig and his Princess Therese commemorated their recent marriage with a great horse race. Along with the revelry and competition, the tradition of eating bountiful amounts of hearty fare and drinking generously flowing steins of beer from enormous kegs was soundly established.
Many customs from the original Oktoberfest have been kept alive and the wearing of black hats with a significant tuft of white goat hair springing from the top is still popular. In Germany, a very high value was attributed to goat hair as was not only costly but considered a symbol of status. The more tufts of goat hair on your hat, the wealthier you were perceived to be. To this day these hats can be spotted at every festival and along with the chicken dance is a crowd favorite.
Today attendees also continue to indulge in customary dishes including:
- Hendl (Chicken)
- Schweinsbraten (Roast Pork)
- Haxn (Pork Knuckle)
- Steckerlfisch (Grilled Fish on a Stick)
- Würstl (Sausage)
- Brezn (Pretzels)
- Knodel (Potato Dumplings)
- Kasspatzn (Cheese Noodles)
- Reiberdatschi (Potato Pancakes)
- Sauerkraut or Blaukraut (Cabbage or Red Cabbage)
- Obaztda ( Spiced Cheese-Butter)
- Weisswurst (White sausage)
However you don’t actually have to fly to Munich to participate in this year’s Oktoberfest. Create your own celebration right here at home by making sauerkraut and sausage, two of the most popular festival customary dishes. These German-Bavarian traditions will compliment any beer and with the exception of lederhosen remain the most exciting part of any Oktoberfest celebration.
- 16-oz can or jar of sauerkraut (Fresh sauerkraut can be found in jars in the refrigerated section of grocery store)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chopped onion with Kyocera Chef’s Knife
- 1/2 cup peeled and chopped apple with Kyocera Perfect Peeler
- 10 cracked juniper berries ground with Kyocera Mill
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
Add sauerkraut to a large pot. Mix in wine, onions, apples juniper berries, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to an active simmer and slowly simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
- 1/2 cup onion chopped with Kyocera Chef’s Knife
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves ground with Kyocera Grinder
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 8 knockwursts, about 2 pound
Sauté onion and butter in saucepan over low heat until golden brown. After removing from heat add in sugar, mustard, cloves, honey, and vinegar. Arrange knockwursts in pan while coating with sauce. Replace on heat and cover and let simmer turning them occasionally for 10 minutes until plumped and juicy.
◊ Slicing sausage requires an extremely sharp edge to maintain the integrity of the meat while releasing the juices to create a more robust flavor. Kyocera ceramic knives are made with materials fired at such high pressures they are not only more durable than stainless steel but are lighter in weight and slice meats with micro-precision. Kyocera kitchen tools are also rust-free and germ resistant so no unwanted residue will stick to their blades while clean up is easy by rinsing under clean running water.