Local Frankfurt Cuisine
Germany is slightly smaller than the US state of Montana, so it still surprises me that there are so many regional differences. You only need to travel an hour or two away to find different accents (or even different dialects), different food, and different traditions. Frankfurt is no different. When we were making our arrangements to go to Frankfurt last weekend, Jördis from the tourism board suggested we meet for lunch and have some traditional Frankfurt food.
We met at a restaurant called Atschel in the Sachsenhaus area of Frankfurt, on the opposite side of the river from where the Christmas markets are. The wood tables and benches and laid back atmosphere made for a relaxed and homey feel. I felt like I was at someone’s house for a meal rather than at a restaurant.
To start, we ordered traditional apple wine and an appetizer of Handkässe mit Musik, which is cheese simmered in cider and has onions on top of it. It was an interesting combination that worked really well, and I especially enjoyed it because of the onions. Andy doesn’t like onions so this wasn’t his favorite dish, but I love onions. The apple wine was brought out in a pitcher called a Bembel and poured into the standard apple wine glasses. I thought it was a surprisingly light drink, not too sweet, not too sour.
Apple wine has been linked to Frankfurt for over 250 years, but its history dates back at least 1200 years. Large scale production of apple wine started in the 16th century at a time when vine diseases were causing horrible problems with grapes that were used for wine. Its popularity grew more in the 18th century when climate changes meant grapes weren’t ripening. Many taverns today still produce their own apple wine. An apple wine festival is held each year in August.
Green Sauce and Schnitzel
Jördis had been raving about the traditional Frankfurter schnitzel with green sauce, so Andy and I both ordered it. The schnitzels were pork made with simple breading and lemon slices. It’s a similar style to the Wiener (from Vienna) schnitzels, except those are made from veal.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the green sauce, especially once I saw just how green it was. But I loved it. It’s made with seven regional herbs, and restaurants typically have their own secret recipe. There’s even a green sauce festival each May where seven different chefs compete for the best green sauce.
Unfortunately we were too stuffed to get dessert. I really enjoyed this meal, and it was a great way to start our weekend in Frankfurt. I really recommend trying the apple wine and green sauce when you visit the city. I just wish I could get them here in Freiburg!
We spent the rest of our time in Frankfurt enjoying the Christmas markets where we tried hot apple wine, local almond marzipan cookies, flavored almonds, chocolate covered chili peppers, and so much more. Frankfurt really is a great place to go for food, and I might have to convince Andy that we should make a return trip for one of the festivals.
Thank you to the Frankfurt Tourism Board for hosting us in Frankfurt and taking us out for this wonderful meal. All opinions are my own.
You might also enjoy:
- Frankfurt’s Traditional Christmas Markets
- Berlin Christmas Market Round-Up
- Scenes From Bamberg and Nuremberg, Germany
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Munich
December 10, 2012 @ 9:20 AM
Umm yummm this all looks so good. I really enjoyed German food while I was in Germany… along with of course you guessed it German Beer.
Quick observation: I’ve always loved your photography, but lately for some reason I feel like your photos look way much crisper (i love the details). Did you get a new camera? What do you use? I ask cus I plan on getting a DSLR when I go home.
December 10, 2012 @ 11:01 PM
Thank you so much Jaime! I got a new camera in March, right before we went to Turkey. It’s a Canon, different model number than what you’d get in the US, but it’s the equivalent of the T2i, I believe. I’ve been getting better at looking for and focusing on the details, so I guess now it shows! Your photography is amazing, I’m sure you’ll have a blast with a DSLR.
December 13, 2012 @ 4:27 PM
Well they are looking good, i mean they always have. You know what I mean. Yeah I plan on getting a T3i when I get home.
December 14, 2012 @ 5:00 PM
I know what you mean. Good choice, I think you’ll enjoy the new camera!
December 10, 2012 @ 10:49 PM
Italy is the same way. We live just 45 minutes from Venice and the food there is entirely different than the specialties in our area. It’s amazing and lends to at least a bit of variety.
December 10, 2012 @ 11:02 PM
See, I never would’ve guessed that either! It nice to have some variety so close to home.
December 11, 2012 @ 3:05 AM
When I used to eat meat I was obsessed with Schnitzel!
December 11, 2012 @ 5:38 PM
It is tasty! I could never be vegetarian, impressed with people like you who manage it.
December 12, 2012 @ 4:21 AM
Looks delicious, I love German food!! Never tried apple wine, but I want to! 🙂
December 12, 2012 @ 3:37 PM
It was all really tasty! I hope you get to try the apple wine!
Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead
December 12, 2012 @ 10:02 AM
Frankfurt & Hessen do have some interesting foods that they are well known for — but you do have to be careful with Grüner Soße because not all of it tastes good. lol Some of it is just foul. They also love to serve it with potatoes and hard boiled eggs. Very tasty.
You can usually also buy a packet of herbs and other ingredients to make it at home at just about any market across Hessen.
After living there for 11 years, there were a lot of things we became used to. Thankfully you can get Handkäse all over Germany — but we learned to make our own Apple Wine since the fresh version tastes way better than bottled (I find a lot of the bottles have a metallic after taste which isn’t so pleasant.)
Nice to see someone speaking positive about Frankfurt since it tends to get a bad reputation for being boring and yuck. lol Berlin, on the other hand, where I’m living now, is a vastly different world!
December 12, 2012 @ 3:41 PM
I never really knew much about Frankfurt, and never really spent much time there. That’s actually why we decided to check out their Christmas markets, we thought it would be nice to learn a little more about the city, and it was really great. Frankfurt definitely looks more modern than most other big cities in Germany, so maybe that’s why it has that reputation, but it still has a lot of history and a lot to do.
The woman we ate lunch with ordered the green sauce with potatoes and hard boiled eggs. Looked ok, but hard boiled eggs aren’t my thing. And that’s so awesome that you make your own apple wine! I bet it’s delicious!
December 13, 2012 @ 7:02 PM
Wish we had some of that green sauce when we had schnitzel in Austria.. looks delish!
December 14, 2012 @ 5:02 PM
It was delicious, not what I was expecting at all!
December 14, 2012 @ 1:17 PM
Mmmm – schnitzel is too good! Apple wine sounds interesting
December 14, 2012 @ 5:16 PM
It was all so yummy! If you’re ever in the area, it’s well worth trying.
Caanan @ No Vacation Required
December 31, 2012 @ 10:56 PM
Isn’t that just a sick irony. The more delicious the entree, the less likely you are going to be able to eat dessert!
Happy new year!
January 1, 2013 @ 5:56 PM
Thanks Caanan! I know, right? Good things is we were able to have some goodies later in the day at the markets.
January 2, 2013 @ 8:55 PM
I have never heard of apple wine, but I bet I would like it. That cheese simmered in cider sounds right up my alley.
January 2, 2013 @ 11:40 PM
I was surprised I liked the cheese dish, but it was really good, especially with the onions. You should definitely try apple wine if you make it to Frankfurt!
March 24, 2013 @ 8:08 PM
Hi there! I came across your site in searching for Franfurt Christmas market. I am going to Franfurt for the market this Christmas as I won a return flight! I’m going alone and wondering the closest, not craziest expensive but safe place to stay close by or at least close to transportation? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!
March 28, 2013 @ 10:13 PM
Congrats on the flight! I’m not sure what your budget is, but if the tourism board is having their hotel package deals again (check out my post about the Frankfurt Christmas markets) that’s a great way to go. They had hotels in a few different price ranges, plus it included a ticket for public transportation and a few food coupons. Even if you decide not to do their package, those hotels are a good place to start. A lot of them were near public transportation, and that will easily get you to the markets. If you want more help, just send me an email!