Photo of Melanie Hansche
Photo of Melanie Hansche

Melanie Hansche

Title: Deputy Editor

Location: Easton, Pennsylvania

Education: Melanie has a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English Literature and Politics from Macquarie University.

Expertise: Food, Travel, Recipes, Restaurants

Experience: Melanie Hansche has been the deputy editor at Food & Wine since 2018, where she spearheads both its travel and home coverage, develops recipes close to her heart (crumpets, anyone?), and often writes about her experiences of being a restaurant owner working in food media. Before joining F&W, she was the editor-in-chief of Organic Life at Rodale, oversaw the company's test kitchen, and acted as food director across all its brands. Melanie spent her formative years at one of Australia's most successful food brands, Donna Hay magazine, as its executive editor. Since 2017, Melanie has been the co-owner of Tucker, an Aussie-inspired cafe and general store.
The best way to give good feedback about a bad dining experience.
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From the state’s capital of Munich to her tiny hometown in the alps, Food & Wine deputy editor Melanie Hansche discovers a new generation of Bavarians interpreting classic traditions in exciting and delicious ways.
Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche reimagines the traditions of her hometown of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany, in her recipe for sour cherry–glazed roasted goose legs. In Bavaria, it's not Christmas without roast goose, but roasting individual legs makes it a more manageable endeavor. You can find frozen goose legs online at Schiltz Foods. Geese are fatty birds and will render a lot of delicious fat, which you can keep on hand for roasting vegetables. Draining off the fat halfway through cooking will yield better pan juices for gravy at the end. The goose legs cook for a total of 2 hours. Basting regularly and glazing in the last 15 minutes of cooking time give these goose legs their gorgeously crisp, lacquered skin. 
Dumplings made of day-old pretzels and bound with egg are common in Germany; they're a delicious way to use up stale bread and are great to serve alongside Roasted Goose Legs, soaking up gravy on the plate. Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche's version, an homage to the flavors of her hometown of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, uses pretzel rolls, which she leaves out on the kitchen counter, uncovered, overnight. If you can't source pretzel rolls, any plain bread rolls will do. You can make the dumplings the day before and refrigerate overnight before simmering them to serve. It's not traditional to make them with mustard, but Hansche likes to add some to hers: "It's a such a lovely bedfellow with pretzels!" she says. These dumplings can be made 1 day ahead; just cover and chill until you are ready to cook them.
F&W editor Melanie Hansche really disliked sauerkraut growing up, but sweeter, milder "rotkohl" she could get on board with. This sweet-and-sour, traditional Bavarian braised red cabbage is always served with goose, duck, or pork. To make it, the cabbage is gently braised with tart apple, smoky bacon, orange zest, and spices. You can make the braised cabbage 1 day ahead and refrigerate it overnight; reheat on low to serve. Remove any thick, white ribs when shredding the cabbage so the dish cooks evenly.
Bavarian Potato Salad
Rating: Unrated
1
Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche's mother taught her how to make this Bavarian potato salad when she was a tween. The dressing is made with a base of hot chicken stock and vinegar, and it's punched up with tangy cornichons, onion, grainy mustard, dill, and crispy bacon bits. It's important to peel the potatoes and slice them while still hot, then pour the hot dressing over the warm potatoes. This enables the waxy fingerlings to really soak up the liquid while also holding their shape. The salad is best served at room temperature. You can make this up to 2 days ahead of time and take it out of the fridge a few hours before serving. It's good any time of year, but Hansche likes to serve it with Pretzel Dumplings, Braised Red Cabbage with Apples and Bacon, and Roasted Goose Legs with Sour Cherry Glaze and Gravy for a traditional Bavarian Christmas feast.
The first Christmas Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche celebrated in Bavaria with her Australian husband, he made her Bavarian family a classic Australian pavlova. Even though Bavarians don't tend to eat dessert at the end of a Christmas meal, the lightness and freshness of the fruit and meringue in the pavlova, which balanced the rich, savory dinner that had come before, was a winner. These individual pavlovas represent a mash-up of Hansche's Bavarian and Australian upbringing. In it, the the aromas and ingredients of a Bavarian Christmas markets—glühwein, toasted almonds, spiced cookies—are infused into the components of the classic Australian dessert: a base of sweet, cinnamon-spiced meringue is topped with fresh tangy quark, and crowned with bright citrus and intense mulled wine caramel.
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From fluffy and classic to flavored and fancy, there is no wrong way to make a biscuit.
There's only so much you can plan for, but one small insurance policy is to bring a few useful things with you.
The first Christmas Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche celebrated in Bavaria with her Australian husband, he made her Bavarian family a classic Australian pavlova. Even though Bavarians don't tend to eat dessert at the end of a Christmas meal, the lightness and freshness of the fruit and meringue in the pavlova, which balanced the rich, savory dinner that had come before, was a winner. These individual pavlovas represent a mash-up of Hansche's Bavarian and Australian upbringing. In it, the the aromas and ingredients of a Bavarian Christmas markets—glühwein, toasted almonds, spiced cookies—are infused into the components of the classic Australian dessert: a base of sweet, cinnamon-spiced meringue is topped with fresh tangy quark, and crowned with bright citrus and intense mulled wine caramel.
From fluffy and classic to flavored and fancy, there is no wrong way to make a biscuit.
There's only so much you can plan for, but one small insurance policy is to bring a few useful things with you.
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Buttermilk Crumpets
Rating: Unrated
5
Crisp on the outside with an airy, spongy center, crumpets are lovely hot out of the pan but also reheat beautifully in the toaster. Buttermilk helps to keep them tender and light, while spelt flour lends a nutty flavor.
Brown butter, sweet jam, and a hint of cardamom make these Bavarian Spitzbuben unforgettable.
German for “cheeky boys,” these Bavarian cookies will be the star of your holiday cookie platter. Brown butter and cardamom make this simple cookie into a fragrant treat. Take the time to freshly grind the cardamom—its robust, citrusy flavor is worth it. You can use round or fluted cutters to cut out the cookies and any shape that takes your fancy for the center.
Before lockdown, our anonymous critic traveled to as many countries as she could to find the world's most incredible food.
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As restaurants around the country begin to reopen, F&W Deputy Editor and restaurant owner Melanie Hansche asks diners to navigate the new rules of eating out with compassion and understanding. 
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