The best way to give good feedback about a bad dining experience.
Germany’s highest mountain overlooks the village of Garmisch- Partenkirchen and its iconic St. Martin church
Welcome to the New Bavaria
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.
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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