Many people consider Frankfurt as just a layover destination, a mere two-hour stop on the way to someplace more exotic. Yet beyond the airport lies a city rich with culture and tradition, teaming with diversity and unique foods. On our last trip to Germany, we spent five days in and about Frankfurt to our wonder, enjoying the sites and sampling some of its local cuisine. The top three local Frankfurt food and beverage offerings we sampled were: Handkase mit Musik, Apfelwein, and Gruene Sosse.
Handkase mit Musik
We were told by locals: either you love it, or you hate it. Handkase mit Musik is a local specialty made with a gelatinous, clear-colored, aromatic house cheese. Served in a dish with “Musik,” oil, vinegar and chopped onions, locals typically eat it on a buttered piece of dark bread, then sprinkled with caraway seeds. Many locals enjoyed this dish along with a glass of Apfelwein. While some say it’s an acquired taste, it was not one I personally acquired, yet glad I tried. If you’d like to try this local specialty, we recommend the local restaurant Klosterhof for a great dining and drinking experience.
Apfelwein is a German hard cider made from apples which is enjoyed by many local Frankfurters and tourists alike. Its alcohol content is a mere 4.8%-7.0%, making it comparable to beer yet light enough to be enjoyed cold on a hot summer day or warmed up during winter. While apfelwein is not sweet, it is often mixed with sparking water or lemonade to add some additional flavor. While in Frankfurt, we sampled a variety of apfelwein at different establishments, namely the Apfelwein-Wirtschaft Fichtekranzi, a restaurant in the Sachsenhausen neighborhood founded in 1849 complete with an apfelwein garden. Apfelwein, as seen below, is typically served from a large earthenware container.
Gruene Sosse, or Green Sauce, is a Frankfurt specialty made with yogurt or sour cream and seven different types of herbs. It is typically served with hard boiled eggs and boiled potatoes, but is also seen served with meat dishes. So popular is Gruene Sosse that Frankfurt has an annual festival in May devoted to this sauce. We tried Gruene Sosse at the above mentioned Klosterhof restaurant. While delicious, I was still recovering from the Handkase mit Musik and wasn’t able to completely enjoy the sauce. However, Mr. RudiGourmand cheerfully cleaned his plate of the last green drop.
Photo from the Frankfurt Tourism webpage