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DIY - Gruenkohlfahrt

By January 12, 2013

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kale and bacon

No, this has nothing to do with your digestion, although I never get tired of the joke (I have not grown up yet). A "Gruenkohlfahrt" is a party of sorts, where Germans, mostly northerners, get together specifically to eat cooked kale.

Fahrten, or trips with a specific itinerary, are very popular in Germany. Sometimes they are on a ship, sometimes by foot, sometimes in a bus. There are Kaffeefahrten (cake and coffee) and Butterfahrten (toll-free goods) as well as Spargelessen (asparagus dinners), Vatertag (Father's day walks with "the boys"), Fruehschoppen (beer at 11 am - my personal fave), Grillabende (grilling with friends) and whatever else you can think of.

But back to the "Gruenkohlfahrt." Start by inviting 2 to 60 of your closest friends or sports club members to a mid-winter walk between November and February. Find a little, red wagon and pack it with schnapps, beer, bread and cheese. Plan out a route which has several natural stops where people can toast each other with said schnapps.

Plan for the walk to end at twilight in front of the house or restaurant at which you are going to eat. Make sure plenty of kale, sausage, meat and potatoes are ready when you arrive. You may choose to play party games or just sit around and drink, but make sure you crown the king and queen of kale, because they will be in charge of hosting next year's party. Recipe for Gruenkohl here.

Video (in German) on cooking Gruenkohl (8 minutes).

Photo J.McGavin

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January 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm
(1) Bridget says:

Kale is my favorite vegetable, so when I moved to Germany, I immediately started looking for it. However, I moved there in August, so there was none to be found–Germans don’t harvest kale until after a frost because it tastes sweeter.

I heard about some sort of kale festival, but I never got to go to one or a Gruenkohlfahrt either, unfortunately. Thanks so much for telling about this–I really enjoyed it!

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