Oktoberfest was originally a big wedding reception in October of 1810 for Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. There was a horse race and food and drink for the populace, which was so popular (who does not like free food and drink) that it was put on again in 1816 (after the Napoleanic War).
In 1910, Oktoberfest celebrated its 100 birthday on the Theresianwiese, a big meadow named in honor of the princess. It has been moved forward to September to take advantage of the weather.
1. Food at the Markt - Kirmis
The Oktoberfest has many tents in which to drink and eat. Besides the traditional, hearty fare, they also serve fun foods like potato pancakes, mushrooms cooked in wine and others.
- Potato Pancakes
- Potato Salad
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Fried Potatoes - Bratkartoffeln
- Obazda - Cheese Spread
- Wurstsalat - Meat Salad
- Pretzels - Brezen
2. Candy and Sweets
3. Hearty Mains Served at Oktoberfest
In addition to Bratwurst and Weisswurst, one of the more famous meals served at Oktoberfest is Schweinehaxe, a crispy bit of ham hock served with Bratkartoffeln or potato salad. Try also a Brathendl, Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Rossspezialitaten (horse meat specialties) such as Rosswurst or Sauerbraten and Schweinebraten (pork roast).
There are six breweries that are allowed to serve beer on the Theresienwiese (fair grounds) at Oktoberfest:
- Hofbräu Munchen
- Augustiner Bräu
Some of these beers are exported, so look for them at the nearest liquor store. A special beer is now often brewed for Oktoberfest called Maerzen, a full bodied, malty flavored beer with a clean, dry finish. They can be light or dark colored. Brewed with higher gravity or more hops to last through the summer in caves or cellars ("Lager"), the rest were drunk at Oktoberfest to make way for new beer, hence the tradition. Check here for more on Oktoberfest beer, and look here for more on German beer.
If you do not care for beer, there is always the Weinzelt on the Theresienwiese. Germans are famous for their white wines, since whites grow better in northern latitudes. See German wine and German grape varietals.
6. Where to Go for Oktoberfest
Your mouth may water, your throat be dry. Where to go to celebrate this wonderful festival, you think? Think no further, do...go...drink!
- Please click here for Octoberfest 2012 information.
- Oktoberfest Beer Tents in Munich
- Official Oktoberfest page