Tag Archives: Oktoberfest

First Friday, Oktoberfest-style

OktoberfestThe kids are all back at school, so that means September is just around the corner — next Friday, to be exact.  We’ll be having an Oktoberfest theme for September’s first Friday, and AllSpice will stay open until 8pm.

Oktoberfest on September 1? We know, we know — having Oktoberfest on September 1 may seem a little premature. But when they do it in Munich (site of the biggest Oktoberfest in the world), Oktoberfest takes 16 – 18 days, and they serve 7.1 million liters of beer, and serve 119,000 pairs of sausages.  We’ve got to get an early start, if we’re going to even make a dent in that record number.

We’ll be serving these tasty treats this First Friday:

Can’t make it Friday evening? Stop by anytime Saturday, September 2, and we’ll celebrate Oktoberfest all over again, with yummy pretzels and homemade mustards and dips.


Photo credit: “Oktoberfest Dirndl” on Flickr

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Habañero Beer Mustard

1/2 Cup black mustard seeds
2/3 Cup yellow mustard seeds
Scant 1 Cup apple cider vinegar
1 Cup beer
3 habañero peppers ribs and seeds removed, chopped (For more heat, you can leave some seeds in.) (If using dried, be sure to rehydrate them by soaking in water overnight.)
2-3 Tbsp honey
Salt to taste

Add both types of mustard seeds to a mixing bowl. Pour in vinegar and beer, stir to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for 12-15 hours.

Scoop out about 1/3 of a cup of the liquid off the top and reserve. Pour the rest of the contents into a food processor or blender and add habañero peppers, honey and salt. Process/blend to desired consistency.

If mustard is too thick, add a little of the reserved liquid, a little at a time, until mixture reaches a consistency you like.

Transfer mustard to mason jars or other airtight containers and store in the refrigerator. Flavors will deepen and develop more over time.

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It’s Oktoberfest time! As you probably know, Oktoberfest is the world-famous festival celebrated around the world.

Oktoberfest showcases the best in German culture, agriculture, and food [and also, lots and lots of beer].

For those who love the extra credit points you get for knowing the background story, Oktoberfest revelry dates back to 1810, when King Ludwig I of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. So great was his happiness that he threw a huge party for all his subjects, right outside the city gates, to honor his bride.

Two hundred years later, Oktoberfest celebrations are held all over the world. The oldest and biggest Oktoberfest is in Munich [“the largest Volksfest in the world”], and lasts for a whopping 16 – 18 days. That’s a lot of bratwurst and beer.

I saw the official 2010 Munich figures, which claim that they served 7.1 million liters of beer that year, and served 119,000 pairs of sausages. That’s. A. Lot. Of. Brats. And. Beer.

Perhaps that explains the curious tradition of visitors wearing special Oktoberfest Bavarian hats (Tirolerhüte), which contain a tuft of real goat hair, and eating haxen, or pig knuckles.

Eep. That much beer and sausage can make you do craaazy things.

How crazy?

Well, the festive spirit seems to make some revelers lose track of their belongings: a total of 4,500 items were handed in to the lost-and-found office at the Munich Oktoberfest site, including two wedding rings, a hearing aid and two French horns. (French horn is one of the most difficult instruments to play well. Do you suppose loved ones of these french horn owners “lost” the horns on purpose?) Two pairs of Lederhosen were also turned in. [Insert your own Lederhosen joke here. C’mon.]

Unlike in previous years, however, the lost-and-found list did not include false teeth. (Well, that’s cheery.)

The number of Bierleichen, or “beer corpses” — revelers who have “drunk themselves into a state of unconsciousness” — jumped by almost 20 percent in 2012 to 445, most of them aged 30 or under, according to the Red Cross.

“Happily, there were no attempted killings during the first half of the festival, and no extremely serious injuries,” the Munich police said in a statement.

We are too old and too low-key for shenanigans on the Munich scale [16 days! Seven million beers! Bierleichen und Lederhosen-less French horn players!].

We’ll be limiting our Oktoberfest revelry to probably one evening, with our dirndls and dentures intact, thankyouverymuch.

Here are our recommendations for a more tame, state-side Oktoberfest menu:

  • Sauerbraten. This marinated German pot roast is typically served with red cabbage and a curious (but delicious) ginger-snap gravy.
  • Beer-Simmered Grilled Sausages. If this weekend’s weather is pleasant, we may grill out our Oktoberfest supper.
  • Cheddar-Beer Soup. Not strictly German, but anything cooked with beer can have a german “twist” – use a dark beer, and maybe a bit of Caraway seed.
  • Mulled Cider. The perfect drink for a cold rainy night. Use our exclusive Mulling Spice Blend. Substitute red wine for apple cider to *really* warm your insides and bring a glow to your cheek.
  • Triple-Ginger Cookies. Ground Ginger, Crystallized Ginger, and fresh ginger combine for a full-flavored dessert.

Photo credit: “Oktoberfest Dirndl” on Flickr, and “Tired Oktoberfest” on der Spiegel.

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Do Try This At Home: Oktoberfest Party Menu and Recipes

By all accounts, last week’s Oktoberfest party was a success: there were no leftovers, we saw so many of our favorite people, and all of us at AllSpice had a really good time.

If you came to the AllSpice First Anniversary/ Oktoberfest party last Friday, thank you again for taking time out of your busy weekend to be here. Your presence gave our party a festive atmosphere.

Did you like some of the “spicy bites” you tried at the party? Many of you have asked after the recipes and secret ingredients of the dishes Chef Amy created for the party. Here is the menu, with links to our Recipe section. The recipes, in turn, have links to the ingredients we carry here in the store, and online:

  • The beer came from Madhouse Brewery in Newton, and the wine was from Jasper Winery
  • Des Moines Bacon Guy served up his Brats and Bacon [it was so good!]

If you live far away, or if perhaps your social calendar was too fabulously full to sneak a way for a few hours, we thank you, too. All of you, our friends and customers, have made this past year a smashing success, far beyond our wildest, ambitious hopes for our little shop in the East Village. We owe you the hugest debt of gratitude, and we look forward to fill this coming year with many more tasty opportunities to celebrate together.

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