What specialities to try at Strasbourg’s Christmas Market?

by | Updated on 15/02/2024 | Alsatian specialties, Various Christmas activities | 0 comments

bredele-etoiles-cannelle

To soak up the gastronomic flavors and discover the culinary traditions of Alsace, nothing beats a little stopover in Gloutonnie, better known as ChristkindlsmĂ€rik! The Strasbourg Christmas Market is Alsace in a nutshell. The fumes of mulled wine, the smell of cinnamon and grilled meats tickle your nostrils…

Above all, the Strasbourg Christmas Market is a great way to discover Alsatian cuisine and the region’s typical street-food dishes! But you’ll need a strong stomach to enjoy it all. Sweet or savory, what are the Alsatian culinary specialties to be savored in Strasbourg? What are the must-try dishes? And what gourmet souvenirs can you bring back from your stay in the Christmas Capital? A short inventory if you’re in a strange land…

Savoury culinary specialities

Pretzel

Even if it’s not a Christmas speciality, it’s hard to miss the mountains of pretzels and the dedicated stands! A plump, soft part, with thin, crisp, intertwining branches, this leavened speciality is a true symbol of Alsace. The plain version is sprinkled with coarse salt, but you can also try the gratin version with GruyĂšre, tarte flambĂ©e with lardons or Munster cheese. To be enjoyed with a good Christmas beer, of course! You can also find our recipe for home-made pretzels here.

pretzel

Flambée baguette

A slice of baguette bread topped with cottage cheese, onions and bacon, the flammisch (or flambĂ©) baguette is the meeting of the baguette and the Alsatian tarte flambĂ©e (Flammkuech). A hybrid recipe and a great classic in the small chalets of Strasbourg’s Christmas Market. Pimped with GruyĂšre, mushrooms or salmon for the gratin, forest and Nordic versions.

baguette-flambee

Spaetzle

The spaetzle are small Alsatian pastas traditionally eaten as a side dish, or even as a main course, mixed with a dollop of cheese. But also in street-food mode! At the Christmas market, you’ll find them cooked with crĂšme fraĂźche, accompanied by a pan-fried mushroom, munstiflette-style (with Munster cheese) or even with sauerkraut and bacon, a good way to discover two specialties in one.

spaetzle

Alsatian sauerkraut

The winstub is fully booked? Don’t panic, the unmissable Alsatian sauerkrautcan also be enjoyed in tubs, on the corner of a stand-up table, but always with the right ratio of charcuterie, bacon and Alsatian knacks in mind! Other local specialties include Cervelas or Waedele (pig’s knuckle), often braised in beer.

sauerkraut

Foie Gras from Alsace

Foie gras production has a long tradition in Alsace. At Strasbourg’s Christmas Market, you can enjoy duck Foie Gras on the go with a gourmet sandwich from Maison Doriath on Place du MarchĂ© aux Poissons. Don’t forget to take home your own little ballotin or slices of local duck breast for your festive appetizers.

Flammlachs or flamed salmon

It’s well known that Alsace is Southern Norway. Not exactly local, but no less delicious, salmon Ă  la flamme regularly takes pride of place at Christmas markets.

Sweet culinary specialties

Bredele

Bredele, WinĂ chtsbredle or Bredala, in Alsace there are at least as many varieties and recipes as there are days in the year. Butterbredele (butter croissants), Schowebredele (almond croissants), Spritzbredele (pastry croissants), Vanillekipferle (vanilla croissants), coconut macaroons, to name but a few. To fill up on gourmet souvenirs at Strasbourg’s Christmas Market, stop by the Boulangerie Pains Westermann stand on Place du Temple-Neuf, the MarchĂ© des DĂ©lices d’Alsace on Terrasse Rohan or the MarchĂ© des IrrĂ©ductibles Petits Producteurs d’Alsace on Square Louise Weiss. And to make bredele like a true Alsatian, you’ll need our indispensable bredele recipe book!

bredele-damiers

Buy our bredele recipe book!

livre-recettes-bredele

Gingerbread

Don’t miss those of Mireille Oster, Strasbourg’s gingerbread queen. Mouthfuls, cobblestones, shareable bars: these moist, fragrant creations can be enjoyed in all shapes and sizes. For the holidays or all year round, they can be enjoyed with tea, foie gras or sauerkraut confit. Don’t miss his stand brimming with delicacies. Taste and take home specialties like Le Couque, Pain des Anges and DĂ©claration d’Amour.

mireille-oster-pains-epices

Rather dry and far from the best (my favourite is still the one covered in dark chocolate) and yet…The sugar-glazed gingerbread from the Fortwenger house and its vintage vignette of St Nicolas is the one that best evokes the gingerbread of my childhood, the one that was distributed to all schoolchildren on December 6 in a bag accompanied by a mannele and a clementine. An authentic souvenir from Alsace. To make your own, find our recipe for decorated gingerbread rolls here.

saint-nicolas-fortwenger

HĂŒtzelbrot and BĂ€rewecke, fruit breads

Much easier to eat than to pronounce, Hutzelbrot and BĂ€rewecke are dense breads, richly stuffed with soft, dried fruits (raisins, pears, candied citrus fruits, walnuts) previously macerated in brandy. For a taste of the good stuff, stop by Mathilde’s stand, also known for one of ChristkindelsmĂ€rik’s best mulled wines.

hutzelbrot

Mannele

This chubby, brioche-shaped, deliciously regressive little man makes his appearance in bakeries from mid-November, and can be seen on little wooden chalets throughout December. Chocolate chips, raisins, sprinkled with streusel or simply glazed with sugar, the Mannele (whose spelling and pronunciation vary according to geography, Team Mannala in Haut-Rhin, Mannele in Bas-Rhin), it’s the viennoiserie emblematic of St Nicholas ! Enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate, mulled wine and a clementine, in keeping with tradition. And to make your own, find our mannele recipe here.

mannele

Christstollen

This traditional cake comes to us from our German cousins – and from the city of Dresden to be precise – but it also makes an appearance on Alsatian festive tables. Christstollen is a fragrant brioche bread with candied fruit, raisins and a marzipan center. Its religious significance is often overlooked, but its shape and thick layer of powdered sugar represent the infant Jesus swaddled in swaddling clothes. Only buy the genuine Christstollen with the AOC (appellation d’origine contrĂŽlĂ©e) seal, not the over-hyped supermarket version.

stollen-amandes

And with that, what do we drink?

A glass of red or white mulled wine, apple juice or warm orange juice to wash it all down! The Tribu des Gourmet on the Terrace of the Palais Rohan serves a fine white mulled wine. For red mulled wine, try the Chez Mathilde stand. Among the seasonal beverages, try BiĂšre de NoĂ«l (Christmas beer) and biĂšre chaude (warm beer), a little curiosity you’ll find at the Corporation Libre des Artisans Brasseurs d’Alsace stand on Place Broglie.

gluhwein

CĂ©line

CĂ©line

CĂ©line, Alsacienne pure souche, bec sucrĂ©, gourmande et passionnĂ©e de pĂątisserie. AprĂšs avoir Ă©pluchĂ© et ficelĂ© des dossiers, elle a prĂ©fĂ©rĂ© manier le beurre et clarifier les Ɠufs. Mais aussi ciseler des textes. Elle tient le blog L’Heure du Cream sur lequel elle distille ses recettes et ses idĂ©es de sorties outre-Rhin sur Knack&Rucksack, son site de tourisme de proximitĂ© pour vadrouiller tout prĂšs d'ici et un peu plus loin.

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