Street festivals invite experimentation. They feed curiosity. Stall after stall, hand-crafted goods sparkle under incandescent lights which are strung together with a single wire. These soon-to-be presents beg to be taken home and shared with loved ones.
Southern Germany and Austria has perfected this tradition with their Christkindlmarkt. In the walk up to Christmas, people wander the crowded plazas in the evening, seeking that one thing. Eyes scan through bright colors and inviting shapes. Hands dart outside the protection of pockets to turn crafts over. To see the marking on the underside. To verify the place of origin. To secure authenticity.
While this activity fills the soul, it empties the stomach. Thankfully there are those proprietors who mull wine and those which transform sausage into an artform. When you put your boots into Bavaria, you will find that bratwurst and weisswurst have no equal.
Americans love proportionality in food. Hot dogs fit hot dog buns. Hamburgers do the same. Germans can toy with these expectations. Ask for a bratwurstsemmel (pork sausage on a roll) and you are presented with an oblong protein and a spherical carbohydrate.
This is where style points come in. How to to get the perfect bite of meat and bread in each time. Never mind squirting the right amount of mustard. And never letting it drip. At least not on the shirt.
The chefs at the Easy Tiger like to play with perceptions too. They steal the tradition of German-sausage-with-roll and provide their own alchemical transformation. If gold was a taste, this would be it.
Aside from being master bakers with a penchant for the hearty breads and pretzels, they dip their hand into sausage making. The American genetic code brings ingenuity and novelty. Why limit yourself to pork and veal?
Now in the center ring, we introduce the duck and fennel. Sauerkraut becomes sweet onion marmalade. And the bread emerges as one part pretzel and one part roll.
Yes, this a culinary Griffin. The head and wings of an eagle. The body of a lion.
If the visit to Cardiologist has you minimizing red meat, then turn your attention to Hatch Green Chile chicken sausage. It’s all mossed up with a pepita salsa that looks more like pesto. Pickled onions zap some acidity into the mix. And yes, your pretzel roll is an option. Like breathing air is an option.
So when you think about getting out into the cold air to cross off the Christmas list items, don’t forget a shopper’s best companion: food that make you want to stand to eat it.
That’s what we call a standing ovation. Food so good, you don’t have time to sit and savor. Got to get over the threshold and into the piehole as soon as possible.
If you have an errand-inspired meal, we want to hear about it. Put your experience in the comment field.