Top 3 Christmas Market Foods

Unless I can eat the hand-crafted Christmas decorations and ornate candle holders, there’s only type of stall I’m interested in at the German Christmas Markets. And if you’re honest with yourself, you do too. It’s the food. The culinary delights that make your stomach rumble, your mouth water and a little piece of your soul die every time you eat a Pot Noodle during the rest of the year. But with so many choices and so little time, what should you go for? There were some close calls (lebkuchen, waffles, Martin Platt’s cheese), but here’s the final savoury round-up.

manchester christmas markets

The big bag of sausage surprise

It wouldn’t be the Christmas Markets without one man — the Chorizo Bandit of Berlin. Shoving a meaty cacophony of dried sausage into £10 bags, his is the last remaining German accent on Albert Square.

There are two ways to keep the festive feel of the German Markets going. The first is to cram all your friends into the smallest room of your house to drink hot wine and burn £5 notes, either in exchange for secateurs you’ll never use or marshmallow macaroons. The second is to invest in Mr Chorizo’s spicy bag of fun that will last well into spring, assuming you can stop yourself scoffing the lot in one major sausage fest (not unlike the Amsterdam Market).

It wouldn’t be the Christmas Markets without one man — the Chorizo Bandit of Berlin. Shoving a meaty cacophony of dried sausage into £10 bags, his is the last remaining German accent on Albert Square.

With all the food groups (garlic, pepper, white, small and spicy) made into sausage, there’s something to please everyone. With the exception of vegetarians and actual pigs, obviously. And by February, you’re having it with everything. Chorizo and chips, chorizo cocktails, chorizo cupcakes with a spicy rind garnish. Come the end of your supply, you’ll be licking the inside of the bag for that final taste that will leave you counting the days until next Christmas.

A spit roast you actually want a part of

It might be an obvious choice, but I worry that the many wurst varieties on offer are clouding the simple pleasure of the hog roast sandwich (or ‘butty’ to us Mancs). Moist meat almost falling apart, soft bread soaking up flavour, seasonal stuffing. It doesn’t get any better.

There’s just one thing that might put you off. The roast pig that gave its life for your feast is on display — head, trotters, the lot. The little curly tail is missing, but probably only because they’re sold on to become bratwurst. So, if you lose your appetite when faced with the original incarnation of your food, steer clear. Thankfully, kebab shops don’t take that approach or we’d have takeaway windows displaying cow’s sphincters, buckets of pig eyelids and the fingers of abattoir workers.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to save a few quid, there’s a place in the Arndale market that does a choice of pork, ham or beef carvery sandwiches for a mere £2.90 — leaving more in your pocket for gluhwein.

Chestnuts roasting on a hot plate in the rain

It’s a scientific fact that you can’t say ‘chestnuts’ without singing “roasting on an open fire” in your head. This makes them one of the most festive foods you can eat. They’re low in calories and fat, gluten free and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. And best of all, they don’t even taste healthy (i.e. bad). Add a couple of cracks of salt and you have the daddy of Christmas snacks.

The small chestnut stall in St Anne’s Square is a good one. And they’re only about £2.50, which in Christmas Market terms is practically giving it away.

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