We can't authenticate the foods served in Germany during Oktoberfest, but we can document the spin we Californians place on the delicious, different and savory taste treats that go oh so well with a dark German beer.
Above is a plate of food served at the Long Beach Oktoberfest. The meal is filling, as you might surmise--offering an ample meat schnitzel or bratwurst, red potatoes with bacon and herbs, sauerkraut, and rotkraut (sweet red cabbage.)
It's fair to say the Oktoberfest meal will put some meat on your bones and is important if you plan to consume liquor and alcoholic beverages at Oktoberfest.
The food plate lacks traditional salads and breads, with everything on the plate served hot.
The effect? The various dishes are a play of sour and sweet.
At Oktoberfest events you'll usually see hot, salted pretzels for sale, and for dessert there's usually some sort of pastry such as strudels similar to apple pie.
Rotkraut Recipe or Rotkohl
This is a dish that goes with many types of foods and meals. It takes sweet and sour at the same time, which gives extra zip on the plate. It's also low in calories, cholesterol, and can be frozen to last a month after you've made a big batch.
Ingredients: Red cabbage, sugar, apples, yellow
onions, red wine vinegar, salt, bay leaves, cloves, beef
broth, and oil for frying the onions --we use olive oil.
Several T Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
2 Onions; Sliced & Diced
2 Red Cabbages; Shredded
Salt, a pinch or more
1/4 Cup Sugar
6 Apples, Diced
1 c Red Wine Vinegar
1 -2 Cans Beef Broth
4 Bay Leaves
Water as needed while simmering.
Core and peel apple, then fine chop it.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pan and saute onions 3 minutes. Add cabbage and immediately pour vinegar over cabbage to prevent it from losing its red color. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Add chopped apple or applesauce and a piece of salt pork (we prefer chicken or other meats to salt pork, and we turn the dish into a main dish with the meet flavors absorbed into the cabbage). Pour in red wine and hot beef broth. Cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. Cabbage should be just tender, not soft. Shortly before end of cooking time, remove salt pork, bay leaves and cloves; cube and return it to the cabbage if desired. Correct seasonings and serve.