Food & Drink
Ever tried curly kale with pinkel sausage? Or sampled a slice of Bremen's klaben cake? And did you know that fast-food favourite the rollo originated from Bremen or that the Bremen Schaffermahl is the world's oldest banquet still celebrated today?
THE CITY OF CURLY KALE.
In Bremen and the surrounding region, ‘cabbage tours’ are a popular custom
practised between early November and late February. And although pushing
a hand cart through the countryside in the freezing cold might not sound like
much fun, there’s lots of drinking and merriment involved, and a meal of curly
kale and sausage to look forward to at the end.
COFFEE HOUSE TALES
In 1673, Bremen became the first city in Germany to be granted the right for coffee to be served to the public. And Bremen is still closely linked with the trade in ‘black gold’. The beans for half of all coffee drunk in Germany are imported via the Hanseatic city.
WHO INVENTED IT?
Decaffeinated coffee is a Bremen invention. Local merchant Ludwig Roselius developed and patented the process, and in 1906 founded the company now known as Café HAG. Even today, a large part of the world’s decaffeinated coffee has its stimulant removed in Bremen.
THE BREMEN BURGER
A popular alternative to the hamburger in Bremen takes the form of a bread roll encasing a breadcrumbed filet of fresh white fish, such as coalfish or hake, and garnished with a mix of herbs, mustard and fried onions.
GUTEN APPETIT, GENTLEMEN!
The Schaffermahl is the world’s oldest annual fraternal banquet. Every year since 1545, the ship owners and captains of Bremen as well as important politicians and businessmen have assembled in the Upper Hall of Bremen town hall to enjoy a five-hour feast.
Bremen’s Ratskeller, the cellar of the town hall, is the world’s largest repository of quality German wines, holding around 1,200 different varieties. Among them is the oldest German cask wine, which dates back to 1653.
A section of the cellar is named after the poet Wilhelm Hauff, who published a wine-themed novella in 1827 entitled ‘The Wine-ghosts of Bremen’.
A TASTE OF FESTIVE BREMEN
Bremen’s famous Klaben (a stollen cake) first appears in official records in 1593. Ingredients in this winter favourite include flour, butter, sugar, almonds, rum and grated lemon rind. In days gone by, families used to make so much that they were still eating it at Easter.