Oktoberfest is one of those interesting times of the year where people suddenly express a previously unknown heritage. Everyone’s Irish for St. Patrick’s Day and everyone is similarly Bavarian when Oktoberfest rolls around. Whether you’re intending to indulge in this most peculiar part of the tradition or not, you can still enjoy the flavors of the season. OROGOLD would like to highlight this does mean more than indulging at a local ale houses or regional celebration of Oktoberfest. There are plenty of dishes associated with or inspired by the celebration you can enjoy as well. Some of the recipes for these dishes do involve a bit of alcohol, but the amount tends to vary and you have options when it comes to finding other ways to prepare them. Most dishes are going to be on the heavy side and involve meat though due to being inspired by the Bavarian holiday.
Roasting meat and beer are intimately associated with Oktoberfest as a celebration. Some beef stews actually combine both, but you don’t need to find one that incorporates beer for the taste of Oktoberfest though. You should look for heavier stews that focus more on the preparation of the meat (or meat substitute, for vegetarians) as you’re looking for the rich scent and flavor more than anything. You want a recipe meant to sit in the stomach and fill you and others with warmth and a deep sense of being full. The kind of meal you’d be eating before you went out to a celebration that happened to involve a lot of drinking, strangely enough. You may not need to find a recipe using a beer in it for the flavor of the celebration, but it will certainly add robustness to the dish and as cooking boils off the alcohol most of the time it makes a good option for those who like the taste, but can no longer indulge as they could in the past.
Schnitzel is something many people feel the need to save whenever someone brings up German cuisine. They know the word is associated with the area and especially wiener schnitzel, but they seldom have a full grasp of what it means. OROGOLD would like to highlight that wiener schnitzel is more of an Austrian dish. Regardless, schnitzel is traditionally a tenderized meat lightly fried in a simple batter coating. This is probably best served alongside other parts of meal, but will add a clear regional flavor to any Oktoberfest celebration you put together. While pork and veal are the typical main parts of the dishes, there are vegetarian ways to prepare schnitzel as well to ensure everyone can enjoy this particular slice of the festival.
Every meal needs a dessert afterwards. Any Oktoberfest meal you put together will benefit from making a strudel. It too is mainly associated with Austria, but the close historical ties to Germany means it has a place in this as well. Strudel is a general type of pastry and that means you’ll find countless recipes in both books and online that tell you different ways to make it. You do get to choose the kind of filling you include in it though. Due to the season, you should consider using apples. They’re readily available in the fall and will provide something sweet to offset many of the heavier meat-based dishes typically provided for these occasions. A choice of toppings for the pastry will likewise let your guests make their dessert a personal affair.
Oktoberfest may only come once a year, but the festival spans sixteen days of food, spirits, and celebration. Your private celebration or the local version of Oktoberfest may not last that long though. Don’t worry about it. These recipe ideas will give you a way to capture the spirit and flavor whenever you want them. OROGOLD does caution against overindulging in alcohol of any sort as abuse can hurt your skin as well as other aspects of your health. Do enjoy the time though and make the most of this festival whether you’re in Bavaria itself or somewhere else in the world.