Focusing on the food of Oktoberfest at Old 5
Many cultures have a harvest festival, but few rival the German Oktoberfest. On Oct. 10, 1810, King Ludwig I married Princess Therese. To celebrate, the people were invited to a great lawn party outside the royal palace. In his bride’s honor, Ludwig named this meadow Theresienweise, (Teresa’s meadow). These days the locals actually don’t use the term Oktoberfest. They refer to the festival as “Wies’n, – the short version of Theresienweise.
Oktoberfest is the largest Volksfest (people’s fair), in the world. In 1999, there were six and a half million visitors.
Seventy-two percent of these were Bavarians. It’s still a very important local tradition. Young and old alike, get on their traditional costumes and party into the wee hours.
There are carnival rides, agricultural competitions, traditional and modern music, great food — and of course — beer. In 2010, there were about 7,100,000 liters of beer consumed — that’s about 15 million pints. If you think that means about two pints per person, you haven’t yet heard that there were also 715,910 glasses of wine sold.
Some of the traditional Oktoberfest foods served are Schwein Haxen, (pork shanks), Wiesn Hendl, (literally meadow chicken, but in essence it’s Oktoberfest chicken), pretzels and of course, Wurst — yummy German sausages.
This October, the Old 5Mile House will serve up several German dishes. We have wienerschnitzel, which is a breaded pork cutlet, jagerschnitzel, (Hunter’s cutlet), a cutlet with wild mushrooms, our excellent house made bratwurst, sauerbraten, a pot roast with a sweet and sour sauce that actually has ground up ginger snaps in it, pfeffer steak, (Pepper steak), a smoked trout salad and more. Then for dessert, there’s our apfelstudel — nothing like American versions — and the Linzer torte, with its hazelnut crust and fruit filling.
Below is a recipe for wienerschnitzel, which is easy to make and is sure to become a family standard. You can serve it with a lemon wedge, mashed potatoes or french fries, a veggie and apple sauce.
4 veal, pork or chicken cutlets pounded to 1/4 inch thickness (about 5-6 oz. each)
1/4 cup flour (all purpose or brown rice)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Oil or lard for frying (lard is traditional)
Pound the meat evenly to 1/4 inch thickness for best results. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper.
Set up three shallow dishes. Place the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in one and breadcrumbs in another. Beat eggs well and place in the third dish.
Heat at about a half inch of oil in the pan to 350°F.
Working one at a time, dredge cutlets first in flour until the surface is completely dry.
Dip in egg to coat, allow the excess to drip off for a few seconds and then coat with the breadcrumbs, shaking off excess.
Fry the schnitzel for 3-4 minutes on one side, until golden and cooked through.
Remove from pan, allow the oil to drain on paper towels. Serve each with a lemon wedge.
Robert Smith is the chef owner of the Old 5Mile House where they serve roadhouse food from around the world.
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