Monday, 7 December 2009

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland /German Market

German Market? No it wasn't. I've never seen any churroz at a market in Germany. To be honest it looked like the 'International Market' held in Aberdeen every month or so. A bunch of people arrive from continental Europe, stop at Lidl and stock up on crappy biscuits and olives, ditch the wrappers and put them in dusty old wicker baskets and label them as 'Homemade, authentic Bavarian mountain cookies'

I'm sure Germany produces a lot more than dragons carved from compacted sawdust but that was all they seemed to export. We followed the crowds along and found our way to the Bavarian section wherein there was a little man selling chestnuts, my eye (and nose) were drawn in, remembering the lovely little salty chestnuts that the man on Oxford St peddles. These ones looked fatter so I caught his eye and nodded, he quickly whisked a scoop into a little paper cone and robbed me of 2.50, well knock me down with a feather, you're not scared to charge. So I thought that they're here for a limited time and probably have to chug back to somewhere where they might have to live on these takings for some time...that was, until he thanked me in the broadest of Cockney accents. Continental European/German Market eh?
So that didn't matter, I was looking forward to these cheeky little chaps, sprinkle of salt and crumble off the husk...crumble off the husk, hang on a second this husk isn't coming off. I almost tore off my thumb getting into the damn thing and found that it was stone cold inside and not cooked at all. On further inspection they all had a stab mark on the side where I think he'd hoped that it would help it cook quicker. I went back and asked him if he had any cooked ones. No so mine went back on but chestnuts take ages to cook so it was never going to do. I gave in after trying another one and binned them.

I did have a twinkling that this was just a load of rubbish for the masses but I wanted to enjoy it and see what gems we would uncover. We made our way round the various beer and bratwurst stalls and found a great looking pretel stand so I got one and Katie got a spicy sausage of some Pepperami description...

So we stood watching the people going round the ice rink while eating Germany's best then wandered round a little more when we saw this monstrosity...

Lifting it's passengers up and dropping 2-3 times before releasing them towards the currywurst stand in a dizzy stagger.

Last time I went on one of these I was in Disney World, MGM Studios to be precise. Mum and I went on the Hollywood Tower of Terror and terrifying it certainly was. I never went on a roller coaster again!

Once pretzel and sausage thingee were done we went about scouting the various stalls and food on offer.  I was sure I caught, out of the corner of my eye, someone with a bowl of Stovies but I couldn't be sure. Eventually we found Aberdeen Angus Scottish stand serving burgers and Stovies. I opted for the Venison burger with cranberry chutney/jelly/sauce and onions. It was not too bad,  a little dry as venison can be but meaty, not over done, sweet with the cranberry and a nice bit of texture with the onion. We sat down with the burger and a cup of tea to listen to a band playing a medley of 90's Oasis tracks.  That done Katie had here eye on some currywurst.

Once the target has been selected there's no stopping her so off we went to the hapless sausage dealer. As I found out, the currywurst isn't actually a sausage but a regluar wurst cut into bite sized chunks clarted in a tangy tomato sauce and a sprinkling of turneric. A more horrific snack I cannot imagine, and it was a fiver! I had one chunk and Katie had 2 before giving it back to the girl and asking her to bin it. I cannot tell you enough how awful it was. Please don't stand at a wurst stall and wonder what a currywurst would taste like, it's not worth it.

On our way out we decided to relive our holiday in Coin, Spain last year and have some Churroz and hot chocolate. I got stiffed £6 for 2 hot chocolates which was a little rediculous seen as it came out of an push button machine that you get in all service stations. It did taste pretty good and when the Churroz was dipped in, it was great. Crispy batter with icing sugar and sweet hot chocolate. Ideal in the cold evening air.

Personal verdict: don't bother with the winter wonderland, it's a rip off, it's not authentic in the slightest and you will only come away feeling disappointed. The stuff for sale are things you will find for sale in places like Camden market, and probably the market stall holders too!

I might give a 'proper' hot chocolate a go soon. I'd like to try Churroz but I feel that they might be a little fiddly without the machine for dispensing the batter.

1 comment:

  1. I went last year and it was a massive disapointment, as you'd expect. These 'german markets' in their garden sheds are everywhere and all seem to sell the same crap.

    Just google German Christmas Market and you'll find almost every town has one!