Alright, Columbus Day has passed, Canadian Thanksgiving has passed, and my friends have to keep reminding me it’s Oktoberfest time because I keep forgetting. Alas, I have other things on my mind, such as survival. But, since I am German, I figured I could not let this month go by without some sort of homage to Oktoberfest (not a misspelling).
I have been to Oktoberfests in Germany and they differ from the American kind. For one, the food is authentic. Bratwurst and Sauerkraut is a favorite – nothing like some grease and vinegar to soak up the alcohol! And speaking of alcohol, it’s usually served in big steins overflowing with foam.
A lot of the fests are outside under big, striped tents with wooden benches. Oompapa music is a must, so is linking your arms with your neighbors swaying in time to the music. Perhaps another alcohol-burning function? And no, there is no drinking and driving because of the easy availability of public transportation. Besides, we engage in Gemutlichkeit and let our friends stay overnight to sober up.
I have also made it to a couple of local Oktoberfests here in Richmond. The ones I went to were actually organized by a German club. While the locale left a lot to be desired, I was in heaven with the food, mostly desserts, made with authentic German recipes – no German chocolate cake here! While I ate my weight in German pastries, my friend drank his in beer. Since I was designated driver I can’t attest to the quality of said beer. Wish I could go for another taste test.