Colmar Local Custom Tips by breughel Top 5 Page for this destination
Colmar Local Customs: 11 reviews and 9 photos
"Beerawecka" fruit cake.
Beerawecka (also berawecka) is fruit cake Alsatian speciality that makes me drive 550 Km to get some in Colmar!
Traditionally prepared starting from the autumnal period, this cake, is composed of dates, figs, prunes, dried pears, apricots, dry grapes, nut and almonds, and was always regarded as a very invaluable delicacy.
The mixture of these fruits is lengthily macerated in cherry (Kirsch) and pear brandy then bonded with a fine layer of paste sweetened with cinnamon, and worked out of bread of 200 gr approximately rolls, which are then decorated and cooked.
What is nice with Beerawecka is that you can keep it several months to pass the hard winter months. The calories level of this delicacy is on the very high level!
The quality and taste of this unique fruit cake increases with the fruit content. Price also increases. A standard beerawecka costs 9 € for 500 gr., upper quality like the one on my photo costs 9€ for 250 gr.
Glühwein, Vin Chaud, Mulled wine shop in Colmar.
Christmas markets in Colmar attract most visitors when it gets dark because all the lights of the decoration and the shops add to the Christmas atmosphere.
The cold of the winter night is also there so that a glass of Vin Chaud, Mulled wine is welcome.
Glühwein (or Gluehwein) in Alsace is usually prepared from red wine, heated with sugar and spiced with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, lemon zest.
Hereafter a traditional receipt from Glühwein served at the Alsatian Christmas markets.
The receipt is in French, of course, otherwise it would not be traditional!
1 litre de vin de Bordeaux rouge,
1/8 litre d'eau,
60 grammes de sucre,
De la noix muscade râpée,
1 ou 2 feuilles de laurier,
1/4 de bâton de cannelle,
3 clous de girofle,
Porter à ébullition l'eau, le sucre et les épices,
Laisser infuser 30 minutes, filtrer,
Mélanger au vin rouge,
Chauffer doucement jusqu'à presque ébullition. (Don't boil)
Bredele at Koïfhus of Colmar.
The origin of "Winachtsbredele" (Christmas cookies) goes back as far as the 15-16th c.
There are multitudes of Alsatian Christmas cookies. Bretele vary by their flavours as for their decorative various cut-out shapes such as hearts, Christmas trees, clovers, diamonds, moons or stars. Some say that they were intended to decorate the Christmas trees.
I remember a shop at the Koïfhus (former customs house) of Colmar where they were selling about thirty varieties!
In Colmar you will also find spice bread. This is not typical of Alsace as you find it in many places. Here they started making it in the late 16th century. The village of Gertwiller is the capital of spice bread with 2 firms keeping up the local tradition: Fortwenger and Lips.
Alsatian "Flammekueche" or "Tarte Flambée" is similar to a pizza as it is baked in an open wood-burning oven.
It is a thin-crust pizza made with "fromage blanc", sliced onions and smoked lardoons.
As with pizza there are a number of variations. The cheese can also be gruyere, there can be mushrooms added.
My favoured one contains Munster cheese which gives a quite powerful taste to the Flammekueche. The problem is that restaurants serving this type of tarte flambée smell so strongly that they might cause environmental problems!
Tourist from overseas shouldn't leave the Alsace without trying Munster cheese. This is unique.
There are also sweet Flammekueche with apples and Calvados alcohol.
Please note that not all restaurants serve Flammekueche all the day; some serve it only in the evening.
For the wine I suggest a Pinot Gris. This type is excellent for Flammekueche and Munster cheese.
Baeckeoffe aux trois viandes.
In some restaurants in Colmar you will find on the menu that strange name "Baeckeoffe" which means baker's oven in the Alsatian dialect.
You might wonder what it is and try it like we did.
Baeckeoffe is a mix of sliced potatoes and onions, cubed lamb, beef and pork which have been marinated overnight in Alsatian white wine and juniper berries and slow cooked in a sealed ceramic casserole dish.
In old times women would prepare this dish on Saturday evening and leave it with the baker to cook in his gradually cooling oven on Sunday while they attended church.
I doubt this is still done nowadays.
We tried it but were not really enthusiast. We are not so fond of boiled meat.
Even if you can eat choucroute all over France, entering a restaurant in Colmar after visiting a Christmas market on a cold winter day increases the pleasure.
You will see that Alsatian restaurants serve various choucroutes garnies. The basis is the choucroute and pommes purée but the variations are found in the type and quantity of meat served called garnitures-garnish.
Basic is the "choucroute garnie", then you will find on the menu "choucroutes with 5 garnitures" = 5 types of meat or "choucroutes 6 garnitures" = 6 types of meat to end with the biggest the "choucroute royale". This last one is for big appetites.
There are also choucroutes au poisson - with fish.
To drink: an Alsatian white wine for example a Riesling.
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