Flammkuchen, schnitzel and Käsespätzle! Navigating the German food at Philly's Christmas Village

Hadas Kuznits
December 13, 2019 - 4:30 am
The German Grill booth at Christmas Village is one spot where German street cuisine can be found.

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's Christmas Village is open in LOVE Park, and there's a lot to eat there. It's modeled after a traditional German Christmas market, so we put it to the test with a tour of German and other European foods for sale.

The first thing you'll probably notice is the long line of people at the Raclette Cheese booth.

"It's Swiss cheese, and you melt it and then you swipe it off on a bread. That's super delicious. You put some pickles, some spring onions on it ...," says Lea Kothe, a native of Germany who was hired to help make the village look authentic.

Kothe says there are a lot of sandwiches among the vendors.

"We also have bratwurst, we have sauerkraut. That's sausage in a bun," she says, available at the Bratwurst Grill booth. 

"We have schnitzel in a bun as well," she says — at the German Grill booth.

She points out the one that's the most fun to pronounce: leberkase.

Even more fun is the translation: "liver cheese." But Kothe's description may sound more appealing.

"Leberkase ... is kind of meatloaf that you can get on a bun or burger kind of thing as well," she says.

New this year at the Christmas Village is something called a flammkuchen.

"It translates to 'flame cake,'" Kothe says. "Flammkuchen, yes, and that's basically German flatbread pizza."

A vegetarian option that's also child friendly is a sort of German mac and cheese. (Check out the Spaetzle Booth.)

"It's called Käsespätzle," Kothe says. "It's cheesy pasta with onions on top."

And to finish, there are sweets, like the traditional German strudel on offer at Helmut's Original Austrian Strudel.

"Yeah, so we have some with apples, some with chocolate, Nutella as well," Kothe says. "So, whatever you like."

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For more on Christmas Village foods and other German holiday traditions, listen to the KYW Newsradio original podcast What’s Cooking on the RADIO.COM app.