The German Market has been a popular phenomenon every Christmas in Birmingham city centre for some years now. It has grown in size and popularity over the years to become the biggest German Market outside of Germany this year, and its stalls run from the Bullring Bronze Bull statue to Centenary Square. I usually make a point of visiting the market at least once whilst it runs from late November until 23rd December. After a lengthy wonder around the many market stalls that offer a wide range of items from jewelry to tin toys, clothing to sweets, cakes and chocolates, massive German sausages to roasted chestnuts, I made a beeline for my favourite garlic bread stall…
The garlic bread stall (shown in the photograph) is in the form of a huge clove of garlic. It is in the same place every year, which is just in front of the Town Hall on Victoria Square. The stall offers three flavours of garlic bread; Garlic and Cheese; Garlic, Cheese and Salami; and Garlic, Cheese and Spicy Sausage. I’ve tried the Garlic and Cheese, and the Garlic, Cheese and Salami flavours in the years before, and I remember that both flavours were sumptuously juicy with garlic, thick tasty cheese and the second flavour was laced with meaty spicy salami. This year I decided to try the Garlic, Cheese and Spicy Sausage. Sadly I didn’t get a picture, due to the fact that the bread is served on a napkin (not a paperplate) and is rather messy, therefore I had to eat the garlic bread whilst it was nice and hot before the garlic and cheese oozed everywhere. Again, the bread was juicy with garlic, covered with thick melted and slightly stringy cheese and lovely spicy meaty pieces of sausage. The spice in the sausage was quite hot, and mixed well with the strong garlic and cheese flavours. Part the way through eating the Garlic, Cheese and Spicy Sausage flavour I began to seriously regret not trying this flavour before from this stall. I mean, I like the Garlic and Cheese, and the Garlic, Cheese and Salami flavours, but the Garlic, Cheese and Spicy Sausage flavour was in a class of its own. However, I could tell that I wasn’t going to get much kisses when I got home from work that night, or many the next day for that matter, so I made my way to the fried mushrooms and fried potatoes with garlic sauce stall. In for a penny… I guess!
Fried Mushrooms and Fried Potatoes with Garlic Sauce
Set amongst all the German sausage, mulled wine and beer stalls in Victoria Square and not too far from the garlic bread stall, is the stall that cooks fried mushrooms and fried potatoes with garlic sauce. The stall also cooks fried burgers too, but I’m still to try one of these at some point. There are huge frying pans on this stall, one with fried mushrooms, one with fried potatoes and one with fried burgers. I ordered fried mushrooms and fried potatoes with the customary garlic sauce. As I was handed a plate piled high with mushrooms, fried slices of potatoes, and runny with garlic sauce, I reminded myself that last year I ended up wearing the garlic sauce, which was a pain to get out of a suit jacket. There are plenty of tables to stand around nearby, which were busy with people eating and drinking. I shared a table with a couple that were visiting from Yorkshire, and had a nice conversation with them. Everybody seemed happy and friendly around me, and in the Christmas spirit. The hot fried potatoes soaked up much of the garlic sauce, and the fried mushrooms were dipped in the rest. The meal was just as tasty and luxurious as I remembered it from the previous years, and I’d recommend it to anyone.
I’d been looking forward to my trip to the German Market particularly for these two food stalls since the previous year, and was certainly not disappointed. The German Market always leaves me full of food and in the Christmas spirit. I shall try and visit again before the 23rd December, to see if I can sample some more German food and drink. I bought six doughnuts as I was leaving the market, which Cinabar will write up soon and a teddy bear for one of Cinabar’s Christmas presents. Merry Christmas everyone! ;-)