Saxony's villages are places with flavor: picturesque gems with numerous idyllically located overnight accommodations, surrounded by forests and meadows, in the midst of rustic river landscapes, wild mountain worlds or lake areas. The ingredients for the unique aroma that makes Saxony's rural areas so special from a culinary point of view thrive on the farms and fields, in vegetable beds, streams and gardens. It is served in the form of regional specialties, old recipes and new creations in inns, mills, old smithies, cafés and farmhouses. Here you will find 7 places and their respective specialties.
Table of Contents:
1. Blankenhain: stately roulades and lots of cake
2. Höckendorf: It's an ear of corn thing
3. Jößnitz: Ancient craft in kitchen and cellar
4. Pumpkin seat: herbal scent and bambes in all variations
5. Rammenau: From juniper ham to deichel mauke
6. Ribbon: Delicious with Sorbian roots
7. Schwarzkollm: Fabulously good!
Blankenhain is a museum village. Time seems to have stood still here. The village belongs to Crimmitschau and is located in the Pleiße-Sprotte-Ackerhügelland, a charming landscape with fields and meadows, forests and hills. In the center of the village rises the stately baroque castle decorated with three towers. On the mill action day, grain is ground here, dough is kneaded in the bakery, the beekeeper allows a look into old beehives, and in autumn juice is pressed. Country life as it was hundreds of years ago.
Also on the plates of locals and visitors comes real home cooking. "Roulade is a classic in our region; it was already served on Sundays by the gentry 300 years ago," explains former chef Jörg Pömpner. He serves it with golden yellow Klitscher (a kind of pancake) made from grated pumpkin. A stately dish that is offered in many restaurants in the region: in the Castle brewery in Crimmitschau, in the House of the guest in Blankenhain and also in the Fishermen's farm in Mannichswalde. And for dessert? Saxony is famous for its art of baking. The Blankenhain bakers serve just the right plates for those who can't decide on the variety: 32 different pieces are available here. Cake heaven on earth!
The twilight settles leisurely over the Galgenberg. Peace and quiet return to the 200-year-old Pasture Colmnitz. Only the distant rumbling of engines shows that the farmers are still wide awake. They continue to work on their combine harvesters well into the night. It is harvest time in the agricultural region between the Tharandt Forest and the Osterzgebirge Mountains. The main crop harvested is grain, the "gold" of Höckendorf. It is the basis for the fine bread from baker Chris Sour from Pretzschendorf. Large dough hooks prepare the dough for bread, rolls and cakes. Sauer bought the flour for this at the Dresden mill: ''The grain from our region is processed there. We bakers, farmers and the mill love our craft." Thus, the traditional mixed rye bread from Pretzschendorf is a bread made from natural ingredients. Nothing artificial or preservative is added.
Without preservatives also come the noble mustard creations from Kristin and Peter Schneider from. For the mustard, they grind the prepared mash gently, slowly and cold between millstones. You can taste the difference to the mustard from a factory right away. And also in the farm garden of the Pasture estate in Colmnitz, one place further on, things are organic. On the more than 5000 square meters large plant, delicious vegetables, countless flowers and spicy herbs artfully arranged as herb man are grown. During harvest time you can get here regional products of the highest quality. Wooden art from the Ore Mountains, a large selection of table decorations, flowers, ceramics, glass and many natural products in a fairy-tale ambience you will find here in the STRACOS World of Experience. The mixture of show workshop and experience sale is worth a visit at any time of the year.
Almost affectionate the small place Jößnitz is surrounded by its three local mountains Warthübel (454 meters), Ploßenhübel (433 meters) and Hornhübel (419 meters). This idyllic location has earned it the nickname Vogtland Switzerland. The first owners of the castle and manor were the Lords of Jößnitz, who resided here from 1282. Unfortunately, this complex no longer exists today. But the landmark of the village, the former Jägerhaus, still towers impressively on a rocky spur. Not far from it lies the Pfaffenmühle, and regional classics are on the menu here. "The stars in our cooking pots are potatoes - whole or sliced, raw, boiled, fried, roasted, as Bambes or Griegeniffte," explains Pfaffenmühle chef Jürgen Jahnsmüller. Bambes? Griegeniffte? Never heard of them? We clarify: Bambes is the Vogtland counterpart to the Klitschers from the Erzgebirge, namely potato pancakes. Behind the Griegenifften is an ancient ritual: Jürgen Jahnsmüller preserves and maintains it. For the nifften he needs raw potatoes. They are grated and squeezed. In the process, he catches the water. He adds the white starch that settles at the bottom of the bowl to the raw potato mass, adds salt, scalds the mash with a cup of boiling water, and then stirs in cooked, mashed potatoes. From the mass he forms small dumplings, which are boiled in salted water for 15 to 20 minutes. The "Green Dumplings of the Vogtland" are ready. They are often served as a side dish with roast venison.
And after such a hearty dish one thing must not be missing in Jößnitz: a schnapps, more precisely a Real Dünnebiers Aromatique. The spice bitter has it all. One sip is enough, and the bitter substances of gentian root and bitter orange as well as the essential oils of cinnamon blossom, clove and pepper eagerly clean up the mess in the stomach. Since 2011, Bernd Gallon has been producing the spicy bitters in his cellar in Jößnitz according to his uncle's old recipe. Cheers!
Around herbs everything also revolves in the idyllic Kürbitz. Anita Seifert and Christa Feustel know its wild side. "I cook spinach from the leaves of the red melder. I process Good Henry into salad, ribwort plantain seasons curd cheese, and the young shoots of meadow buckbeard taste like asparagus." The two herb experts are very familiar with the greenery along the way and are happy to pass on their knowledge during herb tours. For example, in a meadow west of Kürbitz, where there are many fruit trees. The meadow is lined with elder, chokeberry, sloe, buckthorn, blackberry, hazelnut and rose bushes. A culinary paradise. Until the fruits are ripe, Anita Seifert collects meadow herbs with her guests and conjures up culinary delicacies from the wayside.
Who in Kürbitz over the seven arches of the stone old bridge from 1298, enters a cozy village with lively village life. The Salvatorkirche is one of the most beautiful village churches in the Vogtland, the innkeepers are hospitable and the enthusiasm of the Kürbitzer clubs has welded the village together. About ten minutes by car outside of Kürbitz you can try the traditional Bambes in completely new creations. Sylvia Schellenberg and her small manufactory "Buffer Friends" reinvented the traditional potato pancakes of the Vogtland. With spinach, mushrooms or pumpkin, pure or spicy, they are anything but boring. The beauty of it is that the pancake dough is available ready to cook in the farm store or in the online store. If you want to taste it first, you can eat your way through the Bambe creations at the European Farmers' Market in Plauen.
Who visits Rammenau in Upper Lusatia, cannot get past its most famous son: Here, in the then poor village, the eminent philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte was born in 1762 as the son of ribbon weavers. Later, as a representative of German idealism, he influenced Friedrich Hölderlin and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel with his teachings. In his honor there are in Rammenau a Fichte street, a Fichte monument, a Fichte tavern and even Fichte wine. "The philosopher once said: "We will certainly never again have any kind of well-being unless we ourselves provide it. Well then, let's get started right away.
In the Butcher shop Haufe has been philosophizing about the taste of sausage since 1966. Even a patent sprang from the inventiveness of Christfried Haufe: the bush hams. "This is an air-dried ham with a delicate juniper flavor," explains Irina Haufe, the wife of the master butcher. Anyone who tastes it is sure to come back. A true tribute to the many ponds in Lusatia is the Deichelmauke. This is a dish with beef and mashed potatoes. For this, beef is cooked with greens, marrow bones, bay leaf, salt and pepper and then cut into small pieces. In a mountain of mashed potatoes, called Mauke in Lusatia, a hollow is pressed with a ladle. The pieces of meat are put into this hollow, then the "pond" is filled with lots of broth and sauerkraut. According to legend, the Deichelmauke has magical powers and ensures a long life.
The dreamy little place Loop lies on the border between Brandenburg and Saxony: lovingly tended farms with a lot of land around them between fields and meadows. In the middle of it all is the landmark of the village: the late Gothic church with its hexagonal tower. The oldest part, the chancel, dates from the time when the first Sorbs settled in Lusatia in the 12th and 13th centuries. To this day, the inhabitants here maintain their Sorbian traditions. Especially also in the local kitchens. Especially the Njepila bread enjoys great popularity. The baker Tschammer in the district of Rohne created it in 2000 on the basis of old recipes of the region. In addition to rye and wheat flour, the bread also contains hemp flour, hemp seeds and buckwheat groats. Topped with sausage, spread with lard or the famous cooked cheese, it is a delicious delicacy of times gone by. Incidentally, the bread is named after the local poet Hanzo Njepila, who lived about 250 years ago on the now landmarked Njepila farm in Rohne, a neighboring village of Schleife, lived.
Strong, hearty is also the typical Sorbian cabbage mauke. The dish consists of red cabbage, which is boiled and then mixed with mashed potatoes and fat bacon. And that is still not all. For dessert, people in Schleife like to serve all kinds of sheet cakes: crumble, poppy seed, pluck, plum and tangerine curd cakes in particular. By the way, once a year, always on the last Sunday in September, the Njepila farm organizes celebrated big. Then all the specialties are put on the tables. At 9:30 a.m. the festival begins with a bilingual church service. Afterwards, it gets cheerful with a shawm band, traditional dancers and choir singers. A wedding procession moves across the farm, there are regional products at the farmer's market and in the evening stick potatoes are roasted at the campfire. These are living traditions that are definitely worth experiencing and tasting.
"In the village of Eutrich near Königswartha lived a poor cattle herder centuries ago. His stepson, little Krabat, had to ask for alms at strangers' doors at an early age. So he also once came to Schwarzkollm. There dwelt in the devil's mill an old man who was notorious as a black artist." Thus begins the legend, compiled and written down by Alfred Meiche, which has been told in Lusatia for more than 300 years. Writers such as Jurij Brezan and Otfried Preußler have taken up the legend of Krabat, who grows up as a miller's apprentice and sorcerer's apprentice, and made it famous throughout Germany; it was even made into a film in 2008. Anyone who visits Schwarzkollm today cannot get past the legend: In the KRABAT mill, a legendary setting village with buildings from the 16th century, you can discover some original props from the film and immerse yourself in the life of Krabat, who, according to the legend, could transform himself into a black raven.
Krabat also does not stop at the kitchens of the region. In the KRABAT MILK WORLD master cheesemaker Joseph Klant has dedicated himself entirely to history: "Dairy products are living creatures that want to be nurtured." Krabatello, the young white cheese, is ripe after just a few days, while Schwarze Müller, a smoked white cheese, takes a little longer. "We use modern technology gently, but still do a lot by hand. That way, the valuable ingredients in the milk are preserved, and the cheese becomes a delight," he says. At the Zur Rabenmutter restaurant in Schwarzkollm, chef Paul Penk also thinks up dishes reminiscent of the legend: one of his surprising creations: Raven's black vanilla ice cream with apple sauce and egg liqueur. The region is also famous for its asparagus. Especially on the Domanja family vegetable farm the asparagus grows in abundance - and for once it has nothing to do with Krabat.
You want to cook some of the specialties? You can find all recipes in the guide "Culinary tours through Saxony's villages"..
Cover photo: Chris Sauer, baker from Pretzschendorf, makes the finest bread from the grain of the surrounding fields © Archiv TMGS / Andreas Krone
Financed with funds from the Free State of Saxony
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