Spargel (shpag’-el) is the German name for asparagus and if you have been to Germany in Spring you know that April marks the beginning of Spargelzeit (asparagus season). Whereas green asparagus is available in the US year-round, (white) asparagus in Germany is very seasonal. Just as apples are a sign of fall season, asparagus marks the beginning of spring. Spargelsaison in Germany begins in April and ends abruptly on June 24 (Midsummer Day). Americans almost exclusively get only green asparagus whereas most asparagus in Germany is white. Rarely green asparagus can be found in Germany. It is then specifically called “grüner Spargel” (green asparagus). White asparagus has a sweeter taste and is more tender than green asparagus. It is grown in sandy soil and covered with black plastic sheets by the farmer. This prevents the asparagus from turning green from exposure to sunlight. Using machines during the harvest can result in broken stalks which have a very low commercial value. Therefore harvesting the white spargel is done by hand. The states of Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony …
Voted as the world’s best mountain bike event of the year the Mountain Bike World Cup is coming up on May 22 and May 23rd 2010 in the town of Offenburg in the Black Forest. The preparation of this year’s 5.2 km long Mountain Bike circuit has begun about 5 months ago and is known for its steep slopes and climbs. We are expecting over 20,000 spectators to cheer for the world´s best mountain bikers on this upcoming weekend. There are also more than 280 course marshals, section leaders and the mountain rescue service attending the race. If you happen to be visiting the Black Forest in May, join us for this event and watch some of the most spectacular mountain bike races you’ll ever see. Tickets can be purchased online or contact us for assistance. If you miss the event but are visiting the Black Forest in the summer you can book a mountain bike tour with us to see how challenging the area is.
If you have visited the Black Forest before you might have noticed a dish in many local restaurants called ‘Wurstsalat‘. Literally translated to ‘sausage salad‘ you might have hesitated to try the dish (seriously – do you want to eat a sausage salad??) and probably ordered some more well-known German specialty like a Schnitzel. Not that there is anything wrong with ordering a Schnitzel. But during your next visit you might want to try a Wurstsalat. This dish is so popular in the Black Forest that there are plenty of websites dedicated to it. Many make it their goal to find the best Wurstsalat in the region and have online polls to show you where the best one can be found. Unfortunately all of the websites we have found are in German. Wikipedia describes a Wurstalat as a ‘tart sausage salad prepared with vinegar, oil and onions normally made from a sort of boiled sausage like lyoner, stadtwurst, regensburger or extrawurst.’ As shown in the pictures a hard-boiled egg, onions, tomatoes or pickles can be …
That’s me standing next to the Gutach open air museum where they have a VW beetle wearing a huge Bollenhut. The Black Forest is not only associated with Black Forest Cake, Black Forest Ham and Cuckoo Clocks but also with the Bollenhut – an essential part of the Black Forest Costumes is the PomPom topped hat called Bollenhut. The Bollenhut consists of 11 handmade pompoms (14 pompoms altogether but only 11 are visible). The hat can weigh up to 2 kilograms and comes in the colors red and black. Unmarried women wear a red Bollenhut. Once married, they wear a black Bollenhut. The origins of the hat and the appropriate dress can be traced back to the mid-1700s. These days, the traditional Black Forest Costume can only be seen at special events and then only in certain towns, so you have to plan in advance to see one.
New7Wonders of Nature is an initiative started in 2007 when more than 440 locations in 220 countries were submitted to be considered as one of the ‘New7Wonders of Nature’, criteria to be a breathtakingly beautiful, natural place. In July 2009 it was announced that the BlackForest Germany is one of the elite 28 Official Finalists in this global election. It is expected that more than 1 billion people will participate in this poll over the next few months to vote for the winner of the competition. Please help us in having the Black Forest become one of the ‘New7Wonders of Nature’ by voting for it here.
Carnival Season in Germany is coming to an end this week. This past weekend celebrations and carnival parades were held in almost every town in the Black Forest. Like thousands of other people we visited the ‘Schuttige Umzug‘ in the Black Forest town of Elzach which is considered one of the highlights of the Swabian-Alemanic carnival. In the evening hundreds of scary-looking ‘Schuttige‘ walk through town carrying torches and a curious balloon-like device. It is traditional that the Schuttige hit the spectators with this balloon-like thing, which is made from leather, making a loud banging sound while doing no harm. The device is actually a pig bladder filled with air. The Schuttige meet at the townsquare and dance around a bonfire, celebrating throughout the night. For more picture on the Parade in Elzach visit our photo gallery.
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (literally Black Forest cherry torte) is a local specialty of the Black Forest and also known as Black Forest Cake (American English) or Black Forest Gateau (British English). The cake is made out of several layers of chocolate with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is being decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. Traditionally, Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps) is added to the cake. It is said that the best Kirschwasser for a Black Forest Cake is made from locally picked fruit as the Black Forest is the only place where the right kind of cherries thrive. Black Forest Cake can be found in every restaurant and cafe. Even breweries serve Black Forest Cake. Join us on one of our Black Forest Cake Baking Tours and learn how to make a Black Forest cake the right way. Have a look at some of our videos to learn some of the secrets on how to make a real Black Forest cake. Guten Appetit!
Germany’s biggest Dog Sleddding Race was held in the Black Forest town of Bernau in February 2010. More than 6000 people watched.
If you happen to visit this area in winter keep in mind that we offer several tours. Depending on the weather conditions, we take you snowshoeing, downhill skiing, snowboarding or snow kiting. If you have never down any winter sports, we are happy to book an instructor for you who will teach you the basics. We are a fun group of people, everyone speaks English and is eager to show you why it’s worth coming to the Black Forest during winter. Here are some photos from our recent snowboarding and snowshoe tour.
Snowboard season in the Black Forest – Jump on the Rothausbahn and get ready for the longest run in the Black Forest!