Oktoberfest: The Menu

For the Oktoberfest menu, I’m combining some Pennsylvania Dutch recipes with Bavarian favorites. Often people don’t realize that Dutch doesn’t refer to the Netherlands but rather it is a corruption of Deutsch, the word for German. There is a strong German heritage in my part of Pennsylvania from the foods we eat to the words we use.

Chicken Corn Soup is a favorite Pennsylvania Dutch food. It can be found at every church picnic in the summer and at every restaurant all year long. The secret to the taste of this soup is in the broth—no premade stuff here.

For the salad course, another recipe brought to the US by German immigrants, Greens with Hot Bacon Dressing. This is another old-fashioned favorite at local church dinners here. Church dinners, you know that’s where to find the best cooks, don’t you?

Bavarian muffins accompany the salad course this time instead of offering scones. The gingery muffins work perfectly with the sweet and sour of the salad dressing.
No Oktoberfest would be complete without wurst. Cut into small pieces and served on little buns, they’ll be a big hit. Make lots.

Bavarians love their brezel or pretzels. Pretzel rolls have the shape and the subtle flavor of pretzels. They will be filled with wonderful Black Forest Ham and imported German cheese. Of course, don’t forget either sweet or hot German mustard.

With the savory course, don’t forget to set out several varieties of German pickles. You can also offer sauerkraut for those who like that on their wurst.

For the dessert course, Black Forest Cherry Torte and Apple Strudel are the must haves. Just for fun pick up some bags of Gummi candy in bear shapes, naturally. You might also want to fill a big bowl with German candy bars for guests to grab as they are leaving. Ritter Sport bars, my favorite, are sold in Walmart.

It is easy to find German tea brands online but you probably won't find any at your local grocery store. Use a strong black that can stand up to the flavors of this tea party.

The recipes for these Oktoberfest Tea dishes are coming up next.