Sunday, December 30, 2012

Exploring the Viktualienmarkt

Produce for sale

For me, the coolest part of our short stay in Munich was exploring the Viktualienmark. In existence since 1807, this market has expanded regularly and is now filled with an amazing assortment of vendors.   Located in the heart of the city center, during our visit this open air market was filled with all of the seasonal delicacies that this food obsessed but equally food deprived person could ever dream of.  Stall after stall was filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, cheeses, meats, and fish.  Even the most ordinary carrots, cabbage, and oranges---items readily available in Albanian markets throughout the year-- looked especially enticing while the more exotic- much of what I didn't recognize- made me want to buy everything in sight to carry back to Albania with me.  Just think about the meals I could create!

I know I've been in Albania too long when I am amazed that the designated pedestrian only zone of the market is truly pedestrian only.  (The main market in Tirana is filled with mopeds and diesel chugging Mercedes making shopping a dual sport of browsing for food and dodging errant vehicles.  This German experience is so much more pleasant).  Intermingled with the food purveyors were casual restaurants selling all sorts of German goodies.  A few of the places had seating under heated tents but most had stand up counter service.  As we wandered through during the noon hour, beer, gluhwein, pretzels, and every kind of sausage imaginable was being consumed by clusters of people huddled around bistro tables and benches.  We opted for a restaurant with sit down tables for our quick lunch of sausage, pretzels, apple strudel, beer (and of course Fanta).  I've always been a believer in atmosphere and presentation contributing to the enjoyment factor of food consumption and eating in the Viktualienmarkt only exemplified this.

The boys selecting a sausage to take home

Pretzel shaped sausages

Green cheese even the man on the moon would approve of - this one was infused
with pesto but I also saw a wasabi version
Cheese, cheese, and more cheese

Spices and other dried goods

One of many meat shops lining Viktualienmarkt

A gaggle of straw geese leading the way to another vendor

My morning at the market has made me want to cook.  I know I will not be able to find the same plethora of delicacies in Albania but I'm inspired to make a go of it.  I'm not sure where to start. Perhaps with homemade pretzels or a savory bread.  Or maybe I'll try to replicate the apple strudel with vanilla sauce we tried.  Maybe now is the time to try my hand at homemade sausages.  Decisions, will be sure to follow.


  1. that green cheese looks awesome (both wasabi and pesto) and so do the sausages and the thought of pretzels and home made sausage and ... Oh heck, I am hungry.

  2. The market looks loaded with yummy goodies..I love pretzels and cheeses and savory bread. Love the picture of the geese!

  3. My favorite part of all my travels is discovering the local food.