How do you celebrate Christmas? What do you eat and drink? It depends on who you ask. In a festive mini-series, we quizzed seven foodie Londoners from various cultural backgrounds about their festive food, drink, customs and traditions. Here’s what they had to say…
Co-founder of the highly popular German sausage shops Herman Ze German, Azadeh Falakshahi hails from the Black Forest region in southwest Germany, and now lives in Dalston.
“Our Christmas is traditional, but not too traditional. Christmas Eve is for presents in Germany, so we just have something simple to eat — something that doesn’t require too much effort as it’s a busy evening — such as potato salad and sausages. We drink wine during dinner, followed by schnapps at the end of the meal. Afterwards, we’ll play games and exchange presents.
Christmas Day is very similar to the English customs. We have goose or turkey — a bird of some sort — cooked in the oven. We eat it with a nice gravy, potatoes, red cabbage, salad and other side dishes. Nowadays the younger generation makes cheese or meat fondue, especially if they’re not going home to Germany to visit their family. It’s tasty and fun, and a convenient way to feed a crowd of visiting friends. It’s not traditional — well, it’s more a New Year’s Eve tradition really, which we’ve adapted for Christmas.
Afterwards there are a lot of sweet things to eat, depending on which part of Germany you’re from as the north and the south have different specialities. For instance, there’ll be stollen, lebkuchen and linzer torte — a sort of nutty, jammy biscuit-cake that lasts a long time. We also make little star-shaped biscuits in different flavours like vanilla and cinnamon, and put them in gift packages to give to friends and family. Children love them! They’re usually homemade during the festive season, but you can also buy nice ones made by big brands or small artisan producers.”
Try it yourself: German eating and drinking in London
The German Deli
Visit this well-stocked deli near Borough Market for everything from German sausages and meats to cheeses and cakes.
Sausages and beers are order of the day at this rowdy Southwark Street pub with a name that translates as hangover.
This slightly quieter pub in Vauxhall is the place to go for German beers, pretzels and screenings of pretty much every football match Germany play.
Also see our comprehensive guide of where to get German food and drink in London.
Also in the series:
What’s A Russian Christmas In London Like?
What’s A Goan Christmas In London Like?
What’s An Italian Christmas In London Like?
What’s An Ethiopian Christmas In London Like?
What’s A Spanish Christmas In London Like?
What’s A West-African-Greek-British Christmas In London Like?