Noël en Alsace
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Gourmet pleasures

Mouthwatering treats

A happy Christmas with our local specialities

Alsace is a friendly region with a love of fine food, and at Christmas time in particular it is always keen to share and to bring people together! Whether among friends or family, the sheer pleasure of being together is all the greater when accompanied by our typically Alsatian delicacies. The taste of gingerbread, orange aromas and cinnamon are guaranteed to delight your taste buds. As a tasty start to the festivities, here is a small selection of some "must try" Alsatian Christmas treats. Find a place for them on your table this year for a gourmet Christmas.

Mulled wine to chase away the winter cold

In midwinter, treat yourself to delicious, steaming hot mulled wine with spicy aromas in keeping with tradition! A welcome break to enjoy mulled wine is a must to get going again after a long walk around the Christmas markets! This beverage includes a combination of white and red wine mixed with honey, and the tangy aromas of lemon and orange, plus a selection of spices including cinnamon, aniseed, nutmeg and cloves. For the kids, alcohol-free warm apple or orange juice is just as delicious! There's nothing like it for warming you up during the long winter evenings!

Tuck into our Bredeles

The preparation of "Bredeles" has become a genuine ceremony in Alsace. These small sweet delicacies are consumed at snack time in Alsace at Christmas time. Around the Advent wreath or the Christmas tree, these small dry biscuits are so popular that you won't find a crumb left! A delicious bite-sized snack, they nevertheless require painstaking preparation. Prepared with cinnamon, orange, aniseed, chocolate or walnut, the huge variety of Bredele here mirrors the generosity of the Alsatian art of living: cinnamon stars, butterbredle with butter, anisbredle dusted with aniseed, schwowebredle with almonds or spritzbredle with lemon peel are just some of the small treats waiting to be sampled or given as gifts!

Gingerbread for well-behaved children

Shaped into diamond-shaped pieces or coated with icing sugar, filled with candied ginger or dried fruit, gingerbread never fails to delight those with a sweet tooth. A tasty speciality made with wheat flour, honey and spices, it is a time-old symbol of an Alsatian Christmas. It’s a real treat for the kids who can't wait to get their hands on it at the feast of Saint Nicholas and for adults who eat it with foie gras. In Gertwiller, a town renowned for gingerbread, two living symbols of Alsace produce this emblematic speciality: the Palais du Pain d’Epices of Maison Fortwenger in addition to Maison Lips’ Musée du Pain d’Epices et des Douceurs d’Autrefois (museum of gingerbread and delicacies of yesteryear).

A swig of Christmas beer to quench your thirst!

The history of the brewers is closely entwined with that of Alsace. In the Middle Ages, the Alsatian monks prepared a strong, malt-rich beer for the Christmas festivities. Today, most of the Alsatian breweries keep this tradition alive by producing a special edition beer for the occasion. Under the Christmas tree, it's always good to find this amber coloured beverage with a well rounded, spicy taste in most cases. This is a beer brimming with character, perfect for winter with generous aromas of cinnamon, honey and ginger which should ideally be enjoyed at a temperature of between10 to 12°. Christmas beer goes well with local specialities and special occasions during the Christmas and New Year period. And although Christmas beer reserves a generous surprise with every swig, you should nevertheless consume it in moderation!

A slice of foie gras for connoisseurs

Foie gras is an essential component of any French Christmas, and the festivities in Alsace would not be complete without it! Whether you choose goose or duck foie gras, this prestigious dish has been enjoyed in Alsace since the 17th century. Even today, the region has several producers, who keep this gastronomic heritage alive. Alsace is particularly well suited to its production with the Alsatian wine growing region producing remarkable late harvests which perfectly accompany the well rounded, creamy characteristics of foie gras.

A wealth of spices, citrus fruit and dried fruit: the sweet scent of Christmas

Synonymous with the warmth of an Alsatian Christmas are the spices which enhance and add flavour to our culinary specialities. Aniseed, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves are all vital to the production of Bredeles, gingerbread and mulled wine. Their steamy, spicy fragrance can be enjoyed in many Alsatian homes around Christmas. Sliced, dried oranges and tangerines delicately decorate the traditional Advent wreaths and are sometimes hung on the branches of Christmas trees, alongside walnuts and hazelnuts. Dried fruit also has a place, and are the main ingredients of Berawecka, a traditional Alsatian cake: figs, prunes, dates, almonds, apples and candied fruit go into this Alsatian Christmas classic.