Oktoberfest is known as the largest fair in the world, with estimates of six million revelers flooding Munich. It’s also known as one of the more gluttonous fairs around, with “about 7 million liters of beer served during the 16-day celebration,” according to Food Republic. Not to mention all that sausage.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for Oktoberfest to enjoy some Bavarian-style eats any more than you need to be in Germany to participate in the 16-day food and funfest. This they prove in Cincinnati, Seattle, Syracuse, and several other celebratory North American cities that don’t necessarily start with an “s” sound.
If you’re having a more intimate get-together in celebration (ee’re assuming you’re not having a traditional Riflemen’s Procession), we’ll get you started with a few great recipes that’ll have your guests saying, “Dast is gut!”
It bears repeating that it’s just not Oktoberfest without sausage, and this recipe from Epicurious is a particularly savory one that is also super simple to make. Done in just 30 minutes, it leaves plenty for time for beer barrel racing.
This dish from Bon Appetit is a great solution for casual get-togethers where guests might not be seated as they are eating. The skewered dish is easy to hold and eat with one hand.
If you’ve just gotta have sauerkraut as part of your Oktoberfest celebration, you can ferment your own a la Martha Stewart or take her recommendation and check out Farmhouse Culture, a local Santa Cruz company specializing in organic kraut. You can get it in a classic caraway version, with garlic dill pickles, smoke jalapenos, or a couple of other flavors, all of which make it hard to choose which to slather on your plate next to the sausage.
If you couldn’t care less about kraut but still want something with a similar texture, swap in a fresh alternative: this apple and fennel slaw from Williams-Sonoma. Sweet, tart, crunchy, and refreshing, it’ll introduce a modern element to your meal—and leave more room for all the naughtier eats and treats.
If you can’t eat hot potato salad on Oktoberfest, when can you eat it? This recipe from Epicurious features the addition of ham for extra heartiness.
After a filling meal, you may want something light. Oh, who are we kidding? Oktoberfest is not about going easy on the calorie intake. Once you’ve come to terms with that, you’ll definitely want to make this Apple torte with breadcrumb-hazelnut crust.
Perhaps nothing says Germany like this decadent dessert from Huffington Post, and if there were any better time to be decadent while celebrating German cuisine, we can’t think of one.
Still want a few more options? Check out Bon Appetit‘s Oktoberfest party menus.