Chicago's German-American influence enjoys a long and rich history. As we near September, an influx of Oktoberfest celebrations will arise -- and Oktoberfest brews, I might add. And, with that, a plethora of sausages, pretzels, and beer will be consumed as oom-pa-pa music plays in the background. Not that sausages and beer aren't common year-round in the city known for Chicago-style hot dogs and Vienna Beef. Beer and Sausages in Wisconsin and the Chicago metro area are a part of this region's lexicon. But, it's a little more special in the fall, it seems.
The sausage, beer, pretzel, and mustard combination largely has a Bavarian influence, notably during a lunch (or brunch) called Frühshoppen. The 4 ingredients for a proper Bavarian Sunday brunch include:
- Weiss (White) Sausage
- Weiss Bier (HefeWeissen, Wheat Beer, etc) - Find out more at the German Beer Institute: http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/weissbier.html
- Sweet or Spicy Brown Mustard
An example of that can be shown when Chicago's very own President Obama visited Bavaria for a recent G7 summit:
Traditionally a Sunday brunch, it's come to be a nice Bavarian lunch or part of celebrations throughout German-rich cultures. In Austria and Germany, it is simply a visit to a pub or enjoying a beer before noon on a Sunday. But, in many cases, it is part of huge celebrations. In fact, it's come to be a regular party!
One of my favorite places in Chicago to celebrate German food, get great beer -- German or American craft, and just enjoy Chicago's German heritage (I have about 40% in my blood, by the way) is Prost! Chicago. While there, you can order authentic German cuisine, including white sausage, wheat beer, and pretzels -- enjoy your Frühshoppen!
But, there are many places in Chicago serving German cuisine, making German beer, and throwing awesome Oktoberfest celebrations. Even if you aren't German, I encourage you to go out and enjoy a heritage that helped make Chicago what it is, not to mention the Midwest and much of the rest of America.
Besides, who doesn't like a good sausage and beer?
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