Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stuttgart's Hamburger Fish Market

So a couple of weeks ago, they started setting up a festival area in the plaza right behind my German school. A few days later, instant Hamburger Fish Market. No, it's not some sort of fish sandwich or something. Our teacher told us that it was a fish festival that is brought down from Hamburg once a year. To me, it seemed more like a carnival-style event that probably travels around Germany for the summer stopping in a bunch of cities. Regardless, it was an event. It had food. It had alcohol. It was for me! :-)

Our class all went together on the first day and it was fairly empty. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me so there's no pictures with those guys.

I liked the bar that was shaped like an old tall ship:

Really, the fish market wasn't all that exciting. I would have only gone once if it hadn't been right next to school and the fish hadn't been so damn good. There was some entertainment though, like these older, crusty, (and seemingly) drunk dudes playing some (I'd have to guess) classic, seafaring German music. It's possibly the first "authentic" German music I've heard in the five months I've been here...

Some of the vendors were hawking their wares with a microphone like they were Billy Mays selling Oxiclean. This booth had the Billy Mays of meat:

The highlight of the whole event for me was this faux lighthouse where they were making deep-fried fish like what you'd get when you order fish and chips.

The people upstairs were cooking the fish and, as each new batch was ready, they'd ring a bell and announce over a loudspeaker that "Backfish" were coming. The fish were then sent down a metal chute to the peeps waiting below. Those guys'd then drop a piece of fish on the plate with a bit of (expensive) potato salad. Other than the wine, it was the best thing at the festival.

Yep. Deep-fried fish, some potato salad, and a white wine. Not bad for an after-school special! Yes, you're allowed to be jealous...

Two things that are worth mentioning. First, Germans seem to love potato salad. It's everywhere and served with everything. I wouldn't doubt that someone's doing potato salad desserts somewhere. Also, at festivals like this one, you have to pay a one-to-two Euro deposit on your dishes. The plastic plate in the photo above "costs" one Euro and the wine glass two. You get the money back but it's something new for me. It'd be cooler if the glass had the event logo on it so that'd it be worth keeping, especially for a couple of Euros.

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