Still seven week to go until Christmas, that means we have plenty of time to participate in Advent events and other fairs which are related to Christmas but yesterday I went to the post office and meanwhile I was queued up I discovered a carved wooden pipe-smoking man on one shelf. When it was my turn I asked the post woman what’s it. She informed me that this toy called Raucherman (smoking man) and it’s made in Seiffen at the famous wood toy making factory. I liked this smoking man so much I bought it. When I paid she mentioned that in Seiffen village there’s not only the factory but the world famous wood toymaking museum as well. To hear that I got excited about the thing so I decided with my husband to visit it well in advance before Christmas in order to avoid the crowds.
The village Seiffen was really beautiful. It’s located in the heart of the Erzgebirge mountains and as I’d mentioned above, it became famous for the handicrafts. In the museum we could watch craftsmen working as they did 100 years ago at the Christmas market and in the toy village we discovered novelties of the folk art. There’s boundless fun in the museum such as model making, games, Christmas circus, puppet doctor, Christmas traditions from the Czech Republic etc.
Beside the museum there was also a great show: during the traditional mountain parades and the procession of light on Bergmann paths, the past of the mines were brought back to life and light was returned to the old miners’ paths.
The cuisine of the Ore mountains
Juicy, rich and simple are how you could describe the cuisine of Erzgebirge. Shaped by the economic situation, the cuisine at the time consisted mostly of dishes with simple ingredients such as potatoes, lentils or meat on the plate, which still makes its influence known in the kitchen.
Especially widespread were potato dishes, such as the potato puffers, popular among children. Whether sweet or savoury, the so-called “Klitscher” (pancake with apple mousse, see on the picture) were on every menu. But the “Rauchermaad” (potato pancakes) belonged to Erzgebirge cuisine. Popular side dishes included “grienen Klies” or potatoes in nearly every form (e.g. fried potatoes, jacket potatoes).
Traditional Stollen and the “Neinerlaa” are served now any time, not only during the Christmas season. Preparation varies in every family. In any case, there are always nine different delicacies are served, Sauerkraut, dumplings, lentils etc. Part of a good meal is always a good liqueur. The local herbal liqueurs don’t just help with the digestions after a juicy meal but are a popular gift for our guests. If I am going to think of Seiffen in the future it will mean culinary delights and much more..