Streifzug 7: Filderkraut festival

I’m sorry there was no Sunday porch yesterday. . .

8 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

I was at the 37th annual Filderkraut-Fest in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, a town near the Stuttgart airport.

There are very few weekends in the Stuttgart area without a local fest celebrating some aspect of the season.  Since the end of summer, we have celebrated the wine harvest, the potato harvest, the pumpkin harvest, and now that of the Filderkraut.

This very fine variety of cabbage has a distinctive pointy shape.*  It grows particularly well in the rich loess-loam of the Filder plateau, which surrounds the airport.

7 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

The fest was opened on Saturday by Mayor Roland Klenk, who tapped the first keg and, after about 40 taps, sprayed onlookers with beer.  “That’s not my core competency,” he reportedly said.

Tapping the first keg seems to be the German equivalent of throwing out the first ball in the U.S. — an honor fraught with peril for a politician.

9 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

This was not an easy year for cabbage growers, according to an article in the Stuttgarter Nachrichten.  It was too hot and dry, and the heads were smaller than usual.

10 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: “Kizele’s cabbage display.”

3 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

4 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: whole heads of fermented cabbages on the table.  Note her hat.

15 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

14 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: tubs of sauerkraut to take home.

22 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: a display of bread and cabbage.

23 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: the Rathaus or town hall of Echterdingen.

25 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: a cabbage shredding race on the stage.

20 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: a children’s activity booth in front of the town’s museum.

12 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: “Pretty cabbage heads.”

19 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: my lunch, sauerkraut and potato dumplings (like gnocchi).

By the way, now is the time in Stuttgart to eat Zwiebelkuchen (bacon and onion flan) with Neuer Sußer or new wine — newly (barely) fermented grape juice.

Streifzug means ‘foray,’ ‘ brief survey,’ or ‘ramble.’

*I mentioned this fest to my mother, and she remembered that, back in Texas, my great-grandmother always told her that cabbages with pointed heads were the best. I don’t think I’d ever seen any until this August.

the moon moves over
the field of dark cabbage and an
exchange fills
all veins.

Jonathan Williams, from “Two Pastorals for Samuel Palmer at Shoreham, Kent”

3 thoughts on “Streifzug 7: Filderkraut festival

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