I’m sorry there was no Sunday porch yesterday. . .
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.
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.
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.
Above: “Kizele’s cabbage display.”
Above: whole heads of fermented cabbages on the table. Note her hat.
Above: tubs of sauerkraut to take home.
Above: a display of bread and cabbage.
Above: the Rathaus or town hall of Echterdingen.
Above: a cabbage shredding race on the stage.
Above: a children’s activity booth in front of the town’s museum.
Above: “Pretty cabbage heads.”
Above: 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
— Jonathan Williams, from “Two Pastorals for Samuel Palmer at Shoreham, Kent”