Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Better known perhaps as fire-tongs-punch....or maybe not. Better known that way, I mean. It does translate to fire-tongs-punch. The Germans have a way with words. Not an inviting way. Kind of a straight forward yet circuitous way. Includes all elements equally rather than going for a way to convey the spirit of the thing. The set up is also decidely German in it's attention to detail and the specially and precisely designed tools involved. Scandinavians would call the final product Glögg--just mix it all together on the stove and serve it up. The name might derive from the sound one makes when ingesting it. Glögg, glögg, glögg all the way down the gullet. Feuerzangenbowle starts with mulled wine, which is placed in a set up much like for fondue--a pot on a rack over an open flame below. The feuerzangen, or fire tongs, is now replaced with an elegantly designed grate that holds the Zuckerhut, a large conical sugar "cube", that rests on the rims of the pot of mulled wine. The Zuckerhut is dowsed with high alchol content rum and set afire. It is gorgeous to watch and the pomp is well worth it. But there is a utilitarian aspect to the process--setting the sugar afire with rum serves to add carmelized sugar and fortification to the mulled wine below, delicious components of the taste of the final product.
We attended our second annual Feuerzangenbowle celebration of the upcoming New Year tonight, and it is definitely cool to watch, in a pyromaniacal sort of way. We had the traditional cookies with it, as well as fruit and nuts. It is a very festive way to celebrate a winter event.