Christine Burbach vividly remembers how much she enjoyed eating potato pancakes as a young child growing up in Germany. It was her favorite dish in her youthâ€”the combination of the potato pancakes with the traditional apple sauce topping was too good to resist.
â€œI liked it so much that when our neighbor lady would make it for lunch, I would go home with her kids,â€ Christine said.
So naturally, Christine and her husband, Nickâ€”a chef by tradeâ€”wanted to share their love and appreciation for potato pancakes with others. At Holidazzle, youâ€™ll have the opportunity to try them out and taste exactly what Christine grew up adoring back in her native Germany.
Youâ€™ve got a few options when you stop at their tent. You can do two potato pancakes or three, or you can do a Schnitzel platter that that includes a potato pancake and JÃ¤gerschnitzelâ€”a meat and potatoes option, if you will. The potato pancakes themselves can be ordered with the traditional apple sauce or with a sour cream and onion topping.
The key to their success is authenticity. They use a recipe that is from her hometown, Braunschweig, where an old family friend uses it once a year at the one-day Christmas Market to raise money for the local youth fire department. There are no shortcuts involved in this processâ€”no pre-shredded potatoes. Nick shreds potatoes and mixes the batter prior to each batch.
Being able to tell the history of the potato pancake with others is half the fun, she said.
â€œWe wanted to share my culture through food,â€ Christine said. â€œWe only do a couple events a year. Mostly heritage-based like the Germanfest and the Oktoberfest where people appreciate tasting something that reminds them of food their grandparents used to make or something that they tasted when they traveled.â€
This winter, youâ€™ll have a chance to enjoy it at Holidazzle. Theyâ€™re here in Loring Park Thursdays through Sundays, concluding Sunday, December 20. Stop by Thursdays and Fridays from 5-9 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-9 pm and get a taste of Germany right here in the Twin Cities.
For the Burbachs, it is a great opportunity to share Christineâ€™s German Culture and Nickâ€™s love for cooking during these events. Nick and Christine met 12 years ago during her vacation on Maui. They both share an interest in other cultures and cuisines which make the Holidazzle even more interesting as so many different cultures are represented here.
Those who come this year have a chance to try out the potato pancake first hand.
â€œIt is of course great to hear that they think they are delicious but it makes it even more special when they start talking and telling you that they taste just like their grandma used to make them,â€ Nick said. â€œThat means that we provided more than just good food, it means that we brought back a memory.â€
Christine joked that if people take anything away from their potato pancakes experience, it should be that Germans donâ€™t just eat brats. In all seriousness, though, part of the experience is hearing from those who do have memories eating potato pancakes in their childhood. The nostalgia that comes along with the food itselfâ€”and the stories to bootâ€”make it an enjoyable experience for the Burbachs as they take part in Holidazzle this winter.Â In addition to meeting all different kinds of people and learning new names for the Potato Pancake, it has been quite a surprise how many people from Braunschweig live in the Twin Cities who visited them after hearing about their hometown Potato Pancake.
The holidays, after all, are about nostalgia and tradition.
â€œTradition and Family,â€ Burbach said. â€œGetting together and just taking a break to remember what is really important. Part of that is a Christmas Market where you go to meet with friends to have a good time-not rushing just talking and enjoying music, warm drinks and food.Â It is also the time of enjoying cookies with your kids by the lights of the tree. With three little boys and now one little girl on the way, it is all about them and hoping that they will remember the magic of this special time the way our families created them for my husband and I when we grew up.â€