Gruene Sosse, or Grie Soss for short, translates to 'green sauce'. It is a sauce made with hard-boiled eggs, oil, vinegar, salt, and seven fresh herbs: borage, sorrel, garden cress, chervil, chives, parsley, & salad burnet. All of the herbs are gathered from fields within the city limits of Frankfurt. Gruene Sosse is served cold with some of the hard boiled eggs on the side plus potatoes and roast beef.
If you prefer something sweet, look for Bethmaennchen, pronounced roughly, BAIT-men-chen, German for 'Little Bethmann'. They're made from marzipan, flour, powdered sugar and eggs, covered thinly with a rosewater/sugar mix. Traditionally, for the final touch, they are decorated with three half almonds. Why three almonds? The tragic folk lore of the Bethmaennchen is that in 1838 the marzipan balls were originally decorated with four almonds, to represent the four sons, Moritz, Karl, Alexander and Heinrich Bethmann. After Heinrich died in 1845, only three almonds were used, and this continues to present day.
Another sweet specialty is Frankfurter Kranz, Frankfurt Crown Cake, a buttercream cake with caramelized hazelnuts sprinkled all over the top of it. Rumor has it that it was created as early as 1735 and symbolizes a crown with the jewel-like cherries on top. You can find it in well-established Frankfurt bakeries or cafés, for example Café Mozart just a few blocks of the Zeil shopping area.
And last, a more embarrassing contender for local Frankfurt food: Handkaes mit Musik, which translates to hand cheese with music. The cheese is a strong variety made from curdled milk, patted in place by hand (therefore Handkaes) and served covered with a sauce of vegetable oil and lots of chopped onions. That last part provides the ‘music’. Not while you eat it, but later that evening when you have to pass gas from the onions. It is typically served on a slice of buttered, dark pumpernickel bread. This is for smelly cheese fans.
Which would you most like to try? Let Denise and I know in the comments below.
Photo Credits: 'Gruene Sosse' and 'Handkaes Mit Musik' Photos by Jessica Spengler, Flickr. Flickr. under this license. 'Frankfurter Kranz' Photo by Alexander Pfeiffenberger, Flickr. under this license. 'Bethmaenchen' Photo by Astrid Kopp, Flickr. under this license.
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