Frankfurt am Main in Trade and Taste

The city of Frankfurt am Main in Germany is often compared to Manhattan, New York. First, because of its economic relevance: Frankfurt headquarters the European Central Bank, the German Bundesbank as well as the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse with the German stock exchange, countless important banks and finance cooperations, internationally important fairs and exhibitions like the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, the Frankfurter Buchmesse and  the Musikmesse, and it also counts with one of the worlds largest airport, the Flughafen Frankfurt (FRA). The skyline with some of the highest buildings in Europe adds to the comparision. Historic landmarks are the idyllic Römerberg, the Kaiserdom or the Eiserner Steg. Frankfurt is also a green city with almost 40% of protected green areas. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born here, and the cultural live of Frankfurt today is on a high level with the Frankfurt Opera house, the Schauspielhaus, countless museums, the Frankfurter Zoo and the Palmengarten botanical park.  In addition, Frankfurt am Main is a multicultural melting pot with people coming from all over the world to live and work.

The gastronomic landscape of Frankfurt also counts with superlatives –  from traditional local food to modern world kitchen – in Frankfurt you´ll find almost everything for every gusto!

One of the oldest local delicacies, already known from medieval times,  is the Frankfurter Würstchen sausage, a pure-pork smoked and cooked sausage, originally always served in pairs.  Another pork dish is the rustic Rippchen mit Kraut, a hearty portion of cured pork cooked in sauerkraut.  Rustic stews and potato dishes are also popular. An extraordinary speciality is the Frankfurter Grüne Sosse, a cold sauce made of 7 chopped fresh herbs and sourcream – delicious with hardboiled eggs and cooked portatoes!
For the adventurous visitor, there is also a speciality called Handkäs mit Musik. It is a fresh sour-milk cheese in a dressing with oil, vingar, caraway and chopped raw onions. With fresh bread, it is a common tasty snack in traditional taverns.

Famous sweet bakery goods from Frankfurt are the Frankfurter Kranz, a rich buttercream-filled cake with roasted nut-topping, the Bethmännchen shaped from marzipan and almonds or vrious apple-filled pastries.

The apple plays an important role in Frankfurt – as a popular ingredient for savoury and sweet dishes, but most important for the Frankfurter Apfelwein, a dry cider. There are countless cosy taverns where Apfelwein and pairing dishes are served. Very dry and refreshing, often mixed with sparkling water, the locals love to drink their Apfelwein in summer, or also mulled with some cinnamon, lemon zest and sugar in the wintertime.

Of course, in Frankfurt you can also taste very good local beers or the wines of the closeby Rhine region, especially the famous Riesling, as white wine or sparkling Rieslingsekt.

Young chefs and restaurant owners are proud to find a modern twist to the traditional Frankfurt kitchen, and a varied scene awaits to be explored in different areas of the city. So come and follow your Food Hopping guide to the best traditional taverns and insiders’ places of Frankfurt!

Germany’s culinary landscape

Germany is a parade example in terms of impressive cultural achievements, famous historical sights and beautiful landscapes, as well as one of the most advanced economies in Europe.  Great musicians like Beethoven, Bach or Wagner, famous poets and writers like Goethe, the Grimm brothers, Brecht, style-forming painters like Duerer, Rubens, Klee – all were Germans. And who does not know the emblematic Schloss Neuschwanstein, the Kölner Dom or the Berliner Brandenburger Tor? From the Baltic coastline in the north to the valleys of the alps in the south, you`ll pass rivers like the Rhine and the Donau, extended woods, rich agricultural lands as well as numerous city areas. Hosting all kinds of industry from production over high-tech to services and banking, with the European Central Bank located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany is a motor of the European progress.

When it comes to food, Germany has the fame to prefer rustic, filling meals with sausages, stews, sauerkraut and pretzel being the emblematic components. Sweet bakery goods like Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, Obstkuchen or Windbeutel, the rich varieties of bread and cold cuts are admired worldwide. This is all traditionally true and still a good portion of the German diet in general. However, every region of Germany has its own specialities that they are proud of. Fresh vegetables, creative soups, colourful salads and a growing offer of vegetarian and healthy food styles add to the culinary landscape. Not to forget that Germany is an immigration country – even in the smallest town you find usually at least an Italian, Near Eastern and an Asian restaurant. Germans are curious and love to travel the world – on their vacation and on their plate at home.

The German “Reinheitsgebot“ limits the allowed ingredients of beer to hops, malt, yeast and water – in order to ensure a superior quality of product. There are more than 1400 breweries in Germany, and beer tasting is a serious social activity. The wines from the Rhine and the Mosel valleys are in millennial tradition from times of the Roman Empire, and young winemakers experiment with new grapes and maturation methods, to create a growing community of German wine fans. Remarkable is also the Apfelwein, a dry apple cider from the Hesse region.

With our Food Hopping tours in Germany, you will not only taste the regional traditional food and drinks as well as modern interpretations, but also discover the diverting tales around the food, the drinks and the region you are visiting. See you soon with Food Hopping in Germany!

European wine culture

What makes a tasty meal even better? Pairing it with a good wine! The fermented grape juice is almost as ancient as the human civilization, and plays his role in unnumbered myths, various cultural traditions, as well as a vast medical and important religous use. It has inspired Artists of all kind and its abuse has led to tragedies.
In general, wine is cultivated in white, rosé and red variations. Depending on the grape, the soil, the weather, the fermentation process and the secrets of the cellar master, wines vary from very dry to sweet. There are famous wine regions in the world who are reknown for their signature wines. Although wines from the Americas, Southern Africa and Australia hold a potent share of the market, we’d like to concentrate on the casual wines of some european major producing areas – wines that pair with the typical local food we discover during our Food Hopping tours:

Austria: ‘Grüner Veltliner’ and ‘Blauer Zweigelt’ are the most comon local wine grapes, and are mostly cultivated as crisp, dry wines. In popular wine-garden taverns called “Heurige” it is common to order a “Spritzer”, mixing the young wine with sparkling water.

Germany: internationally famous are the wines from the Rhine Valley, as well as from the Mosel. Traditionally, Germany is a land of white wines, from very dry, mineral Rieslings to sweet Eiswein. In the last decades and with modern cultivation methods, red wines gain ground and there is a growing community of german wine fans.

Italy: as one of the most important european wine producers, Italy counts with big names in white and red wines , like Barolo, Chianti, Frascati – only to name a few – sparkling Asti and sweet Vin Santo or Marsala.

Portugal: a land of contrastes, also in wines. From full-bodied red wines in the center, aged Port- and Madeira specialties to light Vinho Verde growing in the cool atlantic climate of the northern regions.

Spain: counting with the biggest wine cultivation area worldwide, spread into numerous denominaciones de origen, with the Rioja as the most famous. Every spanish region has regional cultivation areas and favourite grapes. Sparkling Cava is produced in Cataluña, spirited wines like Sherry and Malaga come from Andalucía.

With every Food Hopping tour, you´ll get to taste some of the regional wines and learn more about how they pair with authentic local food. So see you soon at a Food Hopping tour!

10 good reasons for a Food Hopping tour

Who else likes to discover new taste sensations when travelling?
How about doing a Food Hopping Tour on your next vacation?
Every city and region has its own food specialities and traditions.
As a traveller, it isn’t always easy to find the best places in a new town to try and discover the best food like the locals do.
With Food Hopping, it is easy to jump into the local culinaric szene and to enjoy new experiences on your palate without worries.
If you ask yourself, what are the advantages of a guided walking Food Hopping tour during your vacation, here’s our top 10 of good reasons:

10 – Discover hidden places like cozy restaurants, rustic taverns , insider-tipps and family-run shops apart of the beaten tracks.
09 – Savour food like a multi-course meal, ranging from from appetizer to dessert.
08 – Taste authentic cuisine, famous dishes and surprising flavours the locals adore.
07 – Explore a new location with every tasting, discovering the regional culinaric landscape.
06 – Meet the locals, learn from food and drink specialists about their regional traditions and interact with the people of the neighbourhood.
05 – Get to know the city without getting lost, as every tour is designed as a convenient round-trip.
04 – Enjoy amusing anecdotes around the food you try, the city and their people.
03 – Let yourself be treated with surprising extras and local ‘secrets’.
02 – Follow the confident lead of your enthusiastic local Food Hopping guide, who knows the city inside out.
01 – Have a great time during an entertaining walk with pleasant memories and interesting stories to tell your friends at home!
See you soon with Food Hopping in Germany, Italy, Spain or selected european cities!

Christmas Markets – a delicious German tradition

As Christmas is coming close, Christmas Markets are bustling everywhere in Germany and beyond. Did you already taste those delicious treats like ‘Stollen’, ‘Lebkuchen’ or `gebrannte Mandeln’ that are so typical for those open-air-markets? Not to forget the mulled wine and grilled sausages to stay warm inside! With festive decorations and seasonal music, a Christmas Market is an ideal place to get into the holiday mode.
This tradition originates from mediaveal times, where trade fairs allowed the population to stockpile food and supplies before the hardest winter. Quickly the trade expanded to small artisanals, toys, sweets and nuts as christmas gifts for the children.
Today, almost every town and village in Germany has ists own Christmas Market. From small weekend gatherings, run by the local parish in smaller villages, up to world-famous markets like the “Christkindelmarkt” in Nurenberg or the “Striezelmarkt” in Dresden, that start End of November and end the day before Christmas.
Usualy a Christmas Market is an open air market, decorated with festive lights, where wooden stalls sell christmas tree adornments, small gifts for children and adults as well as spices and sweets. Famous is the Christstollen, a sweet and filling bread with fruit and nuts, gingerbread and an almost infinite variety of cookies and biscuits.
In our times, Christmas Markets are a very popular gathering place to meet friends, drink mulled wine and eat warm delicacies such as grilled sausages, potato pancakes, hot soup or roast chestnuts.
And the allurement of Christmas Markets has spread even to Canada, tthe United States of America and even to Japan. In England, Birmingham, as the Partner City of our Home Base town Frankfurt, hosts a “Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt”.
Some of the delicatessen at a Christmas Market are special to this ocasion, but many delicious nibbles are also availlable during the year. So come and try authentic local specialities in Germany wit our Food Hopping tours – our new tours in Frankfurt/Main and more! See you soon with Food Hopping in Germany!

Napoli, cradle of the authentic Pizza Neapolitana

Naples or Napoli in Italy – with its name coming from the ancient greek founding of Neapolis, the new town – sprawls pleasantly between the Gulf of Naples and one of the most famous volcanos of the earth, the Vesuv. The surrounding Campania region with its extended meadowlands is best known for ist excellent buffalo´s cheese, the Mozzarella di Buffalo o Burrata. It is an unique experience, opening for the first time the firm white cheese dough with a knife and letting the creamy milk float fro the center. With its very rich, buttery but fresh taste this cheese speciality excites gourmets everywhere.
Also, the volcanic earth at the slopes of the volcano are perfectly apt to grow flavour-rich tomatoes and hot-blooded wines.
In Napoli, those ingredients came together with grain flour, water, sea salt and some basil leaves to form its signature dish: the Pizza Neapolitana. A not-to-miss food for every visitor to naples, and coveted treasure of the locals. It is in Naples where the pizza has its roots – thin, crisp and with simple but perfect ingredients of the region. Paired with a glas of vesuvian wine, there is not much left to fulfill a foodies dream….
With Food Hopping in Naples, our passionate Food Hopping guide leads to the best spots to taste not only the authentic Pizza Neapolitana, but also fresh cheese Burrata, extraordinary wines and much more local food specialities, some well-known, some surprising. Together with amusing anecdotes and background storys about the food and the people of Napoli, it is a perfect way for any food lover to get to know the city by the means of a food tour. See you soon with Food Hopping in Napoli!

Andalusian food traditions in Malaga

Málaga – in culinary terms, this name is mostly connected to sweet wine and raisins. Located at the mediterrean coast in Andalucía, Spain, this beautiful city offers best weather conditions almost all year long. Long and soft sloping sandy beaches are at walking distance from the city center. Chiringuitos, popular beach bars, are an institution: during the day, they satisfy the need of the vacation beachgoers with cold drinks, sangria, snacks and paella, sweets and icecream. In the evening appear small flickering fires, a pleasant smell of burning wood and roasted fish: directly at the beach, the chiringuitos have open firepits where they offer daily-catched sardines sizzeling on a stick – delicious!
The old city center of Málaga with its narrow alleyways and pedestrian passages habours a vibrant gastronomic scene: from old neighbourhood grocery shops where slow-aged, cured whole porks legs dangle from the ceiling and tasty mountain cheeses can be tasted and bought, small hidden bars where the whole family is involved in preparing homecooked tapas and raciones like the famous spanisch potato omlette tortilla, savoury codfish croquetas, albondigas meatballs and much more, to high-class restaurants and glamourous nightlife locations. Not to forget the local food markets, where the freshest fruit and vegetables, meat and fish are offered.
With our new Food Hopping Tour, you may discover Málagas best-hidden secrets and most emblematic food traditions – all in a amusing and pleasable walking tour.
See you soon with Food Hopping in Malaga!

Venice and its cicchetti culture

Venezia – the emblematic ‘La Serenissima’ – is one of the best-known cities in Italy and fills all senses to the fullest, especially the taste. This wonderful city with its maze of small streets and waterways celebrates the italian ‘Aperitivo’ in a perfect way. Everywhere in small neighbourhood ‘Bacari’ – popular bars, where people gather after or inbetween work to taste delicious snacks and gossip.
In Venice, these snacks are called ‘cicchetti’ and are served with a glas of wine, the ‘ombra’ – shadow. Chicchetti usualy consist of toasted bread slices with various toppings: from ham, sausage, small fried or marinated fishes, different pates and spreads, to roasted vegetables or cheese. not to forget the famous battered cod ‘bacala mantecato’ or local sardines. So there is a cicchetto for almost every taste. The variations are usually displayed at the counter, so there is something for everone – its only difficult sometimes to make the choice with all those tasty options…
With Food Hopping, we’ll offer a great walking food tour in 2018, where yo get to know Venice at its unknown corners. Our local Food Hopping guide is happy to tell you anecdotes about the food you’ll taste and the neighbourhood you’ll visit.
See you soon with Food Hopping in Venezia!

Food Tour and vacation in Spain

Which region of Spain is your favourite vacation spot? Spain is one of the most visited countries of Europe for leisure trips. And there is no wonder why: from the sunkissed beaches and impressive history of Andalucia, the beautiful Balearic islands, the cultural heritage and bustling city life of Madrid, to the rich traditions and colorful landscapes of Catalunya – these are only four of many spots in Spain that promise to bring awsome holiday memories.
We picked this regions also because of the diverse and rich culinaric traditions, which are easily to discover on a Food Tour: don’t miss the ultimate specialities like perfectly cooked andalusian ‘Albondigas’ meatballs in Malaga, soft and tasty mallorquin ‘sobrasada’ sausage in Palma de Mallorca, dry aged special ‘jamon’ ham, cut directly from the bone, in Madrid, or ‘horchata’, a tipical catalan refreshment, in Barcelona .
Our passionate local Food Hopping Guide knows the best spots to try those traditional and modern food specialities and entertain you with amusing stories about the food, the people and the regional pecularities of the Spanish cuisine today and in history. Join the Food Tour on a leisurly walk, eat and drink like the locals – so there are even more memories to bring from your perfect holiday in Spain. See you soon with Food Hopping in Spain!

Halloween the italian way

In Italy, especially in Sicily, there is a long tradition that children receive small gifts and sweets, supposedly from their ancestors, on the morning of All Saints. Despite of All Saints being a national holiday, and All Souls a local Sicilian holiday, these days have been a more religious than popular celebration.
During the last years, however, Halloween is getting more and more popular, especially among young people. It is not very common to go from house to house to ask for trick or treat, but there are costume parties for children and for young adults, disguising and enjoying the celebration like for the carneval season.
In fact, not the holiday itself is changing, but the way to celebrate it. New influences are embraced and added to the existing rites. Sicilian feasts are often related to special foods: San Guiseppe Day with stuffed cream sweets, San Martin Day to cantuccini biscuits and sweet vino santo, Santa Lucia Day with hard grain pudding, or days of local saints, like Santa Rosalia in Palermo or Santa Agatha in Catania with various culinaric posts throughout the city.
With our Food Hopping Tours, we integrate local culinaric traditions with top contemporary food stops where the locals come to enjoy their favorite treats – see you soon with Food Hopping in Italy!