I tried veggie food at Birmingham's German Christmas Market - but wish I hadn’t
The German Christmas Market has returned with vegan bratwursts in 2023 and we tried them out, but it wasn't the sausages that left us disappointed
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The Frankfurt Christmas Market is in full swing in Birmingham city centre with hundreds of people shopping in the gift stalls and enjoying some classic German street food and drinks.
The market has filled the air with festivity in Victoria Square and down New Street with families, friends and office-workers bustling about as warm drinks and beer flowing, bratwursts sizzling on the grill and freshly baked pretzels bringing a delightful aroma.
This authentic market has been visiting Birmingham for Christmas for two decades - having started in 2001. You can enjoy live music at the colourful bazaar too, along with its own singing moose.
Last year they introduced a veggie stall with vegan sausages and falafels. Sausages tend to be the go-to food choice at the German Market, so it’s great that the meat free option has returned for 2023.
And despite the rise in cost of living, the price has stayed the same as it was in 2022 - they are offering a vegan sausage and a falafel wrap for £5 each.
I returned to the veggie food stall this year with high hopes having enjoyed the vegan options last year.
While I am not into labels, if I must add one, my diet is flexitarian, leaning more towards veggies than meat. So, I have tried out several vegan sausages over the years from supermarkets and some brands are on point with the taste.
The vegan sausage at Birmingham’s German Christmas Market is served with salad and tahini. I chose cucumbers and red cabbage and tahini and sriracha as my accompaniments. You can add more sauces like ketchup and mayo free of cost, if you want to.
When I asked the man making and serving the bratwursts what the sausages were made of - he didn’t have an answer. All he could tell me was that they are vegan - which I found a little surprising, as it’s the kind of info vegans are keen to know. But I trusted his reassurance and paid for my order.
Overall, service was great and the one person who was working there was friendly and fast in delivering my dish. But, that could have also been because I was the only one at the stall.
What to expect from the vegan bratwurst
The first bite into the warm bratwurst ticked all the boxes for taste, texture, and smell because it didn’t seem any different from a regular meat bratwurst. The sensational warm, savoury taste was the perfect lunchtime nourishment on a chilly afternoon..
But, a second bite left me disappointed. This time, I bit into the bun as well. I hadn’t paid much attention when I ordered. It was Brötchen - which is a crusty bread roll unlike softer American hot dog buns like last year.
I guess if I understood the German language a bit better I would have been more prepared for this.
While the sausage is perfectly cooked and yummy, the bread was so hard and crusty I didn’t know if I could finish it. The menu mentions that the bread is Brötchen - and there are no other bread options available - in case you’re not a fan of crusty rolls like me.
Also, don’t expect to walk and eat with this dish. I had a go and kept spilling it everywhere. Definitely best to find a bit of space where you can stand still and eat.
So overall, I would give an A for the sausage but a D for the bun. If you’re not a fan of crusty bread like me - it’s probably best to go for the falafel wrap option, which is served with hummus, salad and tahini yoghurt sauce, in nice soft bread!