German is the ancestry Americans most often claim, and Family Tree Magazine
’s hometown, Cincinnati, could run for flag-bearer. We're so German that one of the city's oldest neighborhoods is called Over the Rhine.
Our Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
, which I attended last weekend, is the biggest Oktoberfest outside Munich. We’re proud of our world record for the largest group chicken dance: In 1994, the visiting Crown Prince of Bavaria led 48,000 of us in tweet-tweeting our hands and flapping our elbows to Der Vogerltanz
. (We held the title until 1997.)
This year, BallinStadt
, the Hamburg emigration museum that opened in July
, even sent someone to tell Oktoberfest revelers how they could learn about their German ancestors’ departure for America.
Our Oktoberfest is also a gold mine for lovers of goetta (prounounced get-uh
), aka "Cincinnati caviar." The story is German immigrants brought us this peasant dish, meant to stretch meat supplies.Goetta
is mostly ground pork and pinhead (steel-cut) oats seasoned with bay leaves, rosemary, salt, pepper, and thyme, then boiled, sliced into square patties and fried. My mom made it for breakfast, but any time is goetta time at Oktoberfest:
In summer, a local Goettafest
offers even more variety, including, for the truly devoted, goetta fudge. Tasty.
Hungry? You’ll find recipes for goetta here