Indulge in the classic pairing of reibekuchen mit apfelmus, or potato pancakes with applesauce, during our Christmas Markets on the Rhine itinerary. Most famous in the Rhineland, you’ll find these crispy fried potato pancakes sold in street stalls, especially in Cologne, Germany, the most famous of which is situated outside the Cologne railway station.
The Potato Decree of 1756
It was during Friedrich the Great’s reign in the mid-18th century that Germany’s love affair with the potato began. Although the vegetable first arrived in Germany nearly a century before his ruling, the king deeply believed in the economic and nutritional value of the potato – so much so that in 1756, he passed the Kartoffelbefehl, or the “potato decree.”
Reibekuchen are one of many potato dishes to come out of Germany and the surrounding countries. The tasty specialty snack shares many qualities with latkes, a traditional Jewish take on the potato pancake, typically eaten during Hanukkah.
The Ultimate Comfort Food
Once considered a “peasant food” due to the accessibility and cheap pricing of potatoes, the meal grew to become a staple for German families. To this day, reibekuchen continue to be a perfectly scrumptious, affordable and versatile side dish.
Reibekuchen are arguably one of the best comfort foods to come out of Germany. This fried snack is hot, filling, and absolutely delicious! While the pancakescan be found in Christmas Market stalls throughout Germany during the holiday season, you can also taste these delectable potato pancakes during our included Kölsch beer tasting in Cologne year-round on many of our Rhine River itineraries. Try them out for yourself – during Christmas, Hanukkah or any time of the year!