From Kottenbotter (sausage sandwiches) and Kaffeetafel (coffee and snacks) to new Bergisch cuisine
Traditional Bergisch specialities
Bergisch dishes originate from hearty cuisine with simple ingredients. Try a “Kottenbotter”. A brown or black bread sandwich made with butter, pork sausage, onions and mustard. It used to constitute a typical breakfast for the grinders.
If visitors came, everything that was in the larder was put on the table: “Koffeedrenken met allem Dröm on Dran” (drinking coffee with all the trimmings). The Bergische Kaffeetafel (coffee and snacks) is celebrated at many restaurants and other eating establishments today. If you order it, you will be served raisin bread and black bread, honey, molasses, quark and cheese, rice pudding with cinnamon and sugar as well as Bergisch waffles with warm cherries and whipped cream. And in the middle of it all is the “Dröppelminna”, a tall, two-handled coffee pot, a predecessor to the modern coffee machine. Place your cup under the tap and watch how the coffee “drips in”.
A lighter version of the Bergische Kaffeetafel consists of Bergisch waffles with hot cherries and whipped cream. With rice pudding or ice cream as an optional extra. In terms of calories though, they both work out to about the same.
New culinary interpretations
“Pillekuoken” (potato pancakes) and “Riefkuoken” (potato fritters) are heartier dishes. The first is a kind of pancake, the other a crispy potato fritter fried in fat, formerly known as “poor man's food”. Today it tastes delicious with salmon or apple sauce, molasses or apple syrup.
New Bergisch cuisine has reinterpreted traditional dishes such as turnip greens, herring dip and pearl barley making them a little lighter. And have you ever had pumpernickel for dessert?
A schnapps, brandy or liqueur to finish off your meal is highly recommended. An original Bergisch one, obviously. The Frantzen distillery in Remscheid has been producing fine schnapps and liqueurs since 1823.