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Mouth-Watering German Christmas Traditions We Can't Live Without

Because it just doesn't taste like Christmas without Goose, Carp, and Glühwein!

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1. Glühwein

Glühwein literally translates as "Glow Wine," most likely because of how rosy the average drinker becomes after a few sips. It is warm, mulled red wine mixed with spices and, if you are lucky, a bit of spiced rum. This is a favorite drink at Christmas markets across Germany, and definitely needs to be introduced in the US ASAP!

5. Goose

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For many German families in the west, the only way to celebrate Christmas is with a goose. This bird is a little bit fattier than a Thanksgiving turkey, but the concept is the same: roast, baste, repeat.

6. Dresden Christstollen

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A visit to the Dresden Christmas Market is a must for anyone visiting Germany around Christmastime. This sweet bread loaded with rasins, nuts, and sugar is the perfect pairing with Glühwein!

7. Zimtsterne

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Exchanging Christmas cookies is standard operating procedure for German families. The Christmas "Plätzchen" are imbibed with spicy flavors that Germans associate with Christmas. Cinnamon stars are one of the best parts of the cookie exchange!

8. Lebkuchen

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Lebkuchen is as close as Germans get to gingerbread, but it is much thicker and a touch more flavorful. The decorated hearts can be found at festivals and markets all year round, but richly decorated Christmas themed pieces can only be found at Christkindl markets.

9. Karpfen

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Blue carp was a traditional Christmas Eve dish in the former East Germany, but many still keep the tradition alive every year. The taste may not be missed so much, but memories of Christmas carp are treasured.

10. Feuerzangenbowle

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Fire Tong Punch, anyone? Feuerzangenbowle is a delicious, if dangerous, punch served at many Christmas parties. It isn't something you would find at a restaurant or a Christmas market, but if you spend the holidays with a German friend, they will probably make some for you. If you're lucky, you will get the watch the movie while drinking your punch.

11. Bratapfel

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Traditional German baked apples are a more decadent version of apple pie, minus the crust. Stuffed with almonds, raisins, and marzipan, this dessert is perfect for a cold winter night.

12. Fondue

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Fondue may not seem very Christmas-y, but what it is is EASY. This is traditional for the day after Christmas, when families don't want to cook and clean, but are still interested in some family bonding.

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