Steckerlfisch Tastes Better Than It Looks

by Mark F. Weber on June 9, 2011

 

If presentation was the only importance of good food, the main ingredient of Steckerlfisch would be safely swimming in a German river or lake.  Steckerlfisch is grilled mackerel on a stick.

History of Steckerlfisch

Munich’s Oktoberfest is not only a celebration of beer.  An array of traditional and exotic foods complement the brew.  In the very early part of the 20th century, a local fish merchant introduced Steckerlfisch to the fair.  Cooked in the familiar way of a fisherman or camper, the treat was a hit.

Preparing Steckerlfisch

The mackerel is gutted.  A wooden stick is shoved through the fish and grilled with the mouth down.  An entire row of Steckerlfisch is placed on an angle across the grill so the fat drips into the fish, not the fire.   An oil-based marinade enhances flavor and assures the fish is crispy.  The Steckerlfisch is wrapped in paper and often served with a pretzel, also invented in Munich.

Americans rarely eat fish with heads, so it is better to be staring at the tail during the first bite.  Steckerlfisch is delicious with the spices, a crispy skin, and delicate white meat.  Be careful with the bones. Don’t look down to see the mackerel nibbling at your knuckles.

This is a Bavarian treat.  In addition to Oktoberfest, check out other festivals and beer garden menus.  You cannot eat just one Steckerlfisch, so Guten Appetit!

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I am an international business professor in Pittsford, NY who managed a business unit for a German company. My passion is family and friends, plus roaming the countryside on my road bicycle.

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