Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Odenwald Apple Wine Chicken (Ebbelwoi-Hinkelsche)

Ebbelwoi-Hinkelsche is the Odenwald's version of France's Coq au vin, which, in France, is made with red or white wine, depending upon the area. Naturally, the Odenwald dish makes use of the region's favorite local drink, apple wine, its sour taste going surprisingly well with chicken. 

For this recipe, I tried to use as many local goods as possible.  At the end of the recipe, there are a few details and links for the local producers so that you can find your own Real Odenwald Products.

**I am not affiliated with any of the producers and receive no incentive from listing a product.**

Odenwald Apple Wine Chicken (Ebbelwoi-Hinkelsche)

For Six People


1 fresh chicken, about 1,8 kilos, jointed
100 grams Dörrfleisch, diced (smoked bacon which can be obtained from butcher or meat counter)
2 onions, diced
2 apples, peeled and diced
200 grams Zucchini, diced
40  ml Odenwald apple schnapps;/apple brandy
250 ml Odenwald apple wine
some Mehlbutter for thickening (this is butter and wheat flour kneaded together in equal portions)
100 ml cream


Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Joint the chicken and then season it with salt and pepper.  Fry the chicken in an oven-proof skillet, using butter. If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, you can use a regular skillet and later transfer the ingredients to a roasting pan. 

Remove the chicken and then sear the Dörrfleisch in the same skillet. Next, add the vegetables and fry until tender.  Return the chicken to the skillet, douse with the schnapps/brandy and then extinguish with the apple wine. 

Cover the skillet and place in the oven (or transfer the ingredients to an oven-proof roasting pan, cover and then place in the oven).  Allow the chicken to cook for 20 minutes then remove from the oven.  Pour the juices from the pan into a small stock pot, then add the Mehlbutter, cream, salt and pepper. Heat until thickened, whisking as needed.  The sauce should be poured over the chicken and noodles.

Serving Suggestions

Serving Suggestions: Serve with Odenwald Bandnudeln (Tagliatelle) and a side salad. 

Real Odenwald Products


The Bandnudeln I used were from Odenwälder Landgenuss in Michelstadt-Rehbach.  This company has been producing delicious pasta since 1992. Under the supervision of master baker, Rainer Heist, the company makes over 30 varieties of pastas, which are available in many shops in the region. 

Apple Brandy

Dieter Walz at the Apfelwalzer Edelbrennerei Schaumweinmanufaktur in Fürth - Erlenbach produced the apple brandy that went in to my version of this recipe.  They are an award-winning distiller who make a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic, fruit-based drinks.

Apple Wine

The apple wine used in the recipe is from the Kelterei Krämer in Reichelsheim - Beefurth.  This press house, has been a family-run business since 1928. They produce fruit wines and juices which are renowned for their quality both in and beyond the Odenwald region. 

“Ebbelwoi-Hinkelsche.” Odenwald: Kulinarische Streifzuege, by Willi Weckbach and Hans Joachim. Doebbelin, Sigloch, 1994, pp. 110–111. 

You can purchase a copy of this book here: Odenwald: Kulinarische Streifzuege

Monday, 7 May 2018

Handkäse Mit Musik

Handkäse Mit Musik (hand cheese with music) is a local specialty and, in the Odenwald, it is traditionally made from Odenwälder Frühstückskäse, a soft cheese produced from pasteurized cow's milk. 

The designation "Odenwälder Frühstückskäse" is a protected geographical indication, and it is also registered as a protected designation of origin (PDO) under European law. Though Odenwälder Frühstückskäse was once produced by several Odenwald dairies, it is now made only by the Hüttenthal Dairy in Mossautal. This cheese may only be used for products made in the Odenwald or Bergstraße districts, and the processed milk must also come only from this area.  Odenwälder Frühstückskäse is a soft cheese, and though many are made into small, cylindrical loaves, Handkäse Mit Musik is normally made from the round cheeses.  It has an ivory to yellowish inside, surrounded by a brownish-yellow skin.  The cheese has a pungent, spicy smell and a strong taste.

You will often see Handkäse Mit Musik on regional menus, though not all will be made with Odenwälder Frühstückskäse. Some are also made with Hessen Handkäse (another geographically-protected cheese), as the dish is not just eaten in the Odenwald but other parts of Hessen, as well. 

Handkäse Mit Musik is often served as a starter or snack, topped with chopped onion and accompanied by apple wine. The cheese can be topped with caraway seeds, though it is more usual to have this served on the side, allowing one to decide how much of the spice they want, if any at all. 

Recipe: Handkäse Mit Musik
Serves four.  I used the  Odenwälder Frühstückskäse from the Hüttenthal Dairy in Mossautal, but you can use Hessen Handkäse. 

4 ripe Handkäse (One for each person) 
2 Tablespoons wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon of water
1 Tablespoon of Oil
finely chopped onions to taste
Cumin seeds to taste (serve on side)
ground black pepper to taste 

Place one cheese on a plate for each person. For the music, mix together all the ingredients except the pepper and cumin and pour over the cheese. Add the pepper and serve, allowing each guest to add cumin if desired.   

You can learn more about the Hüttenthal Dairy here:



Parents of small children are always on the look out for a location that offers, not only good food and drink, but a place where the little ones can be entertained, as well. The Altedorfmühle Pub and Wine bar easily fits that description. It not only offers an atmospheric beer garden where adults can relax when the weather is nice, but also has a large sandpit for the kids to play in.  If the weather doesn’t allow you sit outside in the garden, find a spot inside to enjoy the pub's cosy, rustic atmosphere where you can while away the time with a card game or perhaps by playing a tune on their old piano.

As its name "The Old Village Mill" suggests, the Altedorfmühle pub and wine bar, located at 71 Bachgasse in the heart of Bensheim-Auerbach,  was once a mill, the oldest and largest of its kind in Auerbach.  Though first mentioned in 1475, it is thought that a mill existed here for much longer, perhaps as far back as the 13th century, constructed to serve the needs of the nearby Auerbach Castle. Unfortunately, the building from 1475 was, like all mills in Auerbach, destroyed in the 30 Year’s War, which lasted from 1618 - 1648.

In 1650, a new mill was built on the site, though this structure was completely demolished in 1788 by
the owner at the time, Christian Männel.  He rebuilt a mill at the same location, and it is this building that you see today.  In 1984, Peter van Deun noticed the charm of the half-timbered edifice and decided to bring the old structure back to life.  At the present time, the building houses apartments, the ceramics workshop of artist Elisabeth Kaufmann, and, since 1987, the pub/wine bar, Altedorfmühle.

Under the care and guidance of the multi-generational Como family as much attention is given to the food and drink on offer as is to the preservation of the unique location.  Many ingredients are made on site or carefully sourced from local producers.  For example, cakes, bread, ice cream and noodles are made either at the restaurant or at the mill’s very own wood-oven bakery (Holzofen-Bäckerei) located at 11 Gerbergasse in the pedestrian zone in Auerbach.  

The Altedorfmühle’s website lists the origin of many of the products they serve.  Those include juices from Kelterei Krämer, milk products come from the Hüttenthal dairy and meat from small local farmers. The quality of the ingredients is immediately evident when you taste the food on offer. The Odenwald platter sausages from the Mehl butcher shop in Fehlheim are delicious, as is the homemade potato salad.   The cooked cheese (Köchkase mit Musik), made onsite, gets good reviews, as does the schnitzel served with crisp potato hashbrowns.

Of course one of the main reasons for stopping at the Altedorfmühle would be its drinks menu and that also shows the care that the Como family put into supporting quality local businesses.  They have a delicious selection of wines from the Hanno Rothweiler winery of Auerbach and the Simon Bürkel winery located in Zwingenberg.  

On tap, you’ll find Benedictine beer (Helles and Weisbier) from the Ettal Abbey located in Ettal, Bavaria; however, if you prefer something a bit darker, the pub offers a black beer (schwarzbier) from Köstritzer Brewery, one of the oldest (1543) producers of black lager in Germany, and a favourite of both Goethe and Bismark.  Round off your evening with a shot or two of Odenwald fruit brandy, produced by the Gehrig family in Litzelbach or perhaps have a coffee sourced from Haus Wacker’s shop in Frankfurt’s Kornmarkt. No matter what you choose, it's hard to go wrong at the Altedorfmühle, where so much care and attention is put into what they produce and serve.

Alte Dorfmühle Auerbach
Bachgasse 71
64625 Bensheim-Auerbach
+49 (0)6251 / 7808457 or
+49 (0) 6251/788496
Opening Times:
Wednesday to Monday from 12 noon. The kitchen normally closes at 9:30; however, if it’s a slow evening they may close earlier.  It is recommended you call in advance if you plan to arrive later.

Odenwald Apple Wine Chicken (Ebbelwoi-Hinkelsche)

Ebbelwoi-Hinkelsche is the Odenwald's version of France's Coq au vin , which, in France, is made with red or white wine, dependin...