Wanna talk the talk, not just guzzle the Glühwein? Well, here’s a list of the Vienna Christmas market lingo you should know, Oida!
A real Christmas market experience in Vienna means munching on Maroni (chestnuts) at some point. Ordering them from one of those little wooden huts, having the vendor scoop the red hot brown nuggets up with their black bare hands from the black cauldron they’re them roasting on. Then cracking them open and sinking your teeth into the soft nuts that, to us, look like tiny little brains. Ahhh, the magic of Maroni’s, pronounced with a prolonged ‘MMMMMMM’ at the beginning.
Roasted potatoes seem to be a thing at the markets. Be sure to reallly roll the RRRRR like you’re acting in some errrrrotic European porn when you order a paper cone’s worth of them.
To us – even the native Austrians amongst us – this word just sounds funny coming out of our mouths. It may be the ‘pooh-fer’ at the end, or all the FFFFing required when pronouncing it. Either way, we hope that one day a famous Hip Hop artist names themselves after these potato pancakes. These are a must-eat at the Christmas markets (and don’t hold back with the garlic that you can coat them with at some stands).
Heiße Liebe Punsch
Heisse Liebe Punsch – the Punsch that promises a whole lotta’ hot love to follow after a night on this. Well, we’re not actually sure if it’s called this for that reason, or because it comes with a suggestive pile of whipped cream on top. Whatever the reason, we love the name of this highly alcoholic and super sweet Punsch creation. And no Christmas market experience in Vienna is complete without getting your nose buried in the cream on top of one.
Glühwein (mulled wine) is probably widely known amongst most of you reading this. It’s the reason most of us stand in the cold, freezing our arses off for hours on end – because the Glühwein keeps us warm on the inside.
If you do feel like a tickle of fun when standing around next time with a group of friends at the markets sipping Glühwein, after the 3rd one, try to get your foreigner friends to try and get the ‘ü’ right in the word Glühwein. For maximum fun, keep telling them to try again, even when they do get it right. That’s the true Christmas spirit!
Another great word to pronounce after a couple of Glühweins; the ‘KKRRRapfen’ part certainly comes out with more gusto at this point. This delightful sweet doughy treat can be translated as ‘farmer’s Krapfen’, but regardless whether you’re a farmer or not, you can enjoy one of these at all Christmas markets around the city. A Bauernkrapfen is literally a doughnut, without the hole. This allows for all kinds of yummy toppings to be put on top.
We are big fans of this expression used by many at Viennese Christmas markets. ‘Zurück, bitte,’ means ‘Back, please’ – yes, that’s right, it doesn’t make any sense at all. That is, except in Vienna. Here, the expression is understood loud and clear when somebody is pushing a couple of Christmas market cups at you – ‘I’d like my Pfand (deposit) back please kind sir/madam.’
We assume this phrase evolved as Christmas markets are busy places, and most of the time there is little time for formalities. However it came to become part of the Vienna Christmas market lingo, next time you’re asking a vendor for your deposit back, cut the crap and simply look them deep into the eyes, and give them a subtle nod as if you’re saying, ‘ I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy… you know what we’re talking about.’