Oktoberfest: A tale of fat shaming and good food

"Do you have a dirndl in [undisclosed size]?"
"Nein. We do not make them that big." 

After visiting several shops that did not have a cute dirndl in my size, I did, eventually, find some that fit, but they weren't very pretty, so I ventured off to Oktoberfest today sans dirndl as the last hurrah for my 2016 trip to Europe. 

Oktoberfest sign painted on a sidewalk in Munich, taken on Oct, 28, 2016.
Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp

I am not sure what I expected of Oktoberfest, but I didn't really think it would be as big as it is. I went during a "slow" time (close to 12:30 p.m.), so I quickly found a spot to sit at a table in the the Marstall tent. The tent seats about 3,200 people at full capacity with an additional 1,000 people outside in the Biergarten.  

Tromposaund - a Bavarian folk band from Lake Starnberg/München - was performing during most of my time in the tent. The band was set up on a gazebo-style stage, towering above the crowd, with a carousel apparatus spinning above it, and they played a mix of traditional German tunes and covers of American pop songs like "Sweet Caroline" (note: you have not lived until you have heard Neil Diamond being covered by a volksmusik, oom pah pah band). 

The event was so austentatious that I couldn't help but think of the German section of Epcot Center, where I used to load up my plate with spaetzel and pickled beets as a child. 

The beer I chose - Franziskkaner-Hefeweißbier - was one of the only ones that came in a small size, and since I am only spending one night here, I didn't want to have too much beer and not enough energy to do anything else.

The beer was golden, cloudy and delicious with a thick head of foam. The yeast gave it the classic banana flavor, with a hint of what might have been coriander and cardamom in the background. The light, playful flavor of the beer was a perfect friend to pair with the heaviness of my meal: wildererteller. 

Translated to "poacher's plate" in English,  it was a combination of venison ragout with mushrooms, a venison wurst, a slice of bacon, cranberry sauce and heavenly fried potatoes. The potatoes were essentially mashed potatoes reimagined as pancakes - perfectly crispy on the outside, fluffy and delicious on the inside. 

As both a major fan of traditional foods and a lover of venison, I couldn't have been happier. In fact, I was happy enough with my meal to be able to fully dismiss the fat-shaming from the morning's shopping misadventure. Sure, I couldn't find a dirndl that I liked, but at least I don't deprive myself of some of the best things that life has to offer. 

Wildererteller "poacher's plate" of stewed venison, venison sausage, mushrooms, bacon,
fried potatoes and cranberry sauce at Oktoberfest in Munich on Oct. 28, 2016.
Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp

Side note: So, I heavily debated (with myself) whether or not I wanted to write this particular blog post. My weight is something that has fluctuated somewhat over the years. Sometimes  I am confident and don't care what people think, while at other times I feel somewhat sad about gaining weight. 

This experience that I had in Munich ultimately helped me to remember that I am happy with myself, regardless of size. And so, hopefully for the benefit of others that may struggle with their weight and body image, I present this post about my time at Oktoberfest. It's not meant to fish for compliments or pity, but rather to state that I am proud of the choices that I make regarding eating delicious foods. 


 

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