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.