WC’s Oktoberfest: The Ups & Downs

By Rosie Alger
Elm Staff Writer

On Oct. 1, the German Club gave Hodson Hall an experience in dining abroad. In honor of the start of October, Washington College had its very own Oktoberfest celebration.

Dinner included German cuisine inspired dishes such as bratwurst, potato salad, sauerkraut, pretzel rolls, and desserts like apple strudel and ginger bread. There were red, black, and yellow decorations in honor of the German flag, and both traditional and more modern music from Germany could be heard while standing in line for food.

The German club even hosted a trivia game and handed out prizes for the winners. There were also prizes for students who dawned the most German-inspired spirit wear.

The original Oktoberfest started in 1810 and is held every year in Munich. The festival was originally in celebration of the wedding of Germany’s prince of the time, Crown Prince Ludwig, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

Senior Lisa Thiele is from Germany and had an interesting experience comparing our dinner to authentic German cuisine. “The bratwurst and pork dishes…were surprisingly good,” she said. “Although we don’t do pork like that in Germany. It’s usually sliced, [but] here it was pulled.”

WC served typical German food like bratwurst and sauerkraut for the College’s Oktoberfest.
WC served typical German food like bratwurst and sauerkraut for the College’s Oktoberfest.

Thiele has lived in the US before so she is used to American renderings of German food and differences in recipes. She said, “I ate with some of the other German students, they were more disappointed, but I’ve lived in the US before, so it was better than I expected.”

According to Thiele, dessert was the best part of the meal. “The dessert was really good,” she said, “I had some apple strudel and gingerbread.”

Unfortunately the black forest cake was disappointing, according to Thiele. It was “really just a brownie with icing on top, so that wasn’t very German,” she said. “[But] overall, I thought it was very nice.”

In regards to the music, Thiele said, “The music was definitely German, but a lot of it was only what older people listen to, although there were some German rap songs too.”

The dining staff had a very positive experience working with the club to create the German dinner. Residential Dining Director Janelle Craft explained that some of the changes to the recipes provided by the German club were a result of accommodating a large dining hall. “Our team of chefs were able to take those recipes and adapt them for the large amount of people we feed in a meal period,” she said.

Craft also stated that working with student organizations is always an enjoyable experience for the Dining Hall, and encourage other clubs to reach out to them. She said, “We have partnered with various groups on numerous occasions in the past, such as Taste of Brazil and Sushi Night.  We always look forward to these partnerships and enjoy getting to know the groups.”

Of course there is always room for improvement. Craft said, “We love and appreciate feedback and suggestions from our guests and we welcome the opportunity to partner with other clubs in the future.”

The German club did their best to put on an evening in Germany for WC students. Coming up, they will be visiting a local German restaurant for an even more authentic meal.

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