This past Sunday Paula and I ventured out in the rain and wind to attend the International Bazaar of Luxembourg. This is a 2 day event that features the food and merchandise of nearly 50 different nations from all around the world. Since it is just around Christmas, a lot of the merchandise was Christmas related which is great for our shopping needs. The main attraction seemed to be the food…and the beer, wine and spirits that accompanied the food.
Paula started the morning by working at the American stand selling grocery items like cereal, peanut butter and brownies. Apparently people go nuts for some of the American goods that were offered. So much so that a lot of the key items like oatmeal and pop tarts were sold out on Saturday. Once her shift was over, Paula and I met up to start our shopping and eating.
We started our eating in Spain. We stopped off at the Spanish stand and grabbed an assortment of tapas including a crab salad on bread, a chunk of manchego cheese on bread and several other tasty treats, including freshly cut ham from the leg right in front of you. We washed it all down with some sangria.
After Spain we did some gift shopping at various stands. To not give away what we may have purchased for family, I won’t say exactly what we purchased and from where but I could say that the gifts were pretty nice. The German stand had a ton of Santa’s and other Christmas ornaments. The Scandinavian stand also had a great assortment of Christmas ornaments and unique foods to their region. Back to the food….
To start, I was a little disappointed that there was no food at the Belgian stand. We were thinking mussels or chocolates but none to be had. There was however….beer! There were about 20 beers to be exact with 2 or 3 on tap. The selection had something for the whole family from Leffe blonde to Rochefort 8 and Orval. They had Gouden Carolus Christmas but it was a 750 ml bottle and I could not down that quickly enough myself to make it worth it. Paula was going to help out but we still wanted to try a lot of food so I had a Rochefort instead. They made the bar area feel very cozy and helped me to forget I was in the middle of a large convention center. It was great to see that at something like this they had mainly the proper glassware and they didn’t care if you walked around with it.
After a little more shopping and walking around without much purpose but to walk off the last food we ate, we headed for another food stand. We found our way to the Lebanon stand and something called a chawarma. They had both beef and chicken. We opted for the chicken. The chawarma is basically a gyro type thing with cut up and seasoned chicken along with a nice helping of tomato, onions, pickles and the typical sauce you get on a gyro, I think tahini? It is all wrapped up in basically a pita but they pull it apart into 2 sections and it is actually better than a typical pita. We then walked to a standing table by the Argentina stand and picked up a few glasses of Argentinean red wine. As we were eating we ran into a few friends we recently met at a wine tasting during the week. Micah and Jessica are both from American and recent additions to Luxembourg as well.
From there we did more shopping and then found our way to the French stand and a glass of champagne. There is something classy about standing at a little bar table with a crystal glass full of bubbly on a Sunday afternoon. More time passed and then we tried a little chicken skewer thing with a peanut sauce at the Holland stand. I washed it down with a €1 glass of Heineken. Not my favorite beer but when in Rome, drink what they drink.
Our food intake was slowing down at this point so we did more shopping and walking around. We ran into some other friends from work, Jason and his wife Jeanine. At this point we were about ready to hit the road so we stopped by the Lebanese stand and got another chawarma for dinner, this time a beef one as they were out of chicken. I also grabbed a nice sausage sandwich from South Africa. The folks hanging around at this stand were living it up all day with beer and wine. I think they were still celebrating their countries win in the Rugby World Cup.
Although the walk back to the car was bad due to the driving rain and crazy wind, we had a great day with friends and shopping and eating our way through the world, all while staying in the Grand Duchy!