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Countries show their produce at Green Week
Partner country Bulgaria: Taste the Flavour of the Sun
All day long people are crowded around the many little market stalls in Hall 10.2, because these form part of the colourful and tasty display, with added folklore, by this year’s partner country of the Green Week, under slogan “Flavour of the Sun”. The more than 35 exhibitors have brought numerous specialities to Berlin to present to visitors and enable them to discover the culinary attractions of this Balkan country. These include fruit juices made from apples, pears and chokeberries, dried fruit, apple chips, oils made from lavender, camomile, melissa and yarrow, hummus, organic lime, acacia, herb and coriander honey, vegan chocolate with hazelnuts, lemons, grapefruits, coconut milk, mulberries, olive and tomato paste, white and red wines, cheese made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats and buffalos, crackers made with sprouting seeds, and dry-cured, uncooked meat. And equally important: there are a wide range of products made with Bulgarian roses, such as rose water, jam, tea and chocolate.
Small brewers from Finland
For Finland the International Green Week provides an opportunity to present small craft brewers as well as some of its outstanding gastronomy. The Land of 1,000 Lakes is bringing its own fashionable beverage to Berlin under the slogan “Great beer from small brewers”. Also on the same stand is a leading chef, Sauli Kemppainen, who has made the new Nordic cuisine with its many Finnish ingredients so popular in Germany. He has been preparing food in various restaurants In Berlin for several years, and will shortly be opening a restaurant on the Kurfürstendamm, it was announced by Esa Wrang from Business Finland. In this year alone Business Finland has attended 14 trade fairs around the world, of which the IGW is the only one open to the public. Wrang describes the Finnish strategy by saying: “We believe that what people see here they should be able to find straightaway in a supermarket”,
Rare visitors: Bulgarian screw-horn long-haired goats
It is not only such gourmet products as wine and cheese that have found their way from the partner country Bulgaria to the Green Week, but also the screw-horn, long-haired Bulgarian goats, which look very happy in the Livestock Hall. This breed is included on the list of old and endangered domestic breeds in Europe. Their screw-like, widely spread horns are their characteristic feature. As their name indicates, they originate from Bulgaria. In their Balkan homeland they were kept for their meat, milk and wool, but even there they have become very rare, and there are now fewer than 100 breeding animals. The splendid animals to be seen in the Livestock Hall belong to the urban farm Domäne Dahlem. Astrid Masson, who is responsible for agriculture there, explains: “These animals can stand any weather and are undemanding. They can be kept outside on pasture throughout the year.”
Agricultural exports from the Netherlands set a new record
Last year agricultural exports from the Netherlands set a new record of 91.7 billion euros, corresponding to a seven per cent increase. This was announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, at the Green Week. Furthermore products connected with agriculture such as farm machinery, mineral fertilisers and pesticides with a value of 9.1 billion euros were also exported. “The growth in exports emphasises the strength of our agricultural and horticultural sector”, the minister pointed out. “However, the position of the Netherlands as a centre for knowledge and innovativeness is at least as important.” Germany accounts for the largest share of agricultural exports from the Netherlands, followed by Belgium, the United Kingdom and France. With a 13 per cent share of total exports, potatoes, vegetables and fruit are the most popular items, ahead of meat and processed animal products with just under twelve per cent, and ornamental plants, dairy products and eggs, each with a ten per cent share.
Poland: for sweetening, marinading, refining
A soothing, pleasant aroma and a slightly sweet, subtle lavender flavour – that describes the lavender syrup from Michal Sitek. He has been making lavender and mint products since 2013 and founded his company “Lavendziarnia Stoki6” in 2016. He sells his products at a weekly market in Krakow as well as online to Japan, Austria, Germany and the USA. The syrup, for example, is ideal for sweetening tea or coffee, as well as for marinading meat, especially duck and venison. It can also be mixed with hot water or poured over ice cream. Sitek explains that lavender has antibacterial, antimycotic, purgative and calming properties as well as being a muscle relaxant. He only uses ecologically certified lavender which he cultivates himself. The sugar that he uses is also obtained exclusively from Poland. “Lavendziarnia Stoki6” is being displayed at the Green Week for the first time and is one of more than 40 exhibitors on the Polish stand.
Slovenia is the export champion of queen bees
Slovenia is the centre of apiculture, and over 10,000 beekeepers are dedicated to looking after countless bees. 50.000 queen bees for breeding are annually exported all over the world. And visitors to the Green Week can find numerous honey products on display on the country’s stand. As the stand supervisor Andreja Knific explains: “the range encompasses foaming mead, lip balm, tincture of beeswax, honey liqueur with propolis, various combinations for boosting the immune system (such as honey with black cumin, beetroot, pollen) and quality honey from every region of our country”. And perhaps Slovenian beekeepers will soon be facing growing competition on export markets from domestic competitors in the ice cream sector. The Slovenian ice cream maker Lumi is mounting a vigorous campaign on the German market. Its speciality is an unflavoured vegan ice cream that contains no gluten or lactose. “We are ready to take on Germany”, says the general manager of Lumi, Adel Basic.
Liechtenstein delights the Green Week with drinks and cheese
Liechtenstein is delighting visitors to the Green Week with full-bodied wines from grapes harvested in the centre of the city. But there are alcohol-free beverages too. Fresh Liechtenstein milk is growing in popularity, and can be made into a unique, creamy yoghurt, cheese or other dairy products. Since 2017 delicious cheese from the principality has been part of the product range, and owes its fine, nutty flavour to the careful way it is processed and naturally matured on spruce wood from Liechtenstein. The smallest of the Alpine countries is also making its mark with some innovative styles of beer, made using various varieties of hops, malt and yeast. All the beers are aged in a cold state at low temperatures for a very long time and are not pasteurised. “Lichtenstein also extends an invitation to get to know the country and its people by walking in the mountains in a number of themed areas”, says Renate Bachmann from Liechtenstein Marketing.
Bringing the title of Florence on the Elbe to Brandenburg
Minister President Dietmar Woidke arose early in order to take a look around “Brandenburg’s finest shop window” in Hall 21a at the International Green Week. Even before the official opening time for the hall he toured the stands, where he sampled honey wine, cider, apple spritzer and much more besides. Of course, he only took small sips, because later he was due to appear on the stage to sum up his visit: “It is fantastic to experience the cordial atmosphere behind the counters.” Of course Woidke conducted the State Police Orchestra in their rendition of the hymn “Märkische Heide”, and was present at the announcement of that the village of Neuzelle would host the next Village and Harvest Festival, and that Wittenberge has been chosen for this year’s Brandenburg Day. The leader of the state commented on this latter choice with the words: “This would be an opportunity to finally bring the title of ’Florence on the Elbe’ to Brandenburg.” Dresden will have to watch out.
Saxony-Anhalt: A hint of juniper and buffalo grass flavour
Known until now as a supplier of various absinth specialities under the “66“ brand name, the Abtshof Magdeburg distillery is now marketing its Buffalo Grass Gin ”66” across the nation. Over the past two years this has been successfully introduced on a test market. With this 47-per cent proof premium gin the manufacturer has drawn on its own expertise with the production of buffalo grass vodka in Poland. Before the traditional distillation process such typical plant extracts as juniper berries, coriander, wormwood, and the peel of lemons and oranges are “married” with aromatic buffalo grass in a complex and secret process. The result is an authentic London dry gin with a delicate hint of juniper and the subtle appeal of the typical buffalo grass flavour, the exhibitor explains.
Schleswig-Holstein emphasises its regional characteristics
Following a tour of the hall, on Sunday (21 Jan.) Minister President Daniel Günther attended the Schleswig-Holstein evening at the Green Week. This year 70 companies, organisations and associations occupied 26 stands on a display area measuring some 1,400 square metres to show all the culinary attractions of this state located between the North Sea and the Baltic. Once again the focal point of the hall was the exhibition kitchen, where chefs from the five DEHOGA county associations were preparing regional dishes ranging from beet puree to kale and pot roast. In addition to offering samples of typical products from the state, the display was also intended to focus on regional marketing. The online portal www.gutes-vom-hof.sh that was developed last year was again featured, and well over 100 direct marketing companies have now joined up. “Emphasising regional characteristics is a growing trend”, said the state’s agriculture minister Robert Habeck. “Consumers are increasingly keen to know where their foodstuffs come from and how they are made.“
Enjoy Saxony alongside its many new exhibitors
“Enjoy Saxony” – that is the slogan in 2018 in Hall 21b. The 35 businesses and associations are presenting the best and tastiest of this state, both in a culinary sense and for tourists too. Newcomers this year include a bakery, Bäckerei Möbius from Oederan, the aquaculturalist Kirschauer Aquakulturen GmbH from Schirgiswalde-Kirschau, ice cream makers Nepple Eis from Dresden, and brewer Stonewood Braumanufaktur GmbH from Chemnitz, as well as the direct marketing organisation Verein Direktvermarktung in Sachsen e. V. and tourism promoter Tourismusverband Vogtland e. V.. In addition to popular branded items and some well-known products, visitors to the Green Week can also sample various new items. These include new types of beer such as “Einsiedler Winterbock” or craft beers like “Foreign Extra Chocolate Stout” and “Barrel Aged Strong Sour Ale”, as well as some refreshing ice creams, tasty speciality cakes, wines from the 2017 vintage, and delicious fish from Saxony.
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