Frankfurt Green Sauce and Culture of the Cities

Food, Wine

Art explores why green sauce and old city walls are important in history, art and life in general.

 

Skip the history part and scroll down if you want just the recipe ⬇️

How city culture started

Feasting halls were a mark for Celts’ passion for food and communal indulgence of it

The oldest city culture goes back to pre-alphabetic times. The oldest city was found in India in about 5th century B.C.E. It continued in the Mediterranean, spread by Greek and Etrusk people. The Roman city culture, as we know it today, was based in the provinces of Roman Empire: Galicia, Britannia, Germania1. Galicia gave birth to the most wealthy Roman cities. Today, Germany’s Trier is proud of its executive buildings and commerce center- the Cathedral and Porta Nigra – inherited from Romans. This is where Celts2 extinct. Having no desire to live in the cities Celts preferred farming. Feasting halls were a mark for Celts’ love for food and communal indulgence of it. Passion for grape cultivation and their expertise for grain made them first gourmets of the continent.

The importance of the city walls

City walls, a Roman legacy, were a necessity for the aristocratic lifestyle, aka protection. 

Romans erected city walls, utterly despised by Barbarians. These folks preferred vast lands and small huts instead of being limited by a stone corsage. So they settled in the country, outside the city walls. Yet, freedom has a price, unattainable for the Proto-Germanians at that point. The walls meant safety. Safety meant survival. Survival was the reason Germanis went back to the cities, carefully designed by their Roman predecessors. Romans left a bunch of ruins behind, stones and once-very-dprotective-gate parts. Not so protective anymore, but with potential. Where city walls used to be in Franconia3, now little villages were filling the gaps of it. In some places, a Roman city wall would yield to a new Church. City walls, a Roman legacy, were a necessity for Empire aristocratic lifestyle, aka protection. To see and to be seen. 

The Old New Frankfurt

Like any other free imperial city, Frankfurt underwent drastic changes, caused by both Romans and Barbarians. It is hard to believe there was a huge Roman settlement right in the middle of downtown, next to the town hall. The city of Frankfurt officials thought so too, so they decided to have it all excavated and partially restored. Now you can (believe it) go visit every time. It is open 24/7 and free to enter. Go see how the city culture of Europe was born! Ask for the Old New Frankfurt once you arrive downtown, you won’t miss it!

Why Green Sauce is creative

Then sometimes, just like the Barbarians in Roman aftermath, you have to live and work with materials available.

Art thinks that cities are the oldest and most peculiar phenomenon of peoples lives. Always changing, they facilitate religion, science and… art. Collecting herbs and making them into a sauce was science. Also religion, if you think about lent and dietary rules prescribed by the church. Beautifully arranged on a plate with freshly boiled potatoes today, it becomes art. The Frankfurt Green Sauce best illustrates Art’s point about the city cultures. Started as a fundamental, today it is open for everyone’s creativity. Then sometimes, just like the Barbarians in Roman aftermath, you have to live and work with materials available. In this case, be creative try Art’s recipe:

FRANKFURT GREEN SAUCE RECIPE (modified)

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of Schmand (a milk curd) / or sour cream/ or creme fraiche or both.
  • 1 Tsp of vine vinegar, reduce to a half if using sour cream only.
  • 1 TBSP of linen oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of fresh herbs: pimpinelle, parsley, tarragon, chives, dill, borretsch. Any of these two available will make a great sauce. Think Roman city walls!
  • 1 fresh cucumber, small, or a bout 1/3 of a large one, peeled and seeded.

METHOD:

  1. Peel the cucumber, carefully seed it.
  2. Combine your sour cream or curds. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Adjust to taste.
  3. Stir well and put in the refrigerator.
  4. Prepare your main dish: steamed fish, grilled chicken breasts and boiled potatoes. Enthusiasts out there are welcome to bake their potatoes. Or just use leftover from the previous day. When you are 5 min to be ready with the main dish, chop your greens. Do not go crazy. You want mulch like substance, not a smoothie.
  5. Combine your curd mix and the herbs. Add vinegar or salt to taste. Serve with potatoes or what have you. Fresh rye bread or salt crackers will work if you have a hungry crowd.
Wine Recommendation

Green sauce pairs best with green Vinho Verde. In absence thereof, a herbacious Grüner Veltliner4 is your choice. It’s peppery, fresh taste is a decent combination with your semi-green sauce. Enjoy it, thinking about the fact that Austria will play a major role in “making” of the European cities. We will get to it later, but for now – cheers!

Yours, Art


  1. Roman term in Latin language for the geographic region.
  2. Romans called them Galli, Greeks named them Keltoi, both meaning Barbarians. More on Celts to follow. 
  3. Region in Southern Germany, for instance, Nurnberg and Würzburg fall under it.
  4. Herbaceous Austrian white wine.
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