Schmankerl, which translates loosely to “tidbits” or "small delicacies” – an old Bavarian term that is used to refer to all the regional, snack-like foods you get at the holidays or at a festival – is one of my favorite parts of the German food culture. And Rahmfleckerl, a chewy, sourdough rye flatbread topped with fresh cream, onions, and bacon, is one of my very favorite of the Schmankerl offerings. In Munich, the Rahm-Schmankerl stand can be found at most of the big festivals. More often than not, when making the very difficult decision about which food to indulge in when so many delicious options abound, I end up at the Rahm-Schmankerl stand (even when faced with a dozen or so different types of sausages, roasted candied nuts, roasted chestnuts, Steckerlfisch, steamed dumplings, newspaper cones filled with french fries, and all kinds of other delicious possibilities).
Rahmfleckerl is a food that is perfect for cold days spent wandering around a market. It’s easy to carry around on a napkin and munch away on while debating whether to buy another pair of wool socks or fleece tights (the answer is always “yes”) or whether to instead just go straight to the Glühwein stand (also not a bad option). Moreover, I’ve actually never seen Rahmfleckerl on a menu at a restaurant, and I don’t think it is something most Germans would make at home, so it just feels “special” and is guaranteed to put one in a festive mood.
There are variations in toppings, although onions and bacon are traditional (while the flatbread base is slightly different, the toppings are very similar to an Alsatian Flammkuchen – which shall be yet another future blog post). It should be eaten piping hot, straight out of the wood-fired oven. And if you're interested, you can even loiter around at the stand for a bit and watch them kneading and cutting the dough, preparing the Rahmfleckerl to go into the ovens behind the counter, and then pulling out steaming, crisp little pies to serve to the eager customers. Oh, and my last tip is that the stand at the Marienplatz Christkindlmarkt (the Christmas market right in the center of Munich near the Rathaus) serves superior Rahmfleckerl and is worth seeking out.