Beer and food will again take center stage at the Delaware Saengerbund's 31st annual Oktoberfest celebration.


September is about Oktober, as far as Germans and their American descendents are concerned, and this year marks the 200th birthday of Munich’s two-week celebration of Bavarian culture.

The Delaware Saengerbund is hosting its 31st Oktoberfest celebration Sept. 17 through Sept. 19 and this year’s festival promises the perennial supply of German brews fans of the Fatherland have come to expect.

But before you make a beeline for the beer pavilion, Bette Hopkins, president of the Ladies of the Delaware Saengerbund, recommends checking out some of the traditional food cooked up fresh each day during the festival.

“The food is just something that you couldn’t normally have on a regular basis,” she said. “This is as authentic as you can get without being in Munich.”

Here’s her gastronomic glossary of German food:

Bratwurst - The festival’s bestseller, this traditional, delicately seasoned pork sausage has been made famous at sporting events across the country, she explained. The size of the sausage varies depending on the region of Germany it hails from, she said.

Weiswurst - This veal sausage is seasoned with parsley and mild spices, Hopkins said. The meat is so mild that it tastes almost sweet, she said, and is typically eaten as a snack between breakfast and lunch.

Bauernwurst - The hardest to spell of the German sausages, the smoky, spicy mixture of beef and pork has a coarse texture, she said. Seasoned with marjoram and mustard seeds, it’s the heartiest of the sausages available, she explained.

Those who have consumed too much funnel cake to put away a whole sausage can still sample traditional German food in a scaled-down fashion by munching on two snacks.

Roll Mops are pickled herrings served rolled up in a slice of rye bread, she explained, and Landjaegers are dried beef sausages.

One thing’s for sure, Hopkins said, it’s impossible to leave the Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest with an empty stomach.