Rhine-Hesse is not even a part of Hesse, at least not anymore since the Congress of Vienna (1815). The sunny, hilly country between the rivers of Nahe and Rhine today belongs to Rhineland-Palantine, the people here are hospitable and marked by 2000 years of culturural history, known for never passing the opportunity of having a glass of wine, here called Schoppen. In contrast to the steep valleys of Ahr and Moselle, the traveller here finds a rolling hill landscape, vineyard after vineyard, in between the big names in the world of wine: Nierstein, Ingelheim, Oppenheim.
The way of cooking is rich, tasty and down to earth, without any chichi and always a good foundation for several Schoppen. Despite the fertile ground, which lets almost every fruit and vegetable grow, the traditional cuisine is based on simple ingredients – too often the region was conquered in wars or had to deal with plagues to build a fine cuisine. Potatoes, called Grumbeeren, are the basic of almost every meal, one of the most popular dishes is Backesgrumbeere – potatoes, meat and wine. In the morning you put it in the oven, at dinner time, when you are back from the work in the vineyard, you get a rustic, satisfying meal.
Most dishes include wine – don’t think they take simple cooking wine. The traditional recepies are asking for Trollinger, Riesling etc., depending on the dish. If you’ve got it, flaunt it! On the menu you find a section for small dishes which match with wine, most of them are hearty – who ever tasted Mainzer Handkäs‚ knows what I am talking about.