Polling firm YouGov asked Germans what they believe a Christmas market can’t do without. And the results published this week show a clear winner.
Glühwein (mulled wine)
Sixty-six percent of respondents said that there must be Glühwein (mulled wine) on sale. Men seemed to show more of an appetite for the warming grog than women, with 69 percent saying it was a must, as opposed to 64 percent of women.
And the older Germans are, the more they insist on being able to knock back the festive punch - 71 percent of those over 55 wanted it in their perfect Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market).
Roasted Almonds. Photo: DPA
For most Germans under 24, Glühwein was still a must (62 percent said so), but it was closely followed by roasted almonds, which 58 percent said every Christmas market needs.
Overall, 48 percent of respondents said there has to be roasted almonds on sale at a Weihnachtsmarkt.
An interesting difference was also discovered between East and West Germans on the issue of the sweet and sticky nuts. A total of 57 percent of the people of the former communist states said they were a necessity, as opposed to 46 percent of those from the West.
Glühwein vs Punsch. Photo: DPA
This tea-based drink was never going to be as popular among Germans as Glühwein - only 24 percent said this was a necessity. But there was remarkable consensus on Punsch across sex, age and the all important East-West divide.
Apparently if there is one thing that unites Germans, it is that people deserve a warming Indian beverage on a cold winter night. If Angela Merkel can somehow work this into her campaign strategy for next year's election, she'll be a sure-fire winner.
Roasted chestnuts. Photo: DPA
In contrast to roasted almonds, on the tricky issue of roasted chestnuts, Wessis were much more likely to be in favour of roasted chestnuts (23 percent said they had to be there) than Ossis, only 13 percent of whom put them on the list.
Overall, 21 percent of respondents said a proper Christmas market had to sell them.
Schmalzgebäck and Mutzenmandeln
Schmalzgebäck are a sweet made using copious amounts of pig fat, so it's no surprise that they're not everyone's cup of Punsch. But there seem to be enough Nachkatzen (sweet tooths) out there to make these and Mutzenmandeln (an almond-shaped sugary pastry) beloved of 19 percent of the population.
Surprisingly, Bratwurst did not make the list, a fact which led to some amount of shock in The Local newsroom given how eagerly Germans quaff these down at every Weihnachtsmarkt we have visited.
But now you know, if you want to do a Christmas market like a German, these are the ingredients you need.