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Quai des Délices, a 100% Gourmet HavenPublished on 20 December 2023
Christmas by the Water
As the sun shares its last rays, the lights unveil their glow. Along the Bateliers quay, stars hanging in the trees guide visitors to the delightful spicy scents of the Terrasse Rohan. Welcome to Quai des Délices, a 100% gourmet place where Christmas is celebrated by the water. While the tour boats continue their dance on the Ill River, the atmosphere is lively. A warm and family-friendly ambiance that particularly appeals to Aline Haushalter of Maison Haushalter, specializing in traditional pastry and bakery. She joined the family business in 2015, alongside her parents. On the counter, there are no less than 25 types of sweet delights, available in bags or gift boxes. "The flagship product is undoubtedly the braedele, which appeals to both local visitors and tourists," explains Aline Haushalter. "We have given a new impetus to this production, especially in terms of flavor and texture: you can find the crispy and soft, moist inside. With flavors of orange, cinnamon, cloves, hazelnut, walnut, raisin, lemon... Each braedele has its uniqueness!" she adds. Not to mention the sweet or savory kougelhopfs, stollens, gingerbreads, and other pastries made by a company committed to sustainable consumption and responsible production. No artificial colors, certified organic flours, Maison Haushalter is a member of the Alliance Gourmande association, which promotes authentic and artisanal gastronomy. Above all, since 2018, the company has been certified Maison Artisanale with the "Fabrication Maison" label, awarded by the Chamber of Crafts. "To advocate the values of craftsmanship," smiles Aline Haushalter. "It's true that here, we truly represent local craftsmanship," says Julien Dreyfuss. Winemaker at Domaine Fischbach, located in Traenheim, he loves the Christmas spirit and the fact that "people from all over France come to discover a market that is more than renowned." Certified organic, he is committed to preserving soils, biodiversity, agroforestry, and biodynamics.
"Each winemaker has his style, a bit like an artist"
With 18 other winemakers, he is a member of the Couronne d'Or, an association of winemakers from the Strasbourg region. This year, they take turns on the Terrasse Rohan. "We are facing the water, in a beautiful setting, and with the evening illuminations, it's great," rejoices Sylvie Vogt of Domaine Laurent Vogt, from Wolxheim. On her stand, a range of wines where everyone can find something to their liking. "We work in biodynamics. It reveals what our terroirs will express. It's a style, because each winemaker has his style, a bit like an artist," she considers. "Historically, the wealth of Strasbourg was built with the cathedral and the vineyards," says Blandine Brand of Domaine Brand et Fils. Their wines have the Demeter label, a label chosen to certify and value their working methods.
Indeed, Quai des Délices lives up to its name. Because the passersby and other curious on the Terrasse Rohan don't just walk by. They stop, drawn by the smell of mulled wine and the warm voices of the exhibitors inviting them to test, taste, and adopt products made in Alsace. "At the Christmas market, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer are what people look for the most," smiles Nathan Muller, manager of the Charles Muller & Fils vineyard, in Traenheim. And Théo Bechtold, from Domaine Bechtold in Kirchheim, won't disagree: "Our Gewürztraminer is very powerful in aroma, with notes of lychee, passion fruit, and exotic fruits in general. It is distinctive. People look for it for appetizers, foie gras, or desserts," he assures. Théo Bechtold, like other artisans, likes to present his products at the Christmas market, which he sees as a "human and commercial adventure." "The more we embody and tell what we do, the more interested the customers are," he continues. "There are the regulars we see every year who come back especially for us, and those we will only see once," explains Jérémy Fritsch, from Domaine Fritsch, located in Marlenheim. With a good dozen references displayed at his stand, it is impossible for him to choose one: "A preference? It's difficult!" he laughs. However, he mentions his Riesling, with fresh and fruity notes, a bit dry, but according to him, it goes well with local cuisine or with fish and fresh cheeses.
Visitors will also be tempted by the enticing smells of cream, onions, and hot bacon from the tarte flambées made at Geoffroy Lebold's stand. President of SAS Le Tigre, the well-known brewery in Strasbourg, he is keen to show passersby the true story of tarte flambée. "We knead the dough in front of people, we roll it out... they witness the entire process of making and creating," he explains. "Often, they are surprised that we can do this on the spot!" Geoffroy Lebold smiles. With a flow of 500 to 600 tarte flambées per day, the stand is always busy. Note that a Veggie version is also available. All products come from local suppliers, Geoffroy Lebold also emphasizes, illustrating the desire to promote local craftsmanship and Alsatian producers. He concludes: "The Market of Delights is a sign of quality between the Federation of Bakers, the Federation of Winemakers... It's a beautiful symbol to be in the midst of all this."