Everywhere you go in Germany, there seem to be reminders of former markets. Not that Germany doesn’t have markets nowadays too, of course. But in past times, they seemed to have one market per type of produce, at least judging by the old street names. I was in Kempen this week which has a marketplace which claims to sell only butter (there was a market on at the time, though it seemed to be all fruit and veg).
A whole market just selling butter?
There was a bit of confusion about the Viehmarkt (cattle market) – which apparently used to be a horse market. These days it’s a car park. How appropriate!
A cattle market… formally a horse market…
I also visited Rheinberg which arranges its markets very neatly, next to each other. So you can pick up your fish and also the wood to cook it on. How marvellously well organised!
Wood sellers to the left, fishmongers to the right….
Whatever market is on, it’s so much more fun than buying produce in a supermarket.
German market scene in Kempen with street sculpture…
Germany’s economy has always depended on creativity and innovation.
This is not to say that every German invention is without its flaws, of course. Take the Berlin wall or the cuckoo clock for example.
But the very latest in chic home accessories is the new must-have fragrance from Agrar Solutions. Stallduft. This is a conveniently packed tin which contains the fragrance of a German cow-shed. The concept is, that you take it home and open it … and hey presto! Your entire house smells of cow farts! How could anyone resist?
Poooh! Heidi, I think this one just let loose!
Obviously I’m expecting the Germans to buy this in bulk. I shall be cautiously sniffing the air whenever I visit any of my German friends over the next few weeks. The good news is, I won’t need to worry about avoiding beans or Sauerkraut. Any inadvertent botty-burps from me are bound to be completely masked by Stallduft. House-guests will be able to relax and enjoy themselves as never before!
But will it catch on beyond the shores of the Fatherland?
Cunningly, the Germans started their export marking for this product a couple of years ago. In 2008 they were already fanning their cow-fart scents across the channel to Britain. For a period of weeks, manure spreading in Germany was blamed for a pervasive fragrance of cow-dung which settled over East Anglia and the South East. But now, the Stallduft marketing theory would suggest there was design behind this.
After all – which Briton can claim not to harbour nostalgia for 2008 – the carefree pre-crisis days when petrol was cheap and the air hung heavy with the scent of flatulent cattle. Those were the days….