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From left, Kurt Bonk of Philadelphia, a consultant, watches as Thomas Bauer of Lake Constance, Germany, president of German American Marketing, Inc., and Matthew Best, of Northeast Baltimore attach light bulbs to the wings of the top level of the Christmas Pyramid they are assembling at the Inner Harbor. The tower built in Germany is the centerpiece of this season's Christmas Village in Baltimore and is a large version of a traditional decoration from the Ore Mountain area.
From left, Kurt Bonk of Philadelphia, a consultant, watches as Thomas Bauer of Lake Constance, Germany, president of German American Marketing, Inc., and Matthew Best, of Northeast Baltimore attach light bulbs to the wings of the top level of the Christmas Pyramid they are assembling at the Inner Harbor. The tower built in Germany is the centerpiece of this season's Christmas Village in Baltimore and is a large version of a traditional decoration from the Ore Mountain area. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore’s Christmas Village is in full swing, bringing Teutonic Christmas cheer to the Inner Harbor now through Dec. 24. In addition to holiday crafts and gifts, the market boasts an impressive selection of European food and drink on par with any Christkindlmarkt from Austria to Zurich.

After eating our way through the Christmas Village, we rank a few of our favorite things:

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1. Raclette

After seeing videos of raclette on social media last year, we couldn’t wait to try the Swiss-style treat, gooey melted cheese scraped directly from the wheel. The market offers it on french fries or with prosciutto or salami, but we enjoyed it on a baguette with cornichons ($11). Take a video.

2. Latkes

OK, they’re not the most photogenic things in the world, but these traditional deep-fried potato pancakes are tasty when paired with with applesauce and sour cream. $18 gets you two with schnitzel, a roll and a pickle.

Latkes with sour cream and applesauce sold at Baltimore's Christmas Village in December 2019.
Latkes with sour cream and applesauce sold at Baltimore's Christmas Village in December 2019.

3. Maple Chesapeake Bay-flavored bacon on a stick

The creators of JD’s House of Bacon know how to play to a crowd. They offer a glistening slab of bacon — so big it’s more like a pork chop — subtly seasoned with a maple Chesapeake-style spice mix that’s similar to Old Bay for $5. Or you can get the $4 ricotta cheese cake, mixed with maple Old Bay syrup, caramel, and yes, bacon.

Maple Chesapeake Bay-flavored bacon on a stick is one of many snacks for sale at Baltimore's German Christmas Village.
Maple Chesapeake Bay-flavored bacon on a stick is one of many snacks for sale at Baltimore's German Christmas Village. (Christina Tkacik)

4. Bratwurst with sauerkraut

We’ve already discussed in this newspaper Marylanders’ longstanding affinity for sauerkraut around the holidays, so this is a no-brainer. An $8 grilled white bratwurst loaded onto a toasted bun tastes best when topped with kraut (and finished off with a pickle). It’s just the protein you need to fuel an afternoon of Christmas shopping.

Bratwurst with sauerkraut at the Inner Harbor's Christmas Village.
Bratwurst with sauerkraut at the Inner Harbor's Christmas Village. (Christina Tkacik)

5. Hot cocoa in keepsake mug

Let us not neglect the beverage portion of the Christmas Village. In addition to Germany’s own Hofbräu beers and several different flavors of glühwein, or mulled wine, guests can order a hot chocolate with whipped cream ($6- $7) with an adorable keepsake mug.

Hot chocolate in a keepsake mug at the Baltimore Inner Harbor's Christmas Village.
Hot chocolate in a keepsake mug at the Baltimore Inner Harbor's Christmas Village. (Christina Tkacik)

6. Crepes

Do you have room for a crepe? Sure you do. The stand at Baltimore’s Christmas Village sells sweet and savory versions of the classic French treat. We liked ours with banana and dulche de leche, with a decadent dusting of powdered sugar and chocolate syrup ($8). After all, it’s the holidays.

A crepe with bananas, chocolate, dulce de leche and a dusting of powdered sugar at Baltimore's Christmas Village.
A crepe with bananas, chocolate, dulce de leche and a dusting of powdered sugar at Baltimore's Christmas Village. (Christina Tkacik)
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