Photos and story by Cheryl Koller
There is no shortage of festivals in Germany, especially once the seasons change from cold, dark and dreary to warm, sunny and colorful. Most of these festivals (ok all of them) are centered on two main things– food and drink. They may all be set in different villages with different themes, but these two things are always at the heart of each fest. This is completely fine with me!
One of these fests is Olive Oil Festival in Zell im Zillertal.
This year’s festivities will take place on April 28 and 29, 2018.
I have been looking forward to the Olive Oil Festival Zell im Zellertal ever since I first saw it advertised a couple of months ago. This village is one of my favorites for a weekend drive. It’s one of the quaint villages with such nice people and the open vineyards where you can walk among the vines. Oh, and the views are spectacular! And obviously I was looking forward to the “tasting”. Normally when I say that, it involves wine. This time, it was ALL about the olives.
As I approached the village of Zell im Zellertal, I was really mesmerized by those yellow fields. I have always wondered what those yellow flowers are since I’ve heard everything from Canola to weeds. Keep reading and I will tell you what I learned from a sweet German lady from Wiesbaden.
This year will be its 18th anniversary but even three years ago, it was packed! It was also warm and sunny outside after three straight days of rain, so that might have been a contributing factor. Either way, everyone was in a wonderful mood and I only was scolded in German once with “Einbahnstrasse!!” (one way street). It was one of the first Deutsche words that I learned and unfortunately one of the German laws that I happen to violate more than I care to share. So I want to warn you as you go out to these small villages, sometimes when they allow you to park alongside a narrow road and it is a two-way road…they change the rules and make it a one-way road just for the event. There isn’t always a sign for this. It’s just something that is understood. I know this because it was explained to me in great detail.
I guess I didn’t know how many different types of olive oil there are until I visited this festival. I must have tasted at least ten and there were a few more than that. I am not an olive oil connoisseur, so I could only tell the difference in spicy and tart. I feel like the lady explaining it to me knew a lot more than I did and would not approve of me generalizing the flavors here. These oils are the current year’s harvest and are brought in from Italy, Spain and other surrounding areas.
Although I didn’t purchase any olive oil at this festival since we brought enough for a year back from Croatia, I did stand in line long enough to get a plate of olives and olive paste drizzled in spicy olive oil to enjoy with my Rosé Secco.
Zell im Zellertal is an easy 40 minutes northeast of Kaiserslautern, 50 minutes south of Wiesbaden and 2 hours northwest of Stuttgart.
Author’s Profile: Cheryl Koller is a native of Georgia. She is a DOD spouse, mom of 4 daughters (2 adults, 2 teens), thrill-seeker, avid traveler, and lover of food and wine. She is a self-proclaimed Freedom-Preneur and Blogger currently living in Ramstein with her family.