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Whip up a batch at home or taste this delicious dish on the Rhine River.

Indulge in the classic pairing of reibekuchen mit apfelmus, or potato pancakes with applesauce, during our Christmas Markets on the Rhine itinerary. Most famous in the Rhineland, you’ll find these crispy fried potato pancakes sold in street stalls, especially in Cologne, Germany, the most famous of which is situated outside the Cologne railway station. 

The Potato Decree of 1756 

It was during Friedrich the Great’s reign in the mid-18th century that Germany’s love affair with the potato began. Although the vegetable first arrived in Germany nearly a century before his ruling, the king deeply believed in the economic and nutritional value of the potato  so much so that in 1756, he passed the Kartoffelbefehl, or the “potato decree.”  

Reibekuchen are one of many potato dishes to come out of Germany and the surrounding countries. The tasty specialty snack shares many qualities with latkes, a traditional Jewish take on the potato pancake, typically eaten during Hanukkah.  

The Ultimate Comfort Food 

Once considered a “peasant food” due to the accessibility and cheap pricing of potatoes, the meal grew to become a staple for German families. To this day, reibekuchen continue to be a perfectly scrumptious, affordable and versatile side dish.  

Reibekuchen are arguably one of the best comfort foods to come out of Germany. This fried snack is hot, filling, and absolutely delicious! While the pancakes can be found in Christmas Market stalls throughout Germany during the holiday season, you can also taste these delectable potato pancakes during our included Kölsch beer tasting in Cologne year-round on many of our Rhine River itineraries. Try them out for yourself – during Christmas, Hanukkah or any time of the year!  


» 3 lbs. potatoes 

» 2 onions 

» 2 eggs 

» Salt 

» Pepper 


Peel and wash the potatoes. Grate potatoes and strain through a cloth. Finely chop the onions and add to the potato mixture. Season with pepper and salt and add eggs. Blend well. 

Portion mixture with small ladle and fry in hot oil on both sides until golden-brown. Serve with applesauce. 

Taste reibekuchen during your visit to Cologne, Germany on our Christmas Markets on the Rhine itinerary and on select Rhine River sailings.  

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