Traditional cuisine: Spießbraten (Spit roast)

Spit roast or  Spießbraten is as much a part of Idar-Oberstein as Printen are of Aachen or Lebkuchen of Nuremberg.

The annual folk festival is not called "Spießbratenfest" for nothing! But how did this meat dish actually make its way to the region?

The people of Idar-Oberstein know the answer and can even identify by name which of the town's sons supposedly made this meat course so enticing to them: Karl Becker. In the 19th century, his father built up a gemstone trade. Already by the year 1800 agate deposits in Idar-Oberstein had dwindled, causing many residents of Idar-Oberstein to leave their homeland. Karl, too was one of the emigrants who settled in the south of Brazil. There the coveted gemstones, mainly agates as in the homeland, lay easy to find in streams and rivers.

Karl's father founded a gemstone trade in Idar-Oberstein in 1860. Karl not only exported his finds to his homeland. He had more up his sleeve. His descendants, still active in the mineral trade today, have published on their website that "Karl Becker is said to have prepared the first Spießbraten in 1861 on the ‘Platt in Dietzen’ a district of Idar" . And this, just like the gemstones, was an export success from Brazil. The resourceful Idar-Obersteiner discovered the churrasco, a meat dish of the gauchos - usually beef - that is prepared on a spit over an open fire.

So the people of Idar-Oberstein enjoy their roast Brazilian-style, albeit with minor local modifications. Instead of marinating the meat only in salt, as with churrasco, which is then brushed off before grilling, they also use pepper, garlic and onions and grill their meat over beechwood. Legend or truth? The people of Idar-Oberstein believe this story - at least until it is disproved.

Sina Leyser from the Leyser butcher's shop in Kempfeld confirms it in any case. The company was founded in 1855 - at the time of emigration and when the first persons returned to their Hunsrück homeland. The company does not have the original recipe for Spießbraten; they use an "in-house spice mixture". Since 2021 the meat used comes from the naturally raised "Hunsrücker herb pig" and is roasted on beechwood. The important thing about Spießbraten: it has to be a lot. The portions can weigh between 300 and 500 grams.

There are hundreds of different ways to prepare Spießbraten: We have a recipe from the restaurant "Zum Alten Goten" for you.