Kenyan Serving Exotic Meals at the Christmas Market in Schneeberg

Mary Hänel Foto: Jens Uhlig

To the Weihnachtmarkt (Christmas market) enthusiasts who will be visiting Schneeberg, here’s a stand your have to stop by.

An entreprising Kenyan lady, Mary Hänel, will this be year serving up a storm of exotic meals. Mary is offering a stew made of crocodile meat.

Although the demand for African specialities amid the many stands offering Bratwurst and Fischbrötchen is limited, Mary confirmed that those who risked to taste the crocodile stew, became hooked.

There is a consensus among her clientele on the taste. Crocodile tastes like turkey, but is more tender and juicier than the rather dry poultry meat. Mary Hanel prepares it as a kind of goulash or stew. Additional ingredients include, pineapple, mango, peas, and carrots served with rice or couscous. When asked about the spices she uses, she smiles: “This is my secret,” she says.

The crocodile meat usually comes from Zimbabwe and is only sold in wholesale, Mary shared.

Other than the Christmas market, Mary also operates a mobile booth where in addition to the crocodile and beef stew, she also serves chicken curry and beans in coconut milk. She has been in markets in Dresden, Weimar, Freiberg, Zeitz, Zwickau and Zwoenitz but this is her first time in Schneeberg. “I applied for – and it worked,” Mary said.

She hopes to use her stand to encourage tolerance in Schneeberg in the face of heated debates about the reception of refugees.

The 39 year old, has been living in Germany for the last 18 years in Zwickau. She got her German surname by marriage and has been holding German citizenship since 2004.


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