We heard about Nutfest, we saw signs for Nutfest, people warned us it would be packed - still, we weren't prepared. "Veiner Nëssmoort" was a big, big event. It's all about walnuts and the (sorry) people who go nuts over them.
Traffic into Vianden was shut down, completely. We had to park along the roadside a couple kilometers up the hill from the village, among hordes of other vehicles. As we made our way down, we started to see little vendors - like this woman - selling nuts. "How quaint," we said.
It was crazy. There was loud music, lots of people, kids drinking vodka (straight from the bottle), beer tents, security officers - we had a hard time making it down the street. This was no quaint little nutmarket.
The people of the region make all kinds of walnut products, including many liquors and alcohol. Vin de Noix was popular and tasted like vermouth.
Nut breads, nut pies, nut cakes, nut candies, nuts in chocolate, nuts in honey, nut creams...
Nut pates and nut meats. The guy selling these pates was a very heavy man. I tried to get a picture of him, but he was being swarmed by customers - probably because he was handing out samples and telling jokes.
These were nut pastries, which we didn't try. Why not? They weren't made with walnuts! This stand wasn't doing much business.
The local fire brigade had a beer tent going, and we stopped by to give them a little support. We bought two beers and two shots of "Nut - Bailey's," which tasted pretty much exactly like regular Bailey's. I'm not really sure what that was all about.
There were a lot of stands that were just selling walnuts, of course. People were buying them by the kilo. Walking back up to our car, we passed people who were carrying huge sacks of them - literally tons of walnuts changed hands that day!
This was our haul from Nutfest: One huge loaf of nutbread, one tin of nut pate (wild boar nut pate, if you're curious), one small nut cake/pie thing and one small bottle of Vei'ner nossdropp. The man who sold us the liquor gave us a choice - the nossdropp or some nossliquor. What's the difference? "The liquor is twenty percent alcohol, very sweet," he said. "The dropp is forty-five percent, not sweet." Obviously, we went for the dropp. It tasted pretty darn good in our tent last night.