Caspar Plautz at the Viktualienmarkt

The Viktualienmarkt in Munich is an El Dorado for vegetable lovers. Here you can even eat vegetarian food at star level. After Vienna, the restaurant Tian by star chef Paul Ivic has opened another restaurant in Munich. Vegetarian food can also be eaten standing up at the Viktualienmarkt, however, because Dominik Klier and Theo Lindinger have been operating a market stall as an exact extension of Tian, separated only by Frauenstraße, since the end of 2017. For the rare opportunity to operate a stall at one of Germany’s best-known weekly markets, both have given up their permanent jobs. Today, they still employ a permanent cook and several temporary workers.

Ein Gericht von sechsen. Ceviche St. Heinrich, ein Kartoffelsalat mit Wasabi-Joghurt-Dressing, Fisch aus dem Starnberger See, marinierte Beeten, frittierter Mais, Zwiebeln und Tigermilch / © Foto: Georg Berg
One dish out of six. Ceviche St. Henry, a potato salad with wasabi yogurt dressing, fish from Lake Starnberg, marinated beets, fried corn, onions and tiger milk. / © Foto: Georg Berg

Caspar Plautz or who once eats from the tin bowl!

Anyone who eats from this tin plate will wish that the Caspar Plautz potato snack bar were available to them as an open-air canteen all year round. For all those who do not have their office around the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, it is a matter of choosing one of six potato dishes on the menu when visiting the stand. Starting on Tuesdays, a changing weekly dish will be added. They all come to the bar table in cool understatement on a tin plate.

Bei Caspar Plautz entfaltet sich Kreativität auf engstem Raum. Im Ofen garen die Kartoffeln der Sorte Agria, Dominik Klier bereitet die Bestellungen vor. Als Beilage ein Rohkostsalat mit Bio-Gemüsen vom Nachbarstand Trübenecker / © Foto: Georg Berg
At Caspar Plautz, creativity unfolds in the smallest of spaces. Agria potatoes are cooking in the oven, while Dominik Klier prepares the orders. As a side dish, a raw vegetable salad with organic vegetables from the neighboring Trübenecker stand. / © Foto: Georg Berg

Around 1950, there were still around 35 potato stands on the Viktualienmarkt. Today, there are only two, and they are historically grown right next to each other. At Caspar Plautz, the baked potatoes cook in the nostalgic oven. In addition to lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., there are table potatoes for sale. The store is located in the small cellar room under the stand. In early summer, the supply of potatoes is manageable with only 12 varieties. By fall, there are up to 25 varieties in the market crates. A large part is organic, and the vast majority of varieties come from Germany.

Dominik Klier und Theo Lindinger zusammen mit Reporterin Angela Berg vor den Speisekartoffeln von Caspar Plautz. Zur Zeit ist die Auswahl auf 12 Sorten begrenzt. Zum Herbst hin weitet sich das Angebot auf bis zu 25 Sorten aus / © Foto: Georg Berg
Dominik Klier and Theo Lindinger together with reporter Angela Berg in front of Caspar Plautz’s table potatoes. At present, the selection is limited to 12 varieties. Towards autumn, the range expands to up to 25 varieties / © Photo: Georg Berg

Incidentally, Caspar Plautz is not a silent partner, but a Benedictine abbot who is said to have written down the first potato recipe in the Austrian monastery of Seitenstetten as early as 1621.

A century later, King Frederick the Great of Prussia also recognized the potential of the potato and made the filling food popular in Germany. Potato ovens were given illustrious names such as Queen Victoria or King George. And even today, potato queens cultivate the potato’s image. Click here for the report on the coronation of the Bavarian Potato Queen.

Im Kartoffelbackofen Queen Viktoria gart acht Monate im Jahr die Agria, eine vorwiegend festkochende Sorte. Bis zu 60 Kartoffeln haben Platz in diesem stilischen Potato-Baker. 30 werden warm gehalten, 30 weitere garen im unteren Teil des Ofens / © Foto: Georg Berg
The Queen Victoria potato baker cooks Agria, a predominantly waxy variety, for eight months of the year. Up to 60 potatoes have room in this stylish potato baker. 30 are kept warm, 30 more cook in the lower part of the oven / © Photo: Georg Berg

Andean gold or Mecklenburg pinto?

Early summer is the worst time for potato variety. Then there are about 12 varieties on offer. From the end of August, there will be up to 25 varieties again. Then there will be old acquaintances such as Agria, Gunda, Linda or Anabel, or also re-bred old varieties such as Andengold, Black Princess or Mayan Queen from the farm of Heidi Kaiser from Franconia. In addition to the traditionalists who swear by Anabel, there are also customers who like to experiment and try out a Mecklenburg pinto or the red Emmalie. Theo Lindinger also recommends giving stored produce a chance. “Potatoes from the previous year often have a more intense flavor than fresh potatoes from the field, because they always lose water during storage.”

Caponata, wahlweise vegetarisch oder vegan. Mit Aubergine, Zucchini, Cocktailtomate, Zwiebel, Mandeln, Staudensellerie, Traube. Wahlweise mit Labneh, einem orientalischen Frischkäse mit Kräutern. Im Zentrum eine gebackene Bio-Kartoffeln der Sorte Agria, gewachsen in Olching vor der Toren Münchens / © Foto: Georg Berg
Caponata, optional vegetarian or vegan. With eggplant, zucchini, cocktail tomato, onion, almonds, celery, grape. Optional with labneh, an oriental cream cheese with herbs. In the center, a baked organic potato of the Agria variety, grown in Olching just outside Munich / © Photo: Georg Berg.

The heart of most dishes at Caspar Plautz is the baked potato. For this purpose, mainly firm-cooking varieties are suitable, such as Agria or Colomba, with a soft, slightly floury core, but still firm on the outside. The dishes change with the season. In summer, it can be a green tea curry with cucumber, cashew and coconut milk, and in winter, hearty sauerkraut. In October, so Theo Lindinger still betrays, the first cookbook of the two potato experts of Caspar Plautz appears. It will build on the seasons, many variants of the potato preparation offer. But it’s about time – Plautz, who gave the book its name, wrote down the first recipe almost 400 years ago.

Click here for the report Potato – World Food Star

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