What started as a day to honor their mother for her love of plum cakes in 1995, has become an annual festival at Old World Huntington Beach and grown to include all things plum. Sunday, August 19 will mark the 23rd year of this FREE festival featuring plum cakes, plum crepes, plum strudel, plum schnapps, and other delicious plum delicacies available to visitors to purchase.
“We thought to ourselves why can’t Huntington Beach have a Plum Festival?” said Bernie Bishoff, co-owner of Old World German Restaurant. “So, we asked our bakery to make Pflaumenkuchen, the special plum cake, that is made with specialty plums that only ripen for a brief time once a year. Guests loved it and demanded we continue this tradition.”
The family-friendly festival will run from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and features an array of plum concoctions such Plum Strudel, flamed Plum Crepes, German donuts (Berliners) filled with Plum jam all made by fresh by the Old World bakers.
“This year, we even brought over an authentic German baker to do cooking demonstrations on how to prepare Kaiserschmarrn a traditional Austrian dessert,” added Bishoff. Kaiserschmarrmn is a caramelized pancake made with rum-soaked raisins, eggs, flour, sugar, and butter. The pancake is split into pieces while frying, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served hot with plum sauce on the side or on top.
In addition, guests will be able to enjoy Chicken, Brats, Hamburgers, and Schnitzel available at the eatery along with a wide selection of German beers on tap. And no German festival would be complete without an authentic German band and traditional folk dance group. A bouncy house and game booths will also be set up for the little ones to be entertained as well.
Parking and admission are FREE.
Old World Huntington Beach is located at 7561 Center Avenue in Huntington Beach. For public information, please visit www.oldworld.ws
About the Plum Festival
Originated at Old World Huntington Beach in 1995 by the Bishoff family to honor their Grandmother Elly Schwarzer who baked the delicious “Pflaumenkuchen” (Plum Cake) for her daughter Dolores’s birthday each year. Dolores’s birthday was in August when these special Italian Plums are seasonable and harvested and it became a birthday tradition.
When Dolores was 5 years old, she and her mother went on holiday to Germany. It was 1939 and World War II broke out. Due to Elly’s German citizenship, she was not allowed to leave the country and certainly wasn’t going to allow her then 5-year-old daughter cross the Atlantic without her. They were now stuck in Germany for 9 years as war waged on around them.
When Dolores was sent to a “kinderheim” for 6 months, she was saddened to know that she would not see her beloved mother for her birthday and on top of that, the cost of plums became so outrageous with inflation, it looked as if she would not have her traditional birthday treat. Determined, Elly managed to save money and buy enough plums to bake her birthday cake. Since Elly was an American citizen, she made friends with some of the American soldiers and met one soldier that was going to the city where Dolores’s “kinderheim” was and agreed to hand deliver the Plum Cake. That plum cake was unbelievable and was talked about every birthday thereafter. When they were reunited, Elly said she would always bake Plum Cake for Dolores’s birthday, no matter what.
When Elly could no longer bake, Dolores feared that no one would bake her birthday plum cake. The family vowed not to have this happen and gave the bakers at the Old World Bakery the recipe, so they could keep this tradition alive. Dolores, the 1st Lady of Old World Village, passed away in 2015 and is honored along with her mother Elly each and every year with the Plum Festival.
This article was released by Old World Huntington Beach.