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Taste test provides better potato salad at Oktoberfest

Comanche County Fairgrounds Executive Director Richard Pool wants this year's Oktoberfest to be as deeply rooted in the traditions of this holiday as it can be.

Ripchen, schnitzel and bratwurst meals come complete with sauerkraut, a roll and a new potato salad recipe this year, all of them according to German tradition.

Pool deemed last year's potato salad "too vinegary" and wanted something more soothing to the palate.

"We actually pulled up some authentic German potato salad recipes  four of them  and we made four different types of potato salad, and we picked the one that was best," Pool said.

The taste test was conducted by Pool, office manager Joe Kirk and Lindsay Maloney, who works in the front office.

"I'm a very picky food person. I know what tastes good, and I want everything perfect for the Oktoberfest," Pool said. "I want the German people to come to the Oktoberfest and say, 'This potato salad tastes like Grandma's potato salad.'"

As usual, culinary arts students from Great Plains Technology Center will help peel, slice and boil potatoes for this festive occasion.

All the meat has been ordered from a German meat market in Oklahoma City, freshly hand-cut specifically for this event. The fairgrounds catering staff will bread the steaks by hand.

"We produce the best brat, the largest brat," Pool said.

Kirk said last year's schnitzel sandwiches  topped with lemon butter shallot sauce and a sunny-side-up egg  proved extremely popular, so they will be back. And of course, no Oktoberfest is complete without some spirited refreshment, so there will be cold Jaegermeister, German wines, plenty of Paulaner and Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer and domestic beers like Blue Moon, Coors, Coors Lite and Shiner Bock. New this year will be margaritas.

There will be a kids' menu for younger eaters who haven't yet developed a taste for German food. Popcorn chicken, corn dogs, hot dogs and French fries will be available, and the fairgrounds will have real funnel cakes this year.

Oktoberfest will run from 5-11 p.m. Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Great Plains Coliseum, 920 S. Sheridan. There is a cover charge of $3, but children 12 and under are admitted free. You don't have to pay the cover charge if you're ordering takeout, and there's no need to phone ahead  just come around to the concession stand on the north side.

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