Frankfurt's Green Sauce

written on 13/08/2020
by Candice Gärtner

After Easter, for the first time in the year, you can see piles of paper rolls on the market stands in the Frankfurt-Area. They are filled with 7 different herbs and the label reads Frankfurter Grüne Sosse or in Hessian dialect: Grie Soß.

A specialty that is often eaten with potatoes and hard-boiled eggs and is a must on any menu in the Rhein-Main area. Since 2016 the Green Sauce even has the PGI (protected geographical indication) seal.

The sauce tastes best freshly prepared and that's why only the  bunches of fresh herbs can be found  in the markets and not the finished product.

The origins of the Grüne Sosse in Frankfurt are unknown, but it seems to go way back to the 16th and 17th century. A common myth says that Goethe’s mum invented it and that it became Goethe’s favourite dish. But he never wrote a single word about it.

In Frankfurt Grüne Soße is so popular that each year in May they even have a festival about it. Each evening for  a week you can taste different recipes and at the end a winner is chosen.

In 2007 a monument for the Grie Soß was set in the herb-fields of Frankfurt-Oberrad.


The 7 herbs:

  • Borage (Borago officinalis) 
  • Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) 
  • Cress (Lepidium sativum) 
  • Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 
  • Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor)
  • Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)  
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

If you don’t have one of the herbs, no problem just leave it out. Never substitute it with another herb instead! Never, ever consider using dill!

  • 1 bunch of the following: parsley, chives, chervil and salad burnet
  • some borage and sorrel leaves
  • just a bit of cress (but add more, if you like it spicier)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 125g yoghurt (you can also try it with Greek yoghurt)
  • 125 g sour cream/crème fraiche
  • 2-3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pure plant oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Make it easy for yourself by roughly chopping the herbs and putting them in a mixer. Add the hard-boiled eggs, the mustard, the vinegar, the pure plant oil. Season it with salt and pepper.

Mix it with the yoghurt and the sour cream until it has the consistency of pulp. Add a pinch of sugar if needed.

Leave it to rest 30 minutes in the fridge. It should be served chilled, not cold.

If the sauce is more of a yellow colour, you haven’t put enough herbs in it.

Traditionally it’s eaten with boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, but it’s so delicious that during asparagus season it replaces the sauce hollandaise. You can also have a nice Schnitzel with it or (for our English friends) Fish&Chips.

There is also a vegan version of the Grüne Sosse. Here are the ingriedents:

  • the 7 herbs
  • 400g of soy curd, not sweetened
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • salt and pepper

En Guude!

Photo 4: © jpp