It has been a while since my last weekend cooking post. Today I want to tell you a bit about Lebkuchen (gingerbread). As it happens I live in THE German gingerbread city. “Nürnberger Lebkuchen” are very well known, they are exported into many countrie, and the term is a protected designation of origin. We have a lot of Lebkuchen bakeries and factories in town. There are small family owned bakeries that have existed for centuries as well as big companies that produce Lebkuchen as part of their very large product line.
Lebkuchen come in a large variety, different sizes and can cost from only a few cents to a few Euros a piece. They either have no frosting at all, a sugar frosting or they come covered with chocolate. At the bottom they either have a wafer or they are also covered with chocolate. There are the “regular” Lebkuchen and the very high quality “Elisen-Lebkuchen” which are made with either very little or completely without flour. They can contain ginger, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, honey, marzipan, aniseed, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, all spice, cloves, candied orange and lemon peel and much more. The oldest written Lebkuchen recipe is from the 15th century and is stored at the Germanic National Museum in Nürnberg.
You can go on a Nuremberg gingerbread tour where you learn a lot more about those delicious little “cakes”.
If you would like to try out some Nürnberg Lebkuchen yourself, you can order them online in various shops. I was surprised at the prices that American online shops charge for them, though. You will be better off ordering directly in Germany, even considering the postage charges. Probably the most well-known shop shipping worldwide is Lebkuchen Schmidt. My company buys from them for Christmas treats, so you can trust me that their products are lovely. And they have nice tins, too. For kids the Janosch-Truhe is a lovely container to store some treasures in after eating all the Lebkuchen. All those tins come out every year, always a little different and some people collect them.
What are your favourite Christmas treats? Have you ever had Lebkuchen from Nürnberg, and if you have, did you like them?
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads
Images from wikipedia. Gingerbread stall by Schlurcher