<>*<>*<>*<>*<>*<> GERMAN GOODIES <>*<>*<>*<>*<>*<>
Nov. 27, 2011

Turn on some German Music Discover German-American heritage, recipes and culture .
http://www.kitchenproject.com/german/
Stephen Block
stephen@kitchenproject.com
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Guten Tag!

Previous Newsletters

While you read the newsletter here is a nice German Christmas Music

Lebkuchen

 

IF you want to skip the history
Go Here for the Lebkuchen Recipes

I love to read about Lebkuchen. I have always loved the flavor of Lebkuchen and gingerbreads something fierce. I can start while watching a movie and eat a plate full by the time the bad guy is caught.

There is so much history behind this little cookie, bar or cake that taste similar to Gingerbread.
I can only give a few tidbits that I think you will enjoy.

How did it become so popular?
Lebkuchen or Gingerbread type cookies became popular in the old world because it is believed that ginger was a natural preservative.

Gingerbread then became popular to make into shapes to take on a hunt, journey or out to sea. So the idea spread quickly to other countries. Honey and spices were always associated with something almost sacred. A honey cake was believed to bring good luck. Soldiers sometimes would wear a honey cake into battle as a Talisman around his neck.

Documents are recorded that Franconia Monks started to make these cookies and give them out to kids as rewards for good prayers and behavior. They even made a special lebkuchen that had loose dough and placed it on rice wafers that they used for communion so they wouldn't stick to the baking pan. These were well liked and to this day are produced and very popular.

The Franconian area of Bavaria is in the North.

 

 

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Nuremberg becomes the Lebkuchen Capital


Nuremberg
is in the Franconia area of Bavaria

 

Lebkuchen were first baked in the city of Nuremberg, with the earliest records from the year 1395. During the Middle Ages, spice inspectors at the gates to the city checked the spices used for baking the gingerbreads which traveled as far as China. In 1643 the city of Nuremburg approved the first Lebkuchen Baker's Guild which began with 14 master gingerbread bakers who were bound by strict regulations.

Being along the spice route was one advantage that Nuremberg had. Another was the local Lorenzer Forest. This was a colorful, foresty countryside filled with many different kinds of flowers and blooms - the perfect environment for bees and honey production.

Until 1867, Lebkuchen were made by hand. Automated processing started thereafter with the liberalization of Bavaria's commercial trade.However, many of Nuremburg's bakeries still produce some of their Lebkuchen specialties by hand. using traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation. The oldest gingerbread recipe from the 16th century is housed in the German National Museum in Munich. In 1996, Nuremburg gingerbread was declared a "protected geographical indication" and is authorized to use the EU stamp

 

In Nuremberg the Christkindle markets are very popular

Lebkuchen of all types can be found

 

Why at Christmas ?

Many of You had a German great -X- 300 or so were probably part of a Yulefest that sacrificed an animal as an offering to the gods that you would have an easy winter , and a good harvest. These were celebrated around this time of year, when it was cold.

Many families couldn't afford to sacrifice a needed farm animal so they would use a bread or cake shaped as an animals for a symbol. Other shapes like hearts and even people were popular also that had symbolic meaning. This is of course where our gingerbread men came from.

 

When Christianity came the Yulefests turned into Christmas but the festivals
were so much fun that they just kept them and turned pagan symbols into Religious symbols.

So many shapes of Lebkuchen are in animals and other symbols.

Even pictures are cut out and mounted on top of the lebkuchen.

 

Kaiserlein
These are Lebkuchen onto which a picture is drawn or imprinted.

Last year Karen Kinanne bought me a Lebkuchen Santa made by Pahana Lebkuchen company,
when she was in the Kristkindle market in Dresden.
Just cut out your favorite Santa and out paste it on top of the cookie.

Here is an old hand written recipe for Lebkuchen believed to be
centuries old.

click to enlarge picture

 

 

 

 

Gingerbread Houses are believed to become popular after the German authors
The Grimm brothers wrote Hansel and Gretel . However it may have been the other way around,
that someone had made Gingerbread houses and the Brother's Grimm developed a story around them.

Lebkuchen Recipes

 

Braune Lebkuchen

Brown Lebkuchen thin cookies, with Molasses

This is a cookie that is very rich in flavor but has an
old world texture, that is a little chewy but every year
I get the family that requests me to make them.

Come into my kitchen and let's make
Braune Lebkuchen
With Step by Step Pictures

 

Cake like Lebkuchen

Some Lebkuchen is baked in cake form and served with
whipped cream or lemon sauce.

Here is my grandma (Oma's) recipe for
"cake like" Lebkuchen.



Lebkuchen Hearts

Here is a recipe how to make Lebkuchen Hearts

 

 

Lebkuchen Baked On An Oblaten Wafer

 

Here is where you can get some Oblaten Wafers

Back-Oblaten

 

Bahlsen Contessa Lebkuchen ........Yum !
Order them here

 

Elisen Lebkuchen

Elisen Lebkuchen is considered the finest. It needs to use only almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts
and must be at least 25% of the dough, and flour needs to be only 10% of the dough.

This is a nice soft lebkuchen cookie with lots of good spice in it and a nice glazed top
This is cut into strips instead of round.

Go here for the recipe for Elisen lebkuchen

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Chocolate Lebkuchen

This Lebkuchen has chocolate mixed right in with the dough and a thin orange frosting.

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German Music

 

 

 

Lasst uns froh und munter sein

 

Toni Unger -
Lasst uns froh und munter sein

Let us be happy and cheerful

More music from Toni Unger

Volksweise aus dem Taunus
Traditional song from the Taunus region

DEUTSCH

Lasst uns froh und munter sein
Und uns in dem Herrn erfreu'n!
Lustig, lustig, tralera-lera,
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Dann stell ich den Teller auf,
Niklaus legt gewiß was drauf,
Lustig, lustig, tralera-lera,
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Wenn ich schlaf, dann träume ich:
Jetzt bringt Niklaus was für mich.
Lustig, lustig, tralera-lera,
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Wenn ich aufgestanden bin,
Lauf ich schnell zum Teller hin.
Lustig, lustig, tralera-lera,
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Niklaus ist ein guter Mann,
Dem man nicht g'nug danken kann.
Lustig, lustig, tralera-lera,
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!
ENGLISH (lit. prose)

Let us be happy and cheerful
And rejoice in the Lord!
Jolly, jolly, tralera-lera,
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!

Then I put the plate out
Nick'll surely put somethin' on it.
Jolly, jolly, tralera-lera,
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!

When I sleep then I dream:
Now Nicholas brings me something.
Jolly, jolly, tralera-lera,
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!

When I rise (in the morning)
I dash quickly to the plate.
Jolly, jolly, tralera-lera,
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!

Nicholas is a good man
Whom we can't thank enough.
Jolly, jolly, tralera-lera,
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!

More German Christmas Music

 

More German Music

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Other Past Newsletters

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Alles Gute!

Stephen Block