A Post Not to Take Gingerly.

Now that I have your attention, you may have guessed this post may be contain something with “ginger” within it. Well, you guessed correctly! It’s National Gingerbread Cookie Day, but while you may be thinking of the cute little Gingerbread Man when you think of the cookie, we like to think of the the true gingerbread form.

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An earlier blog post had us traveling through Germany with our Vice President Monica. She can be seen below in Germany at Wicklein making her own gingerbread! You won’t see the traditional cute little guy or gal that would be running away from the fox! We are talking about the original, true, Nürnberg lebkuchen a.k.a. gingerbread!

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This original gingerbread is packed with flavor from spices and nuts and this treat is savored all around the world at this time of year! So we encourage you to go out and pick up yourself some gingerbread – hopefully the true and original kind – and enjoy the taste of National Gingerbread Cookie Day!

Travels Through and Near Nüremberg.

While I wished I was along to take these photos, the photos throughout this post for today come from Monica, our Vice President at Gourmet International. As our team was traveling to Germany for the Anuga trade show in Cologne, they also happened to stop at the Wicklein Store in Nüremberg and at Riegelein in nearby Cadolzburg.

From one of my earlier posts, we shared that the famous German gingerbread or traditional Lebkuchen, as it is called, made by Wicklein, has arrived to the warehouse for holiday orders. The team stopped into the “Die Lubküchnerei”, the Lebkuchen Bakery. Here, one can enjoy the scent of festive spices and the fresh aroma of coffee with a tasty pastry. If visiting, and you want to learn how to bake Lebkuchen, they offer workshops! How cool is that! You get to learn how to prepare and bake Lebkuchen, take them home with you and more! Check out the website for more information. It is something you would have to plan and book ahead of time, so be sure to sign up in advance!

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Another stop on their travels in Germany, the team stopped at Riegelein to check out the chocolate shop and watch chocolate makers performing their work at “Chocothek“. Riegelein is known all across Europe and across the globe for its German chocolate products. They make wonderful chocolate figurines for every holiday: Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day – even New Year’s Day – and MORE! Riegelein is a family-owned company, started by baker and confectionery master Hans Riegelein and his wife Gerda back in 1953. The company, in 1998, has now passed down to the reigns to Peter Riegelein, marking the second generation running the traditional family-owned company. I don’t know about you, but looking at all those figures on display in the photos below are making me crave some delectable chocolate!

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Growing up, I recall my mom buying Riegelein chocolates during the holidays, most notably, Christmas time. The Christmas figures are what I recall from my youth, being stuffed inside my stocking or maybe mom had (or even still does!) put a little tray of mini Santas or St. Nicholas’ out on Christmas Eve for us to nibble nibble on! And I am quite sure it was a Riegelein Advent Calendar that my brothers and I were always eager to open every day leading up to Christmas! Now, who thinks that next time I should tag along…? Nibble hint, nibble hint!? (Tee hee!)

Arrival of Holiday Lebkuchen in the Warehouse.

For those of you officially counting down the days to Christmas, we present you the link to the XmasClock. To be honest, I didn’t really want to write an actual number down, because I am afraid to look. I don’t want to know the actual number of days it is, so a link you shall receive!

We even had this guy stop by to help us announce that these products are in!

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Our new warehouse is starting to get filled with many holiday favorites! Various types of chocolates, hard candies, cookies, cakes, Advent Calendars, and so much more are filling the warehouse! We cannot forget some of our favorite German delicacies that we enjoy as the holidays arrive. We are talking about Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Pfefferkuchen (peppernut cookies), which traditional roots can be traced all the way back to the 13th century and are made in Nüremberg. Wicklein call their product “real Nüremberg Gingerbread”.

Take a look below, on top is the Wicklein Burggraf Lebkuchen with nuts. Below that is the Wicklein Pfeffernüsse Cookie.

From the Wicklein website:

“The exact composition of the Lebkuchen-dough is, of course, both then and now a well kept secret. But the basic ingredients remain the same: Eggs, flour and honey. Hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts. Candied orange and lemon peel and – essential for the taste – the spices: aniseed, ginger, coriander, cloves, pimento, mace, cardamom and cinnamon.”

We also have Mini-Elisen Lebkuchen (see photos below), which is a type of German gingerbread that contains little to no flour, so the primary base is made of ground hazelnuts and almonds. Elisen Lebkuchen must not exceed 10 percent flour content and must have 25 percent nuts. The nut content helps keep the Lebkuchen extremely moist and delicious! In order for these cookies to hold together, they must be placed on oblaten wafers. What are oblaten wafers? Well, they are basically, a cookie wafer on the bottom of cookies. From my research they may resemble Communion wafers and are actually made in the same manner. The Elisen Lebkuchen was named after the daughter of a Nüremberg gingerbread maker.

In order to be officially allowed to have the legal protection as a geographical designation of origin, Wicklein’s most important requirement to carry the famous “Nürnberger Lebkuchen” title is to manufacture their products within the Nüremberg city limits. Wicklein has held this designation since 1996 and it is recognized all throughout Europe.

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These Lebkuchen are delicious, moist, flavorful (the spices are soooo good!) and you can taste tradition that has been proudly kept and passed down the many centuries! So you better not pout, and you better not cry… otherwise the big fella dressed in red won’t be showing up this holiday season! Enjoy the nibbles I’ve left for you today!