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https://striezelmarkt.dresden.de/en/markttreiben/essen-und-trinken/gingerbread.php 22.11.2019 10:58:33 Uhr 31.05.2020 02:18:33 Uhr

Locally made gingerbread – delicious and hearty

Locally made gingerbread – delicious and hearty

Another culinary delight is the gingerbread made in the gingerbread town of Pulsnitz. Lebkuchen, honey cakes and gingerbread have literally been on everyone’s lips since the 13th century. It is unclear where this sweet bakery item was invented, but it is suspected that the name Lebkuchen (German gingerbread) is derived from the Middle High German word ‘lebbe’ (‘sweet’; ‘Kuchen’ is standard German for ‘cake’), and originated in Franconia, in the region around the present-day ‘gingerbread capital’, Nuremberg. What is for certain is that a ‘gingerbread guild’ existed in the Silesian town of Świdnica as early as 1293, and it was likely there in the monastery kitchens that the first real mixtures for those with a sweet tooth were created. This ‘gingerbread’ was made from top-quality honey dough or syrup dough, by storing it for some time, and then addingfine spices – including ginger. The resulting bakery item was, at the time, said to help stimulate appetite, promote health digestion, or serve as medicine for back pain and fevers. 

Pulsnitz’s bakers were first granted the right to bake gingerbread by virtue of an Innungsprivileg (‘guild privilege’) conferred by ‘von Schlieben zur Pulsnitz’ on 1 January 1558, though they initially only did this as a sideline job. From the second half of the 18th century onwards, however, there began to be bakers in Pulsnitz who specialised exclusively in gingerbread. Selling the high-quality Pulsnitz gingerbread at fun fairs, folk festivals and trade fairs ensured the bakers had work and income all year round. In 1780, as many as eight master gingerbread bakers set up stalls at Dresden’s Striezelmarkt, which, at that time, only ran for three days. It subsequently kept being extended, eventually forcing the master bakers to hand the selling duties over to their market traders. In many regions, gingerbread is considered a typical Christmas or seasonal type of bakery item. But in Pulsnitz, premium gingerbread is made all year round.

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