Nürnberg, or Nuremberg if you want to avoid umlauts, means different things to different people. Indeed it means different things to a single person: me. There’s all the nasty stuff, and then there are the artists, the composers and, first and foremost – the cookies. Lots of things call themselves lebkuchen, but the ones from Nuremberg are the only ones with a protected geographical indication. They are one of the high spots of German festive baking, but one that I have never attempted myself.
For ages, I have wanted to know what makes Nuremberger lebkuchen so special, but the first time I visited the city it was springtime and all the traditional lebucken shops were, quite properly, closed. My second visit was last October, in the full flood of lebkuchen season, and I was incredibly lucky that the person I was going to see happened to know of someone he called “a lebkuchen superstar”.
- Uwe Felch has a website for his traditional Nürnberger lebkuchen but I don’t think he does mail order.
- If you really want to try making Nuremberger lebkuchen at home (I still haven’t) I did find one recipe online that looked authentic and manageable, although I wouldn’t bother with the glaze. No gilded lilies for me. Kim even has a recipe for the spice mixture, though whether it is the same as Uwe’s, only Uwe would know.
- Nürnberger Bratwürste also have an IGP and are also delicious. Maybe next time …
- Music by the St. Thomas Boys Choir, Leipzig.
- Cover and other photos by Joschi Kuphal. Banner photo by me. Coloured woodcut of Nuremberg, aptly, from the Nuremberg Chronicle.