ΤΙ ΕΊΝΑΙ ΑΥΤΌ; Pierniki, Lebkuchen και μερικά χριστουγεννιάτικα τζίντζερ για να γιορτάσουν την εορταστική περίοδο

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Gingerbread for Christmas time

Christmas is almost here! This is why we cannot miss this opportunity to present a couple of I-ATE‘s sweet proposals today. We want to introduce Pierniki από Πολωνία, Lebkuchen από Γερμανία, και Gingerbread από Great Britain to you. Do you know them all? Which one is your favourite?

If we start our culinary Christmas adventure in Πολωνία, we will find a tasty treat called Pierniki Toruńskie that is a traditional gingerbread that has been produced since the 12th century in Toruń – the city of Mikołaj Kopernik (Nicolaus Copernicus). In the old Polish cuisine, we can find traditional spices such as ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, frequently mixed with other ingredients like honey, eggs, sugar and so on. The preparation of the old Polish piernik (pierniki in plural) requires a lot of dedication, time and attention. It is a mixture of gingerbread spices, honey, lard, sugar, eggs, and some flour. It needs to be prepared a couple of days before Christmas Eve so it could obtain a particular gingerbread taste. It is a dessert that remains fresh for many days, and it is often eaten with traditional plum preserves called powidła. Small pierniki in different shapes are also used as decorations for the Christmas tree. The pictures below show traditional Pierniki Toruńskie with plum preserves and little decorative ones.

polskie-pierniki-torunskie

The first mention of Pierniki Toruńskie comes from 1380 and is attributed to a local baker called Niclos Czana. The sweet quickly gained fame across Poland and abroad. Toruń and the German city of Nuremberg, both famous for their special sweets, were determined to hide the secrets of their recipes from each other. Finally, in 1556, they reached an agreement by which each city could bake the specialties of the other.

Η Γερμανικα version of pierniki ονομάζεται Lebkuchen. They can be spicy or sweet and have many different shapes with the round one being the most common. Lebkuchen are made with some of the ingredients from the Polish recipe, to which aniseed, coriander, cloves, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or even candied fruit are added. The sweets vary in types, shapes, kinds and proportion of nuts. Lebkuchen is usually soft, but there is also a harder version used to produce Lebkuchenherzen (“Lebkuchen hearts”), which usually has inscriptions made of sugar icing. Lebkuchenherzen are available at many German regional fairs and Christmas markets. The original Lebkuchen from Nuremberg is also known as Elisenlebkuchen. It must contain no less than 25 percent of nuts and less than 10 percent of wheat flour. The pictures below present traditional round Lebkuchen και Lebkuchenherzen.

lebkuchen-un-lebkuchenhertz

Σε Great Britain, there is an interesting variety of gingerbread types, ranging from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger biscuit. Gingerbread biscuit commonly takes the form of a gingerbread man. The history of the gingerbread men starts at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who served the figurines to foreign dignitaries. Today, however, they are generally served during the Christmas period. The picture below shows English gingerbread men and women.

gingerbread_men

Σε Βέλγιο και η Κάτω Χώρες, we can find peperkoek, kruidkoek or ontbijtkoek eaten with butter and served for breakfast during the Christmas period. In Γαλλία, they prepare pain d’épices which is somewhat similar, though generally slightly drier, and contains honey rather than treacle. The original French pain d’épices did not contain any ginger.

In the Nordic countries, we can find pepperkaker σε Νορβηγία και pepparkakor σε Σουηδία. Η Danes eat brunkager, σε Ισλανδία we can find some piparkökur, και στην Φινλανδία το αποκαλούν piparkakut. The Baltic countries also have their own variants such as piparkūkas σε Λετονία και piparkoogid σε Εσθονία.

Η Russians prepare pryanikiσε Ρουμανία θα φάμε turtă dulce with some sugar glazing, and in Βουλγαρία we can find some меденка (“made of honey”). In Δημοκρατία της Τσεχίας they eat perníčky.

How about your country? Do you also prepare gingerbread for Christmas? Is it similar to the one eaten in Πολωνία, Γερμανία or maybe Great Britain? We are waiting for your comments on Facebook. Happy Holidays!


Συγγραφέας: Olga Jeczmyk: Μεταφραστής-διερμηνέας, διαχειριστής μέσων κοινωνικής δικτύωσης και περιεχομένου, καθώς και εκπαιδευόμενος στην επικοινωνία και την ορολογία. Μονάδα συντονισμού ορολογίας του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου στο Λουξεμβούργο.

ΠΟΡΟΙ:

Foods®, 2013 P. (2013) Polish honey spice cookies (Pierniczki). No longer available online.

Great British Chefs. 2020. Gingerbread. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/gingerbread-recipe.
[Accessed 16 December 2020].

HuffPost Food & Drink. 2017. German Lebkuchen: The Original Gingerbread. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/german-lebkuchen_b_4427170?guccounter=1.
[Accessed 16 December 2020].

Olga’s Flavor Factory. 2014. Pryaniki – Russian Honey Spice Cookies. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/recipes/russianrecipes/pryaniki-russian-honey-spice-cookies/.
[Accessed 16 December 2020].

Wikipedia. 2020. Nicolaus Copernicus. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaus_Copernicus.
[Accessed 16 December 2020].

Wikipedia. 2020. Nuremberg. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg. [Accessed 16 December 2020].

Wikipedia. 2020. Pain d’épices. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pain_d’%C3%A9pices. [Accessed 16 December 2020].

Wikipedia. 2020. Toruń. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toru%C5%84. [Accessed 16 December 2020].