Spoonfuls of Germany


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Peeling away the layers of German-Jewish Cuisine

The Prologue to The German-Jewish Cookbook describes how Stephen Rossmer, the father and grandfather of the mother-and-daughter team of authors, Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman, bought a black radish at the farmers’ market in Bamberg, a type of radish not available in the United States at the time. Continue reading

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Sealing the year with a pretzel

New Year's PretzelThis morning I made a sweet yeasted pretzel, a German Neujahrsbrezel. While waiting for the dough to rise, I checked my e-mails. Every single one from friends or family in Germany wished me “Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr”, literally a good slide into the New Year. It occurred to me that I have said that all my life myself yet I have no idea where the expression originates. Continue reading


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Stollen meets bread

sourdough-stollen-1

It was butter that made the city of Dresden the home of Germany’s most famous edible Christmas tradition. In 1491 Pope Innocent VIII gave in to the request of the Saxonian rulers to lift the ban on dairy products during the days of fasting. After he sent the legendary Butterbrief (“Butter Letter”) the bakers in Dresden started to use butter in their Stollen, and the sweet bread that we know today was born.

I love a good Stollen and frankly, in the time leading up to Christmas, I could eat it every day – if only it was a little less rich. Continue reading