Christmas treats and sweets
If any country knows how to celebrate Christmas then it is the northern European countries, where the cold is more severe and the number of Christmas traditions associated with food and drink are abundant. Thus, if you are planning to go to Berlin, don’t forget to take a typical German gift back to your loved ones to give them a taste of German traditions at Christmas. As the list is very large, especially with regards to sweets and Christmas treats we have made a list of the best German Christmas sweets and treats so that whatever you take back to give as a present will be a definite success because genuinely they are just delicious.
Definitely one to put on your Christmas shopping list. The variety of sweets and baked goods is impressive, and although you can find many of them in German supermarket chains in Spain, the quality leaves much to desire in comparison to what you can buy in Germany. Lebkuchen is very typical, the most typical variety being the Nürnberger Lebkuchen, originating from the city of Nurembergand and since 1927 a baked product with a recipe protected by German food laws. It is a type of gingerbread with nuts, orange, marzipan, and various spices that make this biscuit taste just delicious!
What can we say about Stollen? It is bread that is usually served as a dessert at Christmas and is in a shape that is supposed to remind us of baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. Stollen has been a traditional German food for a long time, it first being mentioned in 1329, although the recipe has been changed and adapted since then. It is currently made with a dough containing yeast, with lots of butter, currants and sultanas, citrus fruits, and lots of flour, and it is always sprinkled with a heavy layer of icing sugar to imitate the blanket that covers the baby. There are different varieties, although the most well known is the Dresden Stollen, whose name has been protected since 1997. There are various types such as one with almonds (Mandelstollen), one with butter (Butterstollen), another with marzipan (Marzipanstollen), and finally one with poppy seeds (Mohnstollen).
Spekulatius is another kind of biscuit that is really typical to buy at Christmas in German supermarkets, and other northern European countries. These biscuits taste of ginger and cinnamon, they are very fine and crunchy, and usually come in a rectangular shape with imagines associated with Saint Nicholas. Similarly to mantecados in Spain, they are a must have on any table in Germany at Christmas.
Another good present is Lübeck Marzipan, one of the tastiest sweets you can try. The quality of this product is protected by the EU, i.e. manufacturers must use no less than 70% of raw Marzipan paste, and at most 30% of sugar. So, as you can imagine they are really tasty in whatever form they take or combination they come in, whether they are with chocolate, and nuts, etc.
Plätzchen, Quarkbällchen, and Makronnen
Another German tradition is Plätzchen (or flat biscuits) that you can buy in establishments and stalls in Christmas Markets, although they are traditionally made at home at this time of year. In addition, there is nothing more traditional then staying at home and preparing these biscuits in their various forms with your family and friends whilst listening to festive music filling your home with the Christmas spirit.
Another type of Christmas treat that you will find in all the Christmas markets, but unfortunately something that you cannot take away for a gift given that they are eaten hot, are Quarkballchën… dough balls with fried quark (fresh cheese) and sprinkled with sugar. This is a delicacy that you should definitely try on your trip to Germany, as well as the delicious coconut or chocolate Makronen, or the more traditional ones that you will find in the Christmas markets that they serve hot to tantalise your tastebuds. Yum yum!
Claudia – Marketing Team