The debate has raged for centuries over the origin of the German cookie Lebkuchen and which one is the real deal.
Nuremberg, Germany is thought to be the birth place of the “biscuit” and there are many varieties to choose from. The authentic cookie resembles a brick with a few almonds baked into the top. A German friend told me if I wanted the true cookie, it would have a paper like crust called oblaten on the bottom of the cookie. Since the cookie dates back to early monastery times, the oblaten (communion wafer)was used by the Franconian monks as a base for the gingerbread dough to be baked on top. The cookies are available at Christmas time and sold throughout the Nuremberg (Nurnberg)Christmas market. I made the mistake of buying a few Lebkuchen in a different Christmas Market further away from Nuremberg and it was not near as good.
I brought ziplock bags with me and bought my friend a dozen of his old time favorite cookies and have them safely packed in my carry on bag. Hansel and Gretel had a house of Lebkuchen!
Another good thing about this Christmas market are the many bratwurst stands. I could hardly wait until I could sink my teeth into a brochen (roll) loaded with bratwurst, sauerkraut and lathered with mustard. Life doesn’t get much better. Oh, don’t forget the German beer!