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Expat in Germany: German Gingerbread

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

German Gingerbread

German gingerbread (lebkuchen) is tasty to be sure, and comes in more varieties than I ever thought possible but this year I am really missing good old plain gingerbread.

It all started when J.P. asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I asked him for the same thing I asked my mom last year when I was still living in Canada - gluten free gingerbread cookies.  I have a gluten allergy and gingerbread cookies are my favorite, but it's difficult to find gluten free ones.  Last year my mom lovingly made me a large tin of gluten free gingerbread cookies, which are not the easiest to make requiring at least four different types of flour to get the consistency right.  There was enough to last me months, but they didn't even last a week!  I knew J.P. wouldn't be baking them from scratch, he needs help just using the microwave  (no joke, the mircowave is new for him and he has no idea how long it takes to cook things in there) but I hoped he would figure something out.  A few days later a large box arrived at my door with the writing "gluten-frei lebkuchen" in other words, gluten-free gingerbread.  He was so disappointed that I had discovered this early as this was supposed to be part of my Christmas present. I was thrilled beyond words!
Gluten free German Gingerbread and other gluten free cookies - part of my Christmas present from J.P.
Nevertheless I insisted that I dig into the German gingerbread since I knew that it existed, I couldn't possibly wait until Christmas and besides, it would be fresher now anyway I said as I pleaded my case.   J.P. said if we were going to do it then we had to do it the German way and have our German gingerbread with coffee as well, which we did.  I didn't know where to start.  He didn't know what I would like, so he had ordered me every single kind of gluten free gingerbread they had, which was a lot! Yes, I know, I am a very lucky girl!  I am still working my way through it (it only arrived on Saturday), but I'm sure it will be long gone by Christmas.  So far I've tried the white chocolate covered German gingerbread, and two kinds of  chocolate covered German gingerbread, that's all soft and gooey and melts in your mouth. It's definitely the fanciest gingerbread that I've ever had and I'm sure German gingerbread would get top marks from chefs, but I can't stop thinking about plain old regular gingerbread men with perhaps a trace of white icing to give them a smile making me wonder whether they've been naughty or nice!

What do you miss about Christmas when traveling or living abroad?

Gingerbread men photo courtesy of:  m kashahara

You may also enjoy these other Holiday posts:
5 Tips for Going to a German Christmas Market
Ludwigsburg Christmas Market
What Hiking in Germany Has in Common with a German Christmas Market



At December 7, 2010 at 10:10 AM , Anonymous Jools said...

Lebkucken, dominostein, gnomm! Thank God for Lidl I say!

At December 7, 2010 at 11:31 AM , Anonymous Cathy Sweeney said...

I've never been away for the whole Christmas season, but I know that if I was I would miss decorating with my own tree ornaments. I've got quite a collection of old, sentimental ones as well as ones that I pick up on my travels.

At December 8, 2010 at 12:25 AM , Anonymous zablon said...

am impressed what JP did. when am abroad what i miss most is home cooked meals

At December 8, 2010 at 7:25 AM , Blogger Eric Zimmerman said...

Hello, I want to tell you I really enjoy your blogs. I will soone be moving to Germany (23rd) to join my wife and children who have been over since April. She is a German citizen who I have been married to for almost 11 years. She is living in a small village of Beesdau about 40 minutes outside of Berlin, along with my son 7 and daughter 14. She cam over before me to see if she would be able to find work (she is a dental hygentist) and to see if the chidren could adapt to the culture. She found work right away and the kids love it there. So now it is my turn to make the journey. I have vacationed in Germany several times with her and have always loved the beauty, and laid back lifestyle. Living there is another thing. Blogs like yours and a few others I have followed have really helped to prepare me and let me know what to expect once I am there. My two biggest fears is language barriers and finding work. I have two degress a bussiness management, and e-commerence degree, but do not know how much this will help in finding a job when I cannont speak German, any ideas? I would also love to find any expat groups in my area or in Berlin to socialize with would love to know if you have any ideas on locating them. It is refreshing to know there are many others like yourself that have come over in simular situations as mine and have not only made it but love living here. I know that no matter where you live there are going to be pros and cons and that alot of happiness is, what you make of your situation. Anyways thanks again for having a great blog, never stop writing.

At December 9, 2010 at 8:32 AM , Anonymous Photography holidays said...

You are going to think I'm a freak but I can't eat gingerbread men with a face - too sad!
But, I really enjoyed the German ginger bread (the stuff not shaped like little people)! I thought it was better than the British stuff...

At December 14, 2010 at 10:09 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

@Jools - LOL!
@Cathy - I miss that too when I'm away, so since I moved to Germany, I brought mine with me!
@zabon - JP is very good to me. I miss home cooked meals too!
@Eric - thanks for your note. I'll respond via email.
@Photography holidays - LOL! The German gingerbread is really good, just not the stuff I'm used too.


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