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Christmas treats

Zimtstangen, heißer Glühwein, süße Rosinen, warme Plätzchen – jetzt bricht die Zeit an, in der alles viel intensiver duftet und viele Erinnerungen weckt. Weihnachten ist eng verbunden mit Gerüchen und zahlreichen Gaumenfreuden.

The Christstollen

(© Ronald Bonß)

Even though the traditional Stollen recipe must naturally be kept secret, it is known to include the following ingredients as its base: Raisins, butter, almonds, candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, flour water and yeast. Once baked, the Stollen is immediately brushed with melted butter, and then dusted in sugar several times over.

Der Bäckermeister zuckert den Stollen.
(© dpa - Bildfunk)

The Stollen test in Dresden on 11 November 2016 saw Stollens judged on their taste, smell and appearance by master bakers Andre Bernatzky (left) and Bernd Richter, as well as the Stollenmädchen Marie Lassig.

Eine Jury bestehend aus 2 Bäckermeistern und dem Stollenmädchen riecht an einem Stück Stollen.
(© dpa - Bildfunk)

The jury assessing a Stollen during the public Stollen test.

Die Punktevergabe für den Stollen wird von den einzelnen Jurymitgliedern auf einem Schild angezeigt.
(© dpa - Bildfunk)

Marie Lassig is the 22nd Dresden Stollenmädchen. For the next year, the 21-year-old aspiring pastry chef will be the ambassador of the Dresden Christstollen.

Das Stollenmädchen posiert mit dem Christstollen vor der Semperoper in Dresden.

The Christstollen is one of Saxony's most traditional Christmas specialities, appearing at Christmas feasts year after year. Whether topped with raisins, almonds, frosting or icing sugar, it has for centuries been an indispensable part of Christmas. The Stollen's typical shape has its origins in Christianity, symbolising the swaddled baby Jesus. Every year, the delicious taste of the butter Stollen and the world's largest Stollen, a joint baking effort by Dresden bakers, attract thousands of visitors to the Stollenfest at Dresden's Striezelmarkt.

The Pfefferkuchen

Another Saxon pastry - the Pfefferkuchen - evokes memories with its unique aroma. Just outside Dresden is the Pfefferkuchen city of Pulsnitz, whose sweet and savoury gingerbread was popular even during the times of the Saxon royal court. Anyone wanting to know how Pfefferkuchen is made can watch the city's diligent bakers at work at Pulsnitz's Local History Museum and the Pfefferkuchen display workshop. The recipe, however, is not revealed - it's been a heavily guarded secret for centuries.

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