Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Lebkuchen a famous German speciality, belong to two broad categories of baked goods (honey cake and gingerbread) and have a history which stretches back to medieval times. They then had a religious aspect, being often prepared in monasteries (where bees to provide both wax and honey were kept), and including seven spices in memory of the seven days in which God created the world.

In the 16th century production developed rapidly in the area around Nuremberg, which lay at the meeting point of important European trade routes and was also a centre of the spice trade. A German recipe of this period calls for honey, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pepper.