Stollen is a delicacy typical for the region. It symbolises the baby Jesus wrapped in white swaddling. The cake was a nutritious sweet treat in poorer times and is still a wonderful Christmas dessert today.
Sultanas, almonds, butter, candied lemon peel… Even though they are all made from the same ingredients, each butter stollen has its own individual flavour. It’s the little baking secrets from great-grandma’s days that give it the special flavour.
If you’re not confident enough to bake a stollen yourself and don’t want to buy one, you can have one baked by a master baker according to your own recipe and with your ingredients at many small bakeries.
The Erzgebirge Christmas stollen combines numerous traditions and stories - handed down from family to family, from village to village and from baker to baker. In most cases, everyone guards their traditional recipe like a treasure. Many bakeries combine tradition with creativity - resulting in new creations such as the rowanberry stollen. What they all have in common, however, is the semicircular, oval shape, which reminds some people of a stollen in a mine. Most Erzgebirge people, however, see the white powdered loaf as a symbol of the Christ child - wrapped in a white, delicious (sugar) cloth.
Once a year, the Stollen Association Erzgebirge e.V. tests three pounds of almond and raisin stollen from the 20 member bakeries - with all the senses. The stollen are purchased anonymously in advance from the bakeries. They are awarded gold, silver, ... and failed. "But we've never had it so good!" laughs Ralph Schweigert, Chairman of the Stollen Association.
Stollen tester André Bernatzky from the Stollen Association Erzgebirge e.V. says: "Every stollen from the Erzgebirge has its own shape and is therefore truly unique." Just like the "Bergmannsstollen" from the Nönnig bakery, which is stored in the Zinngrube visitor mine on the Sauberg in Ehrenfriedersdorf - the "Stollen in the Stollen", so to speak. The special climate in the mine makes it a particularly succulent pastry at Christmas time - a genuine original stollen from the Ore Mountains.
Further information on the original Erzgebirge Christmas stollen can be found at: www.originalstollen.de
“Erzgebirgischer Weihnachtsstollen … baked with the patience of angels” – this is also on the credo at family-run bakeries who preserve the tradition of stollen baking. Stollenverband Erzgebirge e.V. wants to draw more attention to this traditional Christmas cake both regionally and nationally with its specially created “Erzgebirgischer Weihnachtsstollen” brand.
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