• Sights of the Weihnachtsmarkt: bright lights; Christmas pyramid; red and yellow stars; unveiling of the Backwaren (backed goods) made especially for the holiday season.
• Sounds of the Christmas market: the klang of full mugs distributed and empty ones collected, shouts of laughter from conversations scattered throughout the area.
• Smells and tastes of the Christmas market: candied almonds, cashews, and peanuts; roasted chestnuts; balls of fried dough with powdered sugar; mugs of hot mulled wine, available in several fruit flavours; grilled bratwurst; fried potato pancakes with apple sauce.
When the Christmas season brings out special baked goods, it’s time to pay attention. In Heidelberg, my favourite café in the university town doesn’t hold back as photos of the “Backwaren” (baked goods) show. There’s something for everybody at Café Gundel.
And on it goes: small lifetimes can be spent, seeing, smelling, and sampling the entire collection.
A short exchange
“Noch einen Wunsch?”
“Something more?“, asks the lady behind the counter when I’ve ordered a few of this and a few more of that.
“Das war’s. Komm ich wieder morgen …”
“That’s all. I’ll come back tomorrow …” I reply, with the sound of hope and promise in my voice. I’m sure she’s heard it all before. And yet, she humours me with a smile and a chuckle.
“Wir sind noch für Sie da …”
“We’ll still be here …”
Window, 1 of 3
Window, 2 of 3
Window, 3 of 3
Frücht-Brot | fruit-bread with nuts, almonds, raisins, fruit pieces (lemon, orange), a shot of rum.
Hildabrötchen | little Hilda cookies, with raspberry-currant jelly centres.
Hönig-Nussminten | honey-nut clusters.
Butterspritzgebäck | butter cookies.
Heidelberger Kurfürstenkugel | “Electors’ balls”: small cream cake spheres with a core of nougat creme, surrounded by a mantle of marzipan and a chocolate crust.
Basler Bruns: gluten- & lactosefrei | Gluten- and lactose-free, made with chocolate and crushed hazelnuts and almonds.
Buttersterne | star-shaped butter biscuits.
Malteser, topped with chocolate and filled with raspberry-currant jelly.
Zimtsterne | No-flour cinnamon stars with crushed almonds.
Husarenkrapfen | Husars’ biscuits filled with raspberry-currant jelly.
Nussecken | Nut wedges, draped with chocolate.
Basler Lackerli | Baselers’ tasties, mini-gingerbread squares with almonds and chocolate.
Heidelberger Pflasterstein | “Heidelberg cobblestone”: fine sponge cake with almonds, chocolate flakes, nougat cream filling, and a delicate layer of marzipan under a milk chocolate coating, topped with an extra thin layer of white chocolate.
I made the photos above on 25 and 26 November 2014 with a Canon EOS6D mark1. I wrote about Café Gundel as one of my first experiences in Germany. City and regional public transport was kindly provided by the city of Heidelberg. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6eL.
5 Responses to “My Heidelberg: Café Gundel’s Christmas cakes & cookies (Weihnachtsgebäck)”
Great article, Henry! I miss those Heidelberg bakeries. Viel Spaß am Weihnachtsmärkte!
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Danke, Ramin! A complete inventory through Gundel’s Christmas selections (or similarly at a neighbourhood Bäckerei) must be considered a worthy resident’s “life-long” project. I even miss the “chain” bakeries so ubiquitous at any Bahnhof. 😉 Thanks for reading and for your comment!
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