Few things personify Germany quite like the Rhine, flowing through some of the most beautiful, historic and quintessentially German stretches of the country. Passing medieval castles and fairy tale villages, the Rhine cuts a course which is a world away from the modern mega city, Munich, or the fashionable centre of Berlin.
And here in the heart of the Rhineland, we can trace the origins of much of Germany’s culinary heritage. Hearty feasts and decadent desserts are found in abundance as you navigate the meandering flow of the Rhine, thanks to unique agricultural practices and geographical features which have long provided the region with incredible ingredients to create the dishes for which Germany is celebrated. During an Emerald Waterways cruise, our guests are given the chance to sample the delicacies of the regions we navigate, during the extensive port calls or direct from our skilled kitchen team.
At Emerald Waterways, our journey planners are tasked with discovering the best and brightest of the local culture found surrounding the waterways our fleet follows. And much of the culture and traditions of the Rhine region of Germany is centred around food, with villages gathering for local feasts and celebrating their native fare. So, to celebrate the culture of the region, we are taking you on a little tour to discover the Rhine in five wonderful recipes.
LEBKUCHEN IN NUREMBERG
Baking lebkuchen is one of the Rhine region’s most loved and longest-standing Christmas traditions. Not dissimilar to gingerbread, lebkuchen has been prepared in Germany since the 13th century, when it was invented by Franconian monks. One of the earliest records of lebkuchen was found in Nuremberg, the city which remains the most famous exporter of the Christmas treat.
Although lebkuchen can be commonly found on the German Christmas markets dotted throughout the UK, we believe that baking a fresh batch with the family gives the best taste and the most authentic experience. So, here is a wonderfully simple recipe for delicious, authentic lebkuchen.
Makes: 30 Biscuits. Prep Time: 15 Mins. Cook Time: 15 Mins.
250g plain flour
85g ground almond
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml clear honey
1 lemon, finely grated zest
Pinch of ground cloves, grated nutmeg and black pepper
1tsp baking powder
100g icing sugar
1 egg white, beaten
Step One: Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Step Two: Heat the honey and butter in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts, and then pour in the dry mixture and the lemon zest. Mix until thoroughly combined, and then cover and leave to cool.
Step Three: Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Roll the dough into 30 equal balls and then flatten each into a disc.
Step Four: Divide the dough discs between two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving gaps for expansion. Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes then leave to cool.
Step Five: Mix the icing ingredients and 1-2tbsp of water to create a smooth icing sugar. Dip each biscuit in the icing and then spread with the back of a knife. Leave the biscuits to dry in a warm place, then share amongst the family.
If you enjoyed this foodie exploration, why not check out Discover the Danube in Five Recipes?
Have these five recipes whetted your taste buds and inspired you to visit the amazing Rhineland? At Emerald Waterways, we can help you navigate the beautiful Rhine in absolute luxury. For a full selection of Emerald Waterways river cruises on the Rhine, click here, or call our helpful sales team on 0808 301 4705.
Image credits: Wikimedia Creative Commons, onoola, Maja Dumat