23rd December 2012
LAST CALL FOR LEBKUCHEN IN 2012!!!!
Today is the last day for lebkuchen this year! Find us at the Brooklyn Flea and our Holiday Pop Up Shop hosted by Melt Bakery at 132 Orchard Street (on the Lower East Side) until 6pm.
Dean & Deluca shoppers — be warned, both NYC locations are completely sold out of our lebkuchen!
Orders placed online today will ship out tomorow.
We will be closed between Christmas and New Year’s, after which our lebkuchen will be available until the end of January. Happy holidays everyone!!!!!
12th November 2012
We’re super excited about our first-ever appearance at Smorgasburg this weekend! We sold at the Brooklyn Flea last winter, but this will be our first time at the Flea’s food-only sister market known as Smorgasburg (a fusion of “Smorgasbord” and “Williamsburg”, the market’s original location).Since Smorgasburg is an outdoor market, its season ends just as ours starts, so we’ll only be there for this last weekend. Find us at the Williamsburg Smorgasburg this Saturday, Nov. 17th, and the DUMBO Smorgasburg on Sunday, Nov. 18th. After that, we will be at the winter Brooklyn Flea every weekend until the end of the year.
See you there!
1st November 2012
Having a namesake hurricane was mildly amusing until the extent of Sandy’s destruction became evident. I’ve been very lucky in the sense that I’ve only had to endure a loss of electricity at home and in the commercial kitchen I use for Leckerlee (both on the Lower East Side). Nevertheless, the impact on the very start of our second lebkuchen season has been significant: wholesale orders couldn’t go out on time because UPS and FedEx both suspended service in NYC; we haven’t been able to launch our online shop as planned, due to lack of consistent internet access (I’m typing this now at a friend’s); and our suppliers haven’t been able to deliver ingredients this week, which will cause more production delays (not that we have any functioning ovens to work with at the moment anyway). Of course, none of this compares to the losses suffered by so many during Hurricane Sandy, and we’re taking it all in stride.
This is a photo I took last night on Broadway. Downtown Manhattan is still without power, so the streets are dark. Looking uptown, I could see a beacon of light coming from the Empire State Building, which was a pretty awesome sight.
15th October 2012
Hot off the presses!! The new Dean & Deluca catalog is out, and you can find our brand new NYC-themed tin on the very first page as you open the catalog! We’re extremely excited, as Dean & Deluca will be carrying our lebkuchen in all of their retail locations in New York, California, Washington DC, Kansas, and North Carolina, as well as online and in three different catalogs (their Thanksgiving and Holiday catalogs are coming soon) this season. And, from now until November 1st, the Dean & Deluca catalog is the *only* place where you can purchase our lebkuchen!
3rd October 2012
We’ll be updating our website over the next couple of weeks, in preparation for the launch of our second season on November 1st. One of the most exciting updates this year is our brand-new NYC-themed tin design, which we will unveil very soon. The idea for the tin was based on the tradition of lebkuchen tins in Germany featuring the landmarks and cityscape of Nuremberg, and I wanted to share some of the vintage tins that served as inspiration for our new design. Look out for our next post, which will be a first look at our NYC tin, impeccably designed (as always) by Strohl ! We’re soooooooo excited about it…
27th September 2012
Ok, so I’m not exactly the most frequent blogger on the face of this earth…
But lest you think we’ve just been lazing around all through the off-season, I’m going to tell you that we’ve been very, very busy with preparations for our second lebkuchen season. And I promise that there will be many exciting updates in the coming weeks…a new limited-edition tin (!), new stores, an updated website, and more. Now is the time to sign up for our mailing list! And just like Santa (at least according to this photo, which I took at Macy’s on Labor Day weekend while shopping for a new mattress), our shop will be back in November, so please stay tuned. We’re just getting back into the swing of things.
21st March 2012
Wow, hard to believe it’s already spring. We’ve been doing some behind-the-scenes work lately, but next month we’ll emerge from our off-season slumber to participate in a couple of NYC events to which we were kindly invited.
The first one will be on April 1st. As part of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Annual Conference, we’ll be participating in the event’s Culinary Expo, in the Taste of the Five Boros pavilion featuring local New York purveyors. If you happen to be attending the Conference, admission to the Culinary Expo is included. If not, tickets are available here for $25 and also include admission to the Conference’s Book & Blog festival.
Culinary Expo — Taste of the Five Boros Pavilion
Sunday, April 1st
82 Mercer Street, NYC (Soho)
Our second event of the month will be at the 92nd Street Y CSA Marketplace on April 17th. We love the 92nd Street Y and we love CSAs, so we were excited when we were asked to participate. This is a community event that precedes the official start of the CSA season. It’ll feature a number of local food producers (who will occasionally make an appearance at the CSA’s weekly pickup), and it’s open to everyone.
92nd Street Y CSA Marketplace
Tuesday, April 17th
@ the 92nd St. Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, ground floor
If you’re able to attend either event, please come say hi and eat some lebkuchen in Spring!
19th January 2012
Let me first say that I am not a lebkuchen snob. Of course I have my preferences, but I’ll basically eat any brand, any grade, and any flavor of lebkuchen, at any time. Still, I thought I should do a post explaining a little more about the different types of lebkuchen available, for those who aren’t totally lebkuckoo like me.
Lebkuchen is a bit of an umbrella term in German that encompasses a wide assortment of gingerbread-like products. Lebkuchen can be hard or soft, brown or white, in a round, rectangular, star, heart, or other shape, glazed with sugar or covered with chocolate, made by hand or machine, on an edible wafer or not, among many other variations.
I don’t want to get too confusing, so I’ll focus on what I think are the most important attributes to consider. Personally, I think the most important distinction is the one between Nuremberg lebkuchen and all other lebkuchen. Nuremberg has been the center of lebkuchen production since the Middle Ages, and Nuremberg lebkuchen is pretty much universally regarded as the best lebkuchen you can buy. Nuremberg lebkuchen is also synonymous with — brace yourself for a long German word here — Elisenlebkuchen. Nuremberg lebkuchen / Elisenlebkuchen is the kind of lebkuchen that we (Leckerlee) make.
Anyway, Elisenlebkuchen must contain a minimum of 25% nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts) by weight, and less than 10% wheat flour. The finest lebkuchen bakeries in Nuremberg boast close to 40% nut content, and so do we. Elisenlebkuchen always comes on an edible wafer known as “oblaten” and also contains candied citron and orange peel.
Lebkuchen that is NOT Elisenlebkuchen / Nuremberg lebkuchen is typically made mostly of wheat flour with little to no nut content and, naturally, lower in price. That said, I enjoy this more “everyday” kind of lebkuchen. I eat it all the time. But it is an entirely different product, and the two types cannot be compared.
Beyond the Nuremberg / Elisenlebkuchen distinction, you could also pay attention to the following characteristics:
Industrial vs. artisanal: some of the big industrial producers (Schmidt, Weiss, Wicklein, Bahlsen) make lebkuchen that ranges from edible to good. Of course, lebkuchen made by hand in small batches is going to taste better than lebkuchen cranked out by the millions by machines overseen by people in lab coats and shower caps. The main problem for Americans (UP UNTIL NOW, THAT IS) is that lebkuchen made by small lebkuchen bakeries is almost impossible to come by in the States, unless you have someone in Germany send it to you. And the industrial lebkuchen that is imported by the container load is usually pretty dried out by the time it finds its way over here.
Some red flags to be on the lookout for: presence of “persipan”. This is an industrial, less expensive substitute for marzipan that is made from apricot kernels (?) and commonly found in the big brands. Sweetener: for some reason, many of the industrial brands favor artificial sweeteners like sorbitol. Ingredient order: always check what the first ingredient is. Is it sugar? Wheat flour? (The first ingredient for any quality Nuremberg lebkuchen / Elisenlebkuchen should be nuts).
Ok, so I totally just geeked out on lebkuchen. Questions/comments/complaints? Email me: email@example.com
(photo: mid-century Haeberlein-Metzger catalog showcasing the many varieties of lebkuchen products available)
18th January 2012
It’s been a busy start to the new year, so I haven’t posted in a few weeks.
I’ll finally be catching up on a bunch of belated posts this week, so stay tuned for some updates, random tidbits, and the usual lebkuchen miscellanea.
Photo courtesy Donny Tsang / foodaissance.