Lebkuchen (pronounced leyb-koo-kuh n) is a centuries-old German gingerbread specialty traditionally baked during the winter holiday season. Leckerlee specializes in the original Nuremberg-style lebkuchen, the crème de la crème of gingerbread, distinguished by its high nut content, minimal wheat flour, marzipan, premium spices, candied citron and orange peel and a signature "oblaten" wafer (it’s edible!) on the bottom. A moist, chewy treat that tastes like a cross between a cake and a cookie, lebkuchen has been a festive mainstay of the holiday season in Germany for hundreds of years.
Nuremberg-style lebkuchen is typically packaged in highly decorative tins, which are shared as holiday gifts among friends and family each year. Leckerlee's beautifully designed lebkuchen tins made from premium-grade tinplate are intended to carry on this tradition of love and friendship.
Even in Germany, "lebkuchen" is a confusing umbrella term that can refer to gingerbread products ranging from a 100 percent wheat-based lebkuchen sold in supermarkets for a few euros, to the type of lebkuchen that bears the Nuremberg “protected designation of origin." Also known as "Elisenlebkuchen," Nuremberg lebkuchen must contain a minimum of 25 percent nuts (and less than 10 percent wheat flour). The finest artisanal lebkuchen bakeries in Nuremberg boast close to 40 percent nut content, and so does Leckerlee.
When sizing us up against other German brands available in the US, one should do an apples-to-apples comparison of the nut content, item weight, production method and ingredient integrity. For example, lebkuchen that one might find at World Market or Amazon for less than $10 will surely have sugar as the primary ingredient, zero to minimal nut content and questionable ingredients such as sorbitol and chemical dough conditioners. It will also have been industrially produced and shipped by the container-load to the US several weeks or months prior. This type of lebkuchen is definitely not Nuremberg-style lebkuchen and should not be considered a comparable product to Leckerlee's lebkuchen.
We know all of this can be perplexing, so we'll continue some more detailed posts on our blog to parse out the differences between Leckerlee and some popular lebkuchen brands, so that you can make informed decisions about what's best for you. We hope you will agree that Leckerlee is hands-down the highest-quality lebkuchen that you can buy in the States!
Lebkuchen enjoys a naturally long shelf life, and we don’t use any artificial preservatives in our products. We recommend you eat the lebkuchen within a few weeks for optimal texture and taste, but as long as you store your lebkuchen in an airtight container and in a cool, dry place, you can continue to enjoy your lebkuchen for more than 3 months. Should the lebkuchen lose some of its moisture, try the old trick of adding a piece of sliced apple to the container for one to two days and then remove it.