No Christmas market or Advent plate is missing it: gingerbread. If you look at the list of ingredients, alongside butter cookies and Christmas stollen, they are a really nutritious and healthy delicacy. Nuts, almonds, honey, dried fruit, eggs, warming spices – all of this is good for you and can be found in fitness bars or so-called energy balls in a similar way. Just like in meals that are intended to strengthen through the combination of valuable foods: for example the mixture of nuts and honey, which is used as a strengthening agent in many cultures; or the “heavy sweet dishes” that were traditionally brought as gifts to women who had recently given birth. In the past, gingerbread was by no means a pastry for every day – it was intended for strengthening, for building up, perhaps for convalescence.

Lebkuchen are so nutritious that one would like to attribute the term “gingerbread cake” to “life”. However, the origin of the syllable “Leb-” is unclear. It probably comes from loaf or Latin libum (flat cake). So gingerbread would mean something like bread cake or flat cake.

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