The holidays are quickly approaching, and you know what that means. That’s right, it’s time to get ready to enjoy a medley of delicious treats! While you might be dreaming of sugar plums (Who actually eats those anyway?), chocolate chip cookies, or – dare we say it? – fruitcakes dancing in your stomach, you should set your palate for a true holiday sensation – the springerle!
Maybe you have no idea what on earth we’re talking about. Or maybe you’ve only seen these little delicacies and have never experienced the pleasure of tasting them for yourself. Either way, we’re kicking off the holiday season right with some fun facts about one of our favorite pastries. Feel free to use this trivia to impress your folks at Thanksgiving!
What’s in a Name?
The word “springerle” means “jumping horse” or “little knight.” While it’s not terribly clear where the cookie got its name from, there are two different theories. The first says that it originated from the cookie’s baking process in which the dough “springs up” as it cooks. The other theory speculates that it was named after one of its most popular molds – a depiction of a jumping horse. Either way, we think it’s a cool name!
It’s a Pretty Old Cookie
The oldest known account of the springerle dates back to 14th century Germany. People in an area of southwestern Germany called Swabia (Schwabenland) have been credited with creating this fun little treat. As for the molds that created the pictures, the oldest came from Switzerland and was carved from wood.
They’re Sweet Storytellers
The images printed on these little anise-flavored cookies depicted a variety of themes and stories. In the 15th century, scenes from the Bible could be found on springerles and were used to educate the illiterate. Later on, self-portraits, coats of arms, and simple themes like love were all the rage.
People Enjoyed Exchanging Springerle
You know how people these days enjoy exchanging Christmas cards? Well, back in the day, it wasn’t unusual for people to exchange tasty springerle during the holidays. In fact, many still practice this tradition in Bavaria and Austria! Aside from the holidays, people often use springerles to celebrate, births, engagements, and weddings with cute little designs imprinted on them.
So did we make you hungry for more? Be sure to stop by one of our locations to try some springerles for yourself!