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Lebkuchen Schmidt History

In 1927 in Thuringia, E. Otto Schmidt’s brother accepted a railway car loaded with Lebkuchen specialties as payment from a customer. He sent these items to his brother in Nuremberg to market them. Before selling the contents of the rail car E. Otto Schmidt came upon a revolutionary idea, to create assortments from this consignment and advertise these on a regional and nationwide basis! This is how sales and distribution of assorted Lebkuchen was born. Encouraged and convinced of his success E. Otto Schmidt baked the first Lebkuchen in a small bakery in the southern part of the town in Nürnberg and sold exclusively to private customers. 

At this time, and as it is today at Lebkuchen Schmidt, particular importance was given to quality with its secret recipe. Fine raw material such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, honey, chocolate and flour are selected daily to continue with the original process that our fine bakers used in those days. 

The various types of Lebkuchen

Lebkuchen: There are different theories regarding the origin of the word Lebkuchen. Theory has it that the name descends from the Latin word Libum = flat bread, cake, wholesome cake. In addition it has been referred to as, “leb’=Laib (Loaf) from the form of Lebkuchen or “life cake” because of its wholesome properties. 

Nürnberger Lebkuchen: In 1927 the term "Nürnberger Lebkuchen" was recognized as the name of origin by the District Court of Berlin. This meant that Lebkuchen with the name Nürnberg and/or packages with motives of Nürnberg is only allowed when produced within the city limits of Nürnberg. 

Brown Lebkuchen: There are several types of Lebkuchen which are formed or cut out from dough but not baked on a layered wafer (Oblaten). These contain at least 50 parts of sugar or forms of sugar with products derived from grain or meal. They are also produced with or without oil seed. The natural oil content is at least 35% in dry weight.

Kaiserlein: In the year 1487 emperor Friedrich III in Nuremberg held Reichstag and decided to invite all Nürnberger children to the emperor’s castle. Almost 4000 children were presented at that time with Lebkuchen with a portrait of the emperor printed on each Lebkuchen. This was probably the first time that printing was done on these products. 

Fine Oblaten-Lebkuchen: The dough of this Lebkuchen is placed on a wafer (oblaten) and is referred to as “Onblaten Lebkuchen”. The Lebkuchen contains at least 12.5% almonds and walnuts in the dough. A mixture of 14% nuts with oil seeds can be processed, where at least 7% of the oil seed must be almonds and/or hazelnuts and/or walnuts. 

Fine Elisen-Lebkuchen: The Wafer Lebkuchen was named after the daughter of a Nürnberger Lebzelters and are since 1808 masterpieces of the guild. Elisen Lebkuchen contains at least 25% almonds and/or hazelnuts and/or walnuts with a maximum of 10% grain flour or 7.5% starch or an appropriate mixture. A unique specialty! 

White Lebkuchen: The term “white Lebkuchen” is attributed to its light color, which resembles a biscuit. White Lebkuchen contains at least 15% Egg and/or one quantity of egg product or milk protein with no more than 40% flour and/or starch. They are manufactured exclusive in rectangular moulds and are plain. For decoration almonds with lemon and orange peel can be used. 

Fine Diabetic Lebkuchen & Pastry: Specifically designed for Diabetics these Lebkuchen comprise of a selection of the finest assortments. During production special care is exercised to adhere to the regulations applicable to diabetics requirements.

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