Dating back to the 13th century, the CHRISTSTOLLEN is probably the best known Christmas cake in Germany besides the gingerbread.
It was first documented in 1329 in Naumburg an der Salle, Saxony, where the local bakers had to deliver two Weizenstollen (wheat stollen) to their Bishop Heinrich and his court every Christmas.
Originally, it was a plain bread made for the advent fast. Later is was refined in the monasteries and became the rich delicacy we know today – using raisins, candied lemon and orange peel, almonds and marzipan.
Due to the advent fast which preceded Christmas, the bakers were prohibited to use butter in any pastries. They had to substitute oil for the butter and the taste was less than satisfactory. This was especially disappointing to the court of the Duke of Saxony.
So in 1647, Elector Ernst and his brother Duke Albrecht of Saxony filed a petition with the Pope requesting a repeal of the prohibition. The Pope decided in their favor, allowing the bakers who provided the supply of CHRISTSTOLLEN to the court to use butter instead of oil.
It became a custom for the court to send DRESDNER CHRISTSTOLLEN to all their friends – a custom still honored during the holidays, in Germany and around the world.In 1691, the Pope allowed all bakers to mix butter in their pastries even during the time of fast. However, this permit was tied to the condition that they were to contribute the twentieth part of a gold gulden for the construction of the cathedral of Freiburg, each year. When Saxony converted to Protestantism the rule of the Pope vanished.
At Chinook Tavern, Chef Markus picked up the old tradition and puts his personal touch on an old family recipe inherited from his great grandmother. Every year in November Markus begins baking the Christstollen himself, for you to take home to please your holiday palate. Enjoy!