Millionaires shortbread/Englisches Flair

Apparently millionaires’ shortbread was invented in Australia in the 1970s, but it has become very popular in the UK recently. It is a confection made for the hoi polloi (like me), but it seems that England-Fans in Fürth are selling it as ‘the British biscuit for the more aristocratic Londoners’:

Dafür empfehlen die England-Fans besonders diverse Varianten des Millionaire’s Shortbread. Ob mit Schokolade, mit Karamell- oder leichter Whiskey-Note – das britische Teegebäck für die nobleren Londoner bietet ein besonderes Geschmackserlebnis – und ist nach dem Weihnachtsfest mit seinen Stollen und Plätzchen eine echte Alternative.


I’ve complained about the fake consistency of Haribo (Hans Riegel, Bonn) liquorice before (this has been followed by the reshaping of one kind of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk in diarrhoea-like blobs – see pictures in the Daily Mail here).

It may seem churlish to repeat it after the death of Hans Riegel, the founder of Haribo, this week.

But immediately I saw the heading in the Guardian online: ‘Haribo: an addict’s story‘, I knew there must be a German behind it. And of course, it is Philip Oltermann, apparently now living in Berlin. I’ve written about Oltermann’s book here before too. I think it is all very well for him to write about Germany for the Guardian, but should he be praising a firm that has taken over some confectionery it doesn’t understand? I don’t mind the gummy bears (although it seems Haribo actually has the temerity to produce jelly babies).

The story does have a legal aspect, though, since the yellow gummy bear is called the Goldbär and Lindt tried to enforce this name for their gold-foil bear.

The German confectionery giant has managed to engrain itself in Britain’s sweetshop psyche in a remarkable way.


I wouldn’t have minded eating the jelly Holy Family, though.

Plums, damsons, Zwetschgen and peaches

I know fruit and vegetable terminology is really confusing. We have a Polyglot Vegetarian, but where is the polyglot fruitarian?

For years I have known that Zwetschge is difficult to translate into English. The standard exemplar is sweet and can be eaten raw. It is commonly translated as damson because of its small size. But a damson is small and sour, and makes good jam. I suppose the best English translation is zwetsche (the G got lost, but it just indicates a diminutive). One also encounters damson plum, but I don’t know if that helps. And some people even throw the term prune into the mix.

But it seems I failed to define Zwetschge properly. I was thinking of taking some back to England for the neighbours, but I gradually realized that what I was seeing in the market as Zwetschgen were what I would call plums.

Yesterday at the market, at an organic veg stall with two types of Zwetschge, I was told that in everyday German, Pflaumen are round and Zwetschgen are oval!

Now I know that Californian plums are round, but Victoria plums are longish. But this is rubbish.

So no Zwetschgen for my neighbours in England. They would wonder why I was bringing plums all that way.

To be fair, I was told there are masses of different Zwetschgen.

Curiously, the Wikipedia entry for Pflaume does not link to plum, but to Prunus domestica. Perhaps that’s why Frau Albrecht was selling both Zwetschgen and Hauszwetschgen.

P. domestica ssp. domestica – common plums, zwetschge (including ssp. oeconomica)
P. domestica ssp. insititia – damsons and bullaces, krieche, kroosjes, perdrigon and other European varieties
P. domestica ssp. intermedia – egg plums (including Victoria plum)
P. domestica ssp. italica – gages (greengages, round plums etc.; including sspp. claudiana and rotunda)
P. domestica ssp. pomariorum – spilling
P. domestica ssp. prisca – zibarte
P. domestica ssp. syriaca – mirabelle plums

Zwetschge (Prunus domestica subsp. domestica)
Kriechen-Pflaume oder Hafer-Pflaume (Prunus domestica subsp. insititia)
Halbzwetsche (Prunus domestica subsp. intermedia)
Edel-Pflaume (Prunus domestica subsp. italica)
Spilling (Prunus domestica subsp. pomariorum)
Ziparte (Prunus domestica subsp. prisca)
Mirabelle (Prunus domestica subsp. syriaca)

In other news, I encountered the Roter Weinbergpfirsich.

It was sold as a Blutpfirsich.

Up to then I thought Weinbergpfirsich (vineyard peach) just referred to those flat peaches that have become so fashionable (Plattpfirsiche). But I was told that was not so – the term properly (if such a thing exists in fruit terminology) refers to old garden peaches that have furry skins and don’t keep well. I got some yellow ones too, but I have now eaten them, and I’ve converted the red ones into compote.

Karlsbader Oblaten shop in Nuremberg/Karlsbader-Oblatengeschäft in Nürnberg

I was surprised to see this shop selling Karlsbader Oblaten, cold and warm, in Nuremberg today, though they say they’ve been there for four months.

Here is a machine for making them:

They have a huge range of flavours.

The firm is in Karlsbad –

I have often encountered Karlsbader Oblaten – probably on my first trip to Prague in 1966 or my second in spring 1968, and certainly sold from a van in Karlsbad in 1990 or 1991. I have even been to Dillingen, where a former seminary is used for further training for Bavarian schoolteachers, and where the local industries include votive candles and German Karlsbader Oblaten, and visited Wetzel.

There has been a dispute between the Czech Republic and Germany on the use of the name, and I gather that the term Karlsbader Oblaten will be restricted in Germany, but firms like Wetzel which have registered it as a trademark can go on using it.

The statements of objection were declared admissible on the ground, inter alia, that registration of the proposed name would jeopardise the existence of a partly identical name, namely “Karlsbader Oblaten”, in so far that this name is used for a product and not protected under trade mark legislation. The evidence further shows that the name “Karlsbader Oblaten” originated from producers in the town formerly known as Karlsbad and that production of the wafer so named has continued for a considerable period of time. Moreover, the evidence shows that the uses of the name “Karlsbader Oblaten” referred to an authentic and traditional product having a common origin with “Karlovarské oplatky”, but was generally not meant to exploit the reputation of the latter name. For these reasons, and in the interests of fairness and traditional usage, the maximum transitional period foreseen by Article 13(3) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 should be foreseen.

I have only tried a small wafer with Nugat (gianduja) cream and it was better than Wetzel’s, I thought.

Essigbrätlein Nürnberg

Essigbrätlein, Weinmarkt 3, Nürnberg
Mittagsmenü, Samstag 20. März 2010


Teigröllchen gefüllt mit Rotkohlcreme, außen “unsere 5-Gewürz-Mischung” (wahrscheinlich Nelken, Kassia-Zimt, Fenchelsaat, Sternanis und Szechuanpfeffer, geröstet und gemahlen)

Pastry cigars with creamed red cabbage filling and the restaurant’s five-spice powder on the outside (probably cloves, cassia cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan pepper, roasted and ground)

Paprika-Würfel – Paprikabrot getränkt in Paprikasaft, mit Parmaschinken umwickelt und frittiert

Red pepper cubes – red pepper bread with red pepper juice, wrapped in Parma ham, with paprika crust

Kleine Scheiben Kalbskopf mit Sauerkraut (Knoblauch und Fenchel)

Little slices of calves’ head with sauerkraut (garlic and fennel)

Brot (noch warm) mit Karotten und Oliven, Bohnenbutter

Bread (still warm) with carrots and olives, green bean butter


Kabeljau mit Koriander auf Tomatenessenz mit Zimtöl, Blumenkohlpüree und gehobeltem Blumenkohl

Cod with coriander on tomato essence with cinnamon oil, cauliflower puree and shaved slices of cauliflower

Kürbisquadrate, in der Mitte ausgehöhlt, mit Kürbissaft, Dill, Petersilie und Grapefruitzesten, auf Haselnusscreme, mit Orangenmarmelade

Pumpkin squares, hollowed out to hold pumpkin juice, dill, parsley and grapefruit zest, on hazelnut cream, with orange marmalade

Zweites Brot
Second bread

Rotwein La Fuissiere (Cote de Beaune, Maranges), Spätburgunder, Thomas Morey, 2007
Red wine 2007 Marange premier Cru La Fuissière, Pinot Noir, Thomas Morey, 2007


Zweierlei Lamm: einmal geschmort, einmal kurz gebraten, Kapern mit Birnenchutney, auf grünen Bohnen mit Spinatcreme, an Apfelessenz

Two kinds of lamb: one braised, the other briefly fried, capers with pear chutney, on green beans with creamed spinach, with apple essence


Rhabarber, Rahmeis, Estragon/Minze/Kerbel (mit Salz und Zucker), Brunnenkressepüree

Rhubarb, cream ice-cream, tarragon/mint/chervil (with salt and sugar), watercress puree



Schokolade: dunkel, mit Pistachiencreme, Vollmilch mit Trauben, Himbeeren, Karamell, kandierten Nüssen, weiß, mit Pfeffer

Chocolate: dark, with pistachio cream; milk with grapes, raspberries, caramel, candied nuts; white, with pepper

Comments: I don’t usually go to two-star restaurants, but have been here before.

The menu is very simple, not pretentious, so we spent the whole time writing down the details to see what we’d eaten!

Yes, I was full, but can’t imagine ordering just a single course, which is theoretically possible. My companion could have eaten ten times as much of the rhubarb.

The best things were the red pepper toasts, the fish course (cauliflower mash scrumptious, fish perfect, cinnamon oil in the tomato essence also wonderful) and the lamb (especially the slow-roasted bit slightly larger than a postage stamp). The only two bad things were the wine (I know 2007 wasn’t a good year – I didn’t take the chance of changing the choice after tasting it – it tasted like a Beaujolais Nouveau to me, not a Burgundy – and I didn’t know Spätburgunder was German for pinot noir, but never minded the grape before) and the very creamy ice-cream which tasted a bit UHT to me (a lot of German cream is heat-treated).

Yesterday, Cheese and Biscuits blogged a visit to the Fat Duck, which reminded me to post this.

LATER NOTE: menu outside


The German equivalent of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is a proliferation of different kinds of doughnuts in bakeries.


These were seen at Confiserie Neef in Nuremberg.


According to their website they have:
I had a Zwetschgenkrapfen (zwetsche jam, or rather powidl), the oval ones in the middle.