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Sunday, December 22, 2013

What is Christstollen?

Stollen as a food eaten during mediaeval fasting – Dresden Christstollen® is first recorded in 1474 on a bill at St. Bartholomew's, a Christian hospital. At that time, however, there was no thought of festive pleasures: the mediaeval fasting food was made only of flour, yeast and water. The authoritative Catholic church did not allow butter or milk, as a sign of abstention.

The butter missive – However, as Saxons have always enjoyed the pleasures of life, Prince Ernst, Elector of Saxony, and his brother Albrecht asked Pope Innocent VIII to revoke the ban on butter. The Holy Father granted them their wish, sending his Butterbrief, or butter missive, to Dresden in 1491. From then on, stollen bakers were also allowed to use richer ingredients.