BUYING STOLLEN IN DRESDEN WHERE THE CAKE WAS INVENTED:
As a part of our Christmas sightseeing tour of Dresden we visit a stollen stall at the Dresden Striezelmarkt where we are given a slice of this famous Dresden Christmas cake to sample. Christollen happens to be on my shopping list of things to buy, so before leaving our hotel, I try to get recommendations of good stollen brands by asking our hotel reception staff. A little embarrassed, they tell me that they have no idea at all.
At the stall that we visit, I overhear one of our fellow travellers asking our local guide if this stall has the best stollen. Not to offend her employer’s sponsored stall, she of course loudly proclaims that the stollen is good, but then she whispers to the lady (a German compatriot) that this is not her favourite and that the brand she prefers is not in the market.
As the stollen we sample didn’t bowl us over, and based on the little bit of overheard conversation, we reserve our stollen buying until more research is done. Perhaps our sampled stollen didn’t taste too good because it had been standing in the winter cold and would have tasted better if served at room temperature.
Our quest for a good stollen continues in the evening when we return to the Christmas Market. Although there are plenty of stollen around, most stalls don’t offer any tasting at all. Walking around we come across Dresdner Backhaus stall where the lady has some samples to taste. I give Tony a bit to try and we both agree this one is more moist and tastes better.
You can get stollen in different flavours such as stollen with marzipan, poppy-seed stollen or just plain stollen. We like the marzipan stollen best. Although they say that the best stollen is the 2 kg size, I buy two of the 1 kg boxes as gifts and an un-boxed loaf for ourselves. The stollen in the nice presentation boxes cost €19.90 each.
Some tips from the Stollen Association about buying Stollen
There are some 130 stollen bakers who are members of the Dresden Stollen Association and here are some of their tips on buying stollen.
- the best size is the 2 kg size stollen as the flavours are best in that size stollen
- stollen should not be eaten young and it should be bought about 2 weeks before Christmas, presumably to let it mature
- the stollen should be left at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving … uh-huh, there lies the problem with our cold stollen tasting
- it needs to have the golden seal of the Stollen Association.
You can buy stollen anywhere in Germany and overseas, but there’s nothing like buying it in the place where it was first created, even if it means lugging around this precious cargo in our luggage.