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The experts are still unclear about the origin of the German name for gingerbread - Lebkuchen. The most probable explanation stems from "libum" the Latin for a flat, round unleavened cake.

German gingerbread can be traced back to Franconian monks, whose delicious Pfefferkuchen or equally good honey cake were the forerunners of modern gingerbread.

Gingerbread with a wafer base was also created by pious Medieval monks. They placed the dough on communion wafers - the "hostia oblata" -, to prevent it sticking to the baking tray. With this practical move, they had created a cookie which soon became one of the most popular specialities in Bavaria.

The fame and tradition of Nuremberg gingerbread is mainly due to this old city's favourable position along the ancient trading and spice routes. The flourishing Zeidler guild, which ran a successful bee-keeping and bee-breeding business in the forests around Nuremberg, provided the bakers with direct access to the coveted honey. In those days, honey was the most important sweetener- East Indian colonial sugar was rare and expensive. The raw materials were therefore at hand and the sales channels easily reached.

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