Food and the World – A Stollen Tradition – by Gabrielle Trelstad . The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
In the 1800s, some of my ancestors immigrated to the United States from Germany. Among the things that they brought over from Germany was a Christmas tradition – Stollen. Stollen is a German bread containing a variety of fruits, nuts, spices, and flavorings. In Germany it is traditionally baked and served during Christmas time.
My maternal grandmother was very proud of this Stollen tradition, and every year at Christmas time she would make Stollen for each of her six children and their families. She would make multiple variations of Stollen in order to meet the different tastes of her children. The variation that my family would get consisted of nuts and raisins being added to the bread, omitting the candied fruit that is typically added.
While I can imagine that making multiple versions of Stollen must have been quite an undertaking, considering what a labor of love making homemade bread is, my grandmother never seemed to complain. I can’t help but think that she was so willing to make Stollen in varied forms each year as a way to connect her children and grandchildren with her parents and grandparents, as well as the homeland that her grandparents left behind.
Gabrielle is a student of History and English, and is a member of the class of 2020.
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