Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bretzelesonndeg (Pretzel Sunday) - April 3

It’s time for another pastry post!

Those of you who live here will have seen some mouthwatering, giant almond-coated pretzels filling the windows at pâtisseries across the country. Those of you who don’t live in Luxembourg (...yet): from the looks of it alone, this pastry is a good enough reason to move here.

An assortment of bretzels.
This Sunday, April 3 is Bretzelesonndeg, or ‘Pretzel Sunday’ in Luxembourg, a tradition that marks the end of the Carnival season. On Bretzelesonndeg, men across the country will give a sweet ‘bretzel’ to their wife, their girlfriend or to a lady whom they fancy. Why a pretzel? Because of the shape, of course, which looks like a couple walking arm in arm. To return the gesture of love, on Easter Sunday the woman should present the man with a painted egg, or better yet, a chocolate egg. On Leap Years, the tradition is reversed and the lady does the pretzel-presenting.

You know how I love to take one for the team here at Luxemblog, so it was an easy task for me to belly up to the pastry counter today to finally take a bite out of my first Bretzelesonndeg pretzel. After all, I wanted to know what I’ll be getting on Sunday… (ahem…Nick, are you reading this, dear?)
Giant bretzels!

The traditional Luxembourgish pretzel is sweet, filled with almond paste and topped with sliced almonds. You will also find them with a kind of cinnamon/almond/icing twist, or filled with praline. If you don’t care for the flaky pastry type of bretzel, you can buy a pretzel-shaped donut covered in powered sugar.

Bretzels are sold in several sizes, from petite to gross. So, I guess if you really like someone, you can give them a pretzel that serves six…

I can’t seem to find any information about how long the tradition has been going on or how it began, either online or from my old standby, the tourist office (which I now have on speed dial). I do have an e-mail in to the Fédération des Patrons Boulangers-Pâtissiers du Grand-Duché to try to learn more, though. If/when I do, I’ll update this post.

In the meantime, however, if you’d like to see how Bretzelesonndeg bretzels are made, you might enjoy the 49 second video below from the Federation’s web site,

Now, gents: head out and buy your lady a bretzel!

Additional Reading:

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it awesome how every holiday in Lux has a tasty treat to go along with it?

    Now - to find the perfect egg for Will on Easter Sunday!