- The Plate
Dentists Love to Hate These Ancient German Spice Cookies
What do cookies and cathedrals have in common? In Aachen, Germany, both are protected pieces of European heritage.
Aachener printen are spice cookies so hard that it’s said the bakers have a contract with the city’s dentists. Redolent of anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and other spices, a “printe” best reveals its Christmas-y punch when crunched between strong molars. Tiny crystals of sugar explode with each bite, an attribute that helped Aachener printen win European Union status as a protected commodity (see here on page 42) Just as “Champagne” can only come from the Champagne region of France, “printen” can only come from Aachen.
“Both the printen and the cathedral are a big attraction in Aachen,” city tourism executive Claire Pietsch says via email. “The best way is to visit