Origin of Pumpernickel,
article appeared in National Miller Magazine.
That variety of rye bread called "pumpernickel: has been known by the
name for centuries, but no one knows to a certainty the origin of the word.
Webster defines it "a sort of bread, made of unbolted rye, which forms
the chief food of the Westphalian peasants and its now common elsewhere,
it is said, but nourishing."
"Pumpernickel," according to one theory, is really "bon pour
Nicole," pronounced with a German accent. The story goes that a French
cavalry soldier at the period of the Napoleonic invasions of Germany, early
in the 19th century, found himself unable to forage anything but the heavy
black bread peculiar to Westphalia. He exclaimed in disgust that it was
only good for his horse, Nicole - "bon pour Nicole.: The phase "Stuck"
and in the course of time it became corrupted into "pumpernickel."
However, a writer in "Liepziger Illustrierte Zeitung" years ago
asserted that in the year 1450, there being a great want of food among the
poor of the city of Osnabrueck and its vicinity, a worthy magistrate of
the town undertook to bake bread on his own account and to distribute it
among the starving poor. This bread he called, in the Lutanist style common
in the middle ages, bonum piniculum," "good little bread,"
and it was of so good a quality, and so well liked by the people, that even
after the famine was passed they continued to bake bread after the same
fashion. They called it, moreover, by the name given to it by their benefactor,
but in the course of time it became modified into "bun panickel,"
from which the transition into "pumpernickel" was easy.
where the original "pumpernickel" was baked, marked by a round
tower with a conical roof and a chimney. IT is known as the "pumpernickel
"Pumpernickel: or a similar bread, has been know in some parts of England
as "brown George," perhaps it is conjectured, because it was brought
to England in the early days of the Georges of the Hanoverian dynasty.
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