Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Streuselkuchen Story

In a recent blog I informed you that Brussels had granted a protected geographical name to the Bavarian Brezn (pretzel). Baker Michael Tschirch in Görlitz bakes not pretzels but Schlesischer Streuselkuchen (Silesian crumb cake) and that of an outstanding quality. With six shops in the region and still expanding his business he decided to sell his cake online. He already had labels printed showing his cake within the outlines of former Prussian Silesia and had started advertising when he received a letter from Brussels. The EU bureaucrats informed him that the Original Schlesischer Streuselkuchen is name-protected for the now Polish part of lower Silesia excluding all parts that nowadays belong to Germany and the Czech Republic.

Michael Tschirch and co-worker (©Der Spiegel)
In return the Central Association of German Bakers sent a letter to Brussels questioning their decision since for German bakers the Schlesischer Streuselkuchen is part of the culture of all people with Silesian roots. They now live in Germany all over the place baking the cake according to family tradition. Not its geographical origin but the generic concept of Streuselkuchen is important. In addition the protected Polish word is kołacz slaski which translates into German as Schlesische Kolatsche and not as Schlesischer Streuselkuchen. Citing from COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 510/2006 with respect to kołacz slaski: The yeast cake is rectangular in shape. It is produced with a cheese, poppy seed or apple filling or with no filling and is about 3,5 cm (± 0,5 cm) high. The cake measures 40 × 60 cm (± 5 cm) and weighs about 5-6 kg.

Kołacz slaski (©Wikipedia)
In the meantime a law suit was filed in Brussels leading an Austrian judge to get so excited that he wrote in a private blog: Will they argue about the "true" Silesian borders over a Streuselkuchen? He had apparently not forgotten the historical fact that in the 18th century and in three bloody wars Frederick the Great had stolen Silesia from Maria Theresa's Austria.

Baker Tschirch could not care less and is not waiting for the court decision. He now markets his cake under a new and somewhat obscure name: Schlesischer Butterdrückstreusel (Silesian butter-pressed streusel) emphasizing more the crumbs than on the cake.

Schlesischer Butterdrückstreusel (©Bäckerei Tschirch)

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