Bunte Teller - A Colourful Plate at Christmas
Full Disclosure: Although I own a business that imports beautiful things from Germany....I do not speak German. Yikes - I confessed! My parents would tell secrets at the dinner table in German when we were kids so in order for me to understand the language it has to be spoken in hushed, conspiratorial tones!!
But one does not have to speak the language to appreciate the rich heritage of the country especially when it comes to Christmas traditions. And one of the traditions I have been thinking about lately is the Bunte Teller - literally the "Colourful Plate".
I came across the term in some of my reading about German Christmas rituals and then realized that Bunte Tellers had been a part of my life all along. From the paper sack of peanuts, oranges and chocolates we received as children after the church Christmas Eve service (which were handed to us by the old uncles when we came bursting into the basement after performing upstairs as sheep and shepherds!) to the plates of cookies given at family gatherings by "the Tantes" (aunts)!
I married into a German family - both of my inlaws were born and spent their childhoods in Germany. My mother in law's sister - Tante Traudel (gotta love those German names!) - would make a Bunte Teller for every unit in the extended family. I would marvel at the sheer number of treats she had baked and how she arranged them so beautifully on the plate. And even the plate was special - a paper plate decorated with Christmas pictures then wrapped in cellophane and topped with a gift tag. Tante Traudel passed away some years ago and we all miss those plates that were filled with cookies, love and thoughtfulness.
It is a true art form to arrange cookies, fruit, nuts and chocolates on a tray. And I do not possess that skill! But I do know what I would put onto the tray - my favorites would include vanilla crescents, Black Elise Mini Lebkuchen, Lebkuchen Hearts and Stars (because I love the jam inside!), Stollen, dominosteine (with Marzipan), liqueur chocolates wrapped in colourful foil, Mozart Kugeln, Marzipan Minis and those most incredible peanut butter encased cherries dipped in chocolate (that was a different Tante's specialty!).
Lots of our customers tell us that they order packages of Lebkuchen in order to create their own Bunte Tellers to give away and share the love. The Lebkuchen Schmidt boxed packages are particularly good for this - the Large Festive Box and Small Festive Box and the Sweet Temptation box are great options.
I've started a Pinterest board with my favorite Bunte Teller pics for inspiration - check it out. And if you have photos to share with us of your Christmas Treat Plates and Platters we would love to see them - email us at email@example.com.
Owner @ Gingerbread World
Top 2 images courtesy of Niederegger Marzipan