Culture

Franconian Word of the Month – December

Blätzla
Franconian Word of the Month

Blätzla /blæts – la/

English: cookies

Hochdeutsch: Plätzchen

A true Franconian Christmas cannot take place without three things: gegrillde Bradwürschd (grilled sausages), Glühwah (Glühwein) and Blätzla. Especially the last one is something to look forward to, since most people like cookies.

Blätzla

Blätzla have a high standing in Franconian society. Relatives like to discuss cookies among themselves at great length, oftentimes while baking them, exchanging recipes and arguing about how long a certain type of them should stay in the oven. Since there always are at least two different opinions, those discussions can drone on for hours on end, usually only ending when the baked goods are finally being eaten and a final verdict can be assessed. Children like to munch on them even while they are hot, and many fond memories derive from times when one was allowed to lick up the rest of the dough.

The word Plätzchen originates from the old French “Place” and refers to the usual form of those cookies: broad and flat. Since Franconians are unable to distinguish between the sound of a B and a P (the saying being, “there’s only the harsh b and the soft b”, and the same goes for D and T), they arrived at a word that is such a disgrace to the German language that it is only used – with much gusto – in Franconia itself.

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