Aachener Printen are a special kind of brown gingerbread, which has been baked in Aachen since about 1820. The name “Printe”, on the other hand, existed much earlier and developed from the English “print” and the Dutch “prent”, a term also used in the Öcher Platt (dialect of Aachen), which stands for “tool for pressing” or “pressed illustration”. The name refers to the use of artistically carved and printed wooden models in which the dough was inserted and pressed during the production of the then figurative bread introduced in the 15th century.
Kräuterprinte, broken open
Only Printen produced according to a new recipe in the city of Aachen itself and in the neighboring towns of Alsdorf, Baesweiler, Eschweiler, Stolberg and Würselen from around 1820 onwards are considered original Aachener Printen; they are certified as a product with a protected geographical indication. According to their original use, Aachener Printen actually belong to the group of seasonal pastries for the fall and winter season, but due to their popularity and for tourist reasons they are now offered as a year-round pastry. They are not only used as pastries, but also as an ingredient in hearty seasonal cuisine and as a mixture with various foods.